A Place To Lift Your Spirits: SOMA
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A Place To Lift Your Spirits: SOMA

Kuala Lumpur has one of Asia’s most exciting, burgeoning bar scenes. The 2017 KL Bar Awards celebrates the capital city’s cocktail creativity and bar luminaries with a host of honours.

JASON JULIAN, The Rising Star Award

“I was heartbroken when I was told I couldn’t be a chef,” Jason Julian, owner of the newly opened bar SOMA, confides. Cooking became a source of joy, and eventually, an ambition for the 11-year-old when his parents parted ways. Unfortunately, Jason’s culinary aspirations were derailed after he developed an allergy to handling raw meat. While working at local F&B outlet SOULedOUT early in his career, he picked up bar basics from the late Frankie Anthony – a fellow Sabahan and the eatery’s Group Bar Manager.

Image: Chew Win Win

Jason’s competitive nature and determination was a winning mix; he learned bartending tricks from YouTube, and perfected his craft through trial and error. His trained chef-palate made mixing bold flavours effortless, but it was his genuine warmth that won crowds over. Last year Jason was awarded The Rising Star Award at The Bar Awards KL – an honour given to new bartenders under the age of 28 who have carved a name for themselves.

Image: Chew Win Win

Commenting about his profession, Jason shares, “Bartending isn’t just about making exceptional drinks – it’s about the human connection. A great bartender is a jack of all trades, including being a good listener.”

The Bar Awards KL 2018 will take place on 25 November 2018. To find out how you can nominate your favourite bar, or to attend the events leading up to the awards finale, find The Bar Awards on www.facebook.com/thebarawards

Look out for the fifth installation in our eight-part series of A Place To Lift Your Spirits next Friday when we bring you the Best Restaurant Bar.

Kerry-Ann is a journalist who has dabbled in all forms of writing across the board, from print and digital media to broadcasting. When she is not working (which is almost never) she can be found at home making prank calls or playing the air guitar. Because she can’t play a real one.

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