KL’s best live music lounge : Forbidden City, Changkat Bukit Bintang

KL’s nightlife isn’t all rowdy and naughty.
On the opposite spectrum, the city’s got a fascinating lineup (though limited) of cool and classy jazz bars ideal for whiling away the hours in style.

One of the crème de la crème of the KL’s music lounge scene is the barely a month old Forbidden City on Changkat.
A seductive space hidden above Opium and just opposite the popular El Cerdo, it is proudly the one and only vinyl lounge offering vinyl records only‘ sessions in the Klang Valley for now.

Besides vinyl, Forbidden City is hostess nightly to some of the talented local and international artists in the Klang Valley which delivers unforgettable and soulful live music. 

forbidden city KL

After my dinner at Dining in The Dark KL, I had the opportunity to watch Aina Abdul live.
I’ve never heard of her, but then I’m no music connoisseur.

Boy, I was glad I stayed back for her performance. My initial intention of just “a few songs and then off I go” was derailed from the first moment she sang.

I was stunned and time stood still then.

One would have never guessed from her shy demeanour that she was blessed with such remarkable vocals.

Song after song she mesmerized the audience into absolute silence with renditions of her personal written works as well as covers from popular artists like Amy Winehouse.

During her 15 minutes break, I approached her for a few words and found her to be grounded, friendly yet outspoken.
She assured me that she is fine with me writing about her on my blog accompanied with images of her performance that night.


About Aina Abdul

Aina is currently a music student in UCSI University, majoring in Contemporary Music Degree in Voice.

Aina’s talent was discovered in the early years of her primary education. Since then she has competed in various singing competitions in and around her hometown of Negeri Sembilan.

The first singing competition that she joined was Sayembara Puisi in which she grabbed the grand prize. Despite having shows and performances, she continues to participate in various singing competitions.

She won first place in Golden Voices of PJ 2012, second place in Bintang Idola Berita Harian 2011, finalist of Bintang Irama 1 Malaysia RTM 2010 and more state singing competitions.

Recently, she managed to grab the title of Senior Vocalist Champion Of The World in World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) held in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile The Ground Passenger consists of Terrence Ling on drums, Jack Lim on keys, Ken Chung on bass & Chee Seng on guitar. Together they’ll accompany Aina Abdul for nights of jazz fusion.

The few hours spent in Forbidden City left a strong impression on me.
Now I have a ready suggestion whenever my readers and friends asked me for recommendations of live music lounge!

Forbidden City KL emphasis is on superior aural experience and the stage-of-the-art sound system delivers it. It for audiophiles who prefers a laid-back, sophisticated spot to enjoy finer, polished harmonies and bask in the vocals of the best performers in Klang Valley.

There is a different performance lineup every night, each and every one of them carefully curated by the team.
Forbidden City aims to be THE playground for music lovers and I personally could vouch for that experience.

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The space is provocative but cosy. Lights are dim, the cocktails naughty, the furnishings rich and the silky sofas inviting. One couldn’t possible miss the centrepiece – a portrait of a sultry woman, famous for her role in the original Forbidden City in San Francisco.

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A small selection of tapas works to keep tummies happy but it is the cocktails that you should indulge in.

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KL Forbidden city

Forbidden City embodies the return of small, intimate entertainment venues.
There is no cover charge and the vibe is relaxed, cosy and upmarket. The service staff are experienced and enthusiastic.

All in all, nights in the Forbidden City held a rich promise of excellent evenings with great music and decadent cocktails.

soulful live music Forbidden City, Changkat Bukit Bintang

Wondering “who” is performing “what” and “when“?
Simply click the link below for Forbidden City’s complete show calendar. Reservation and contact details are attached.


Mondays: CLOSED
Tuesdays: 9:00PM – 1:00AM
Wednesdays: 9:00PM – 1:00AM
Thursdays: 9:00PM – 1:00AM
Fridays: 9:00PM – 2:00AM
Saturdays: 9:00PM – 2:00AM
Sundays: CLOSED

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forbidden city



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