January 8th, 2021
Flight of the Jungle Bird at Aviary
This post was written by EatDrink Brand Ambassador Aashna Sehgal.
Since the Aviary Bar at the very first Hilton KL was the birthplace of the Jungle Bird cocktail, I already had pretty great expectations upon arriving for a chilled out evening knocking back yummy libations. In a nutshell, the Jungle Bird (made of rum, Campari, lime and pineapple juice) was created by Jeffrey Ong in the 1970’s to be served to guests at the Hilton as a welcome drink. Definitely the best kind of welcome one could imagine! With the Aviary re-opening at the Hilton KL Sentral, it is unsurprising that this stunning cocktail is the focus of a lot of the bar’s offerings.
Located in the lounge area at the Hilton, the bar is a lovely, dimly lit space with various wines and spirits on display all around it. The first drink I tried was the classic original Jungle Bird. Despite not having been in a typical tiki mug, this cocktail screams tiki. The intensity of the rum and bitterness of the Campari is balanced beautifully by the sweetness and citrus flavours from the pineapple and lime. Even though rum has never been my go-to spirit, this is a cocktail I can imagine sipping on a relaxing day by the pool.
The second cocktail in the series was the Morning Bird that contained the usual suspects, but with a twist of grapefruit juice and curry leaf. Campari is swapped for a coffee-infused version, and the pineapple juice is built on with pineapple puree. Not only is this cocktail almost too pretty to drink, it was also extremely balanced in terms of flavour. The juice and puree’s sweetness compliments the savoury curry leaf really well.
Next on the menu was the Jackfruit Jungle Bird – with jackfruit and thyme infused rum. Served in a beautiful mug with hints of doughnut syrup and lime, this is a really refreshing and pleasant cocktail which is really easy to drink.
I then had the Mexican Jungle Bird – one of the only two cocktails on the menu that don’t contain dark rum, making this is refreshing change after the much sweeter rum based ones. The Olmeca Gold Tequila’s woodiness pairs extremely well with the plant/herb infused Aperol. Again, extra bonus points for this adorable mug and presentation.
Appropriately, the last drink in the series was the American Jungle Bird; the heaviest one on the list – with Makers Mark Whiskey, Aperol, egg white and pineapple juice. Despite the whiskey being as far away from what we imagine a conventional tiki cocktail to be, with the pineapple and the lime bringing elements of the Jungle Bird together in a gorgeous way.
Aviary also does bar bites – we ordered the Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Amritsari Fish Tacos (my favorite!), Prawn Tempura, and the Japanese Dumplings. All the dishes were fresh and very focused in their flavours. Apart from the Junglebird cocktails, Aviary also has wines and other spirits to order. All in all, the bar’s ability to push the envelope with classics, beautiful cocktail presentation, and friendly staff makes this a solid visit.
Location and details
Hilton KL Sentral
3, Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur Sentral,
50470 Wilayah Persekutuan
Tel: +603 2264 2264
Opening Hours: 10am – 12am
Website: Hilton KL Sentral