The soothing tunes of jazz and bosa nova fill the air as warm faces greet visitors at The Enclave, Ampang.
There is nothing pretentious about the eatery as it welcomes everyone to experience a memorable outing.
Pictures of Malaya and old Malaysia decorate the walls, piquing the interest of history enthusiasts as they reminisce about the good old days.
Wearing Twentytwo13’s ‘Sila Duduk, Jangan Lari’ T-shirt, owner Vignesh Nagenthram was busy entertaining guests when the Twentytwo13 team arrived there.
“I got the T-shirt from a friend. It’s catchy and looks great,” said Vignesh, or better known as Vick.
The T-shirt, bearing words by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V uttered during the opening of Parliament post-May 9, was Twentytwo13’s way of documenting history.
And that resonates well with Vignesh’s interest in the subject.
“The whole idea is to showcase our nation instead of having random pictures of foreign celebrities or locations,” explained Vignesh as he pointed towards a picture of Malayan Airlines’ 1958 cabin crew.
“See that one … fourth from below … she is Ambi Kaur who is married to former Royal Selangor Club general manager and journalist Chris Syer.”
“They visited my outlet in Bangsar and saw the picture and were amazed.”
Pictures of iconic locations like Bukit Bintang, Batu Caves and Central Market tell of the days when rickshaws ruled on open roads, and business was carried out in simple fashion – minus the bright neon lights.
An electrical engineer by training and a banker by profession, Vignesh worked in London, San Francisco and Singapore before returning to Malaysia.
Having learnt the trade from many neighbourhood bars in the UK, he was determined to set up a similar watering hole in Malaysia that would be accepted by all. Staying true to its name, The Enclave transports guests away from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur without even leaving the city. Vignesh calls it a destination for a staycation.
A self-professed history buff, the 45-year-old started The Enclave in Lorong Kurau, Bangsar about two years ago before opening an outlet in Ampang Hilir a month ago.
“Business in Ampang has been encouraging. There’s a nice mix (of patrons).”
“We have many regulars at our Bangsar outlet and they are from all walks … millennials, young professionals and retirees.”
So what makes The Enclave special?
“It’s a place for everyone. The pictures on the walls will educate you about Malaysia and being Malaysian. The music is soothing, allowing comfortable conversation with friends or business associates.
“We are not pretentious and this is a place for everyone. It’s where you can bring your parents, children or even your date. We are laid back and cosy.”
He said The Enclave is both a restaurant and a bar – a gastrobar – and that they take the food they serve seriously.
What’s the specialty? One of it is the mutton fried rice – a recipe of Vignesh’s mother, Nirmala Balakrishnan.
“You must try her mutton fried rice. She’s also my ‘CEO’,” he said in jest.
Patrons can also now pick up Twentytwo13’s latest Deyyy! T-shirt at The Enclave’s outlets in Bangsar and Ampang.
Priced at RM22, the Deyyy! T-shirts are in various sizes – from S to 3XL.
“We’re happy and excited to partner Twentytwo13 and hope for more such initiatives,” added Vignesh.