Four Seasons Resort Langkawi Welcomes Anandha Ruben as Head Bartender
Arriving with more than 12 years in the world of luxury hospitality, Ruben strongly believes in the value of personalization, attention to detail and going the extra mile. “Along with making great drinks, my role as bartender is to create a mood, an experience,” he explains. “From ingredients to glassware, music to service, all the elements must come together to deliver memorable moments.”
Guests at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi can look forward to immersive drinking experiences at Rhu Bar, framed by spectacular views of ivory sands and the Andaman Sea. Beloved rituals, such as toasting the jewel-toned sunset with cocktails, are poised for an upgrade. Along with farm-fresh ingredients “that bring Langkawi into your drink,” Ruben plans to elevate classic cocktails with innovative touches.
There will also be new opportunities for discovery and connection. Drawing inspiration from island life, the Resort’s future beverage program will incorporate innovation, community and sustainability. Storytelling, too, is set to play a prominent role. Ruben shares this gem from a fellow bartender: “A good drink is a good drink. A great drink is a good drink with a story.” Indeed, the maverick mixologist has a bagful of tales to share with patrons – from stories behind ingredients to legends of Langkawi, personal anecdotes to industry news.
Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Ruben calls himself “an authentic and typical Malaysian.” It was in the vibrant capital city that he cut his teeth, working at local restaurants during his teenage years to make some extra money. Little did he know that this path would ultimately lead him to some of the region’s most celebrated restaurants. “The beginning of my journey was extremely humble,” he says. “Climbing the ladder was tough and took a lot of hard work. I’ve also had the support of some amazing mentors over the years.”
At the age of 19, hungry for new adventures, he moved to Singapore. In 2003, the country’s fine-dining landscape was restricted to a handful of legacy hotels, making it nearly impossible for a newcomer to find a foothold. “I had two things on my side though,” notes Ruben. “I spoke Mandarin. And I was willing to learn and do any kind of work.” He started out as a dishwasher in a high-end hotel, quickly graduating to restaurant server. This was where the manager of a premier steakhouse spotted his potential and offered him a job. After a year of rigorous coaching, he became a food and beverage service trainer, a role that took him to Shanghai to support the preopening of the brand’s new outlet.
In 2011, he joined the preopening team at an award-winning Italian restaurant in Marina Bay Sands. Getting the chance to assist at the bar was a gamechanger: “I recognized my calling and started honing my craft,” says Ruben, who went on to become the restaurant’s lead bartender, delivering handcrafted cocktails made with fresh produce and artisanal syrups. The next stop was ADRIFT by David Myers, where he developed a beverage program along with famed mixologist Sam Ross from Attaboy Bar in New York. He then returned to Kuala Lumpur, collaborating with Proof & Co. to helm the opening of a new bar located in a five-star hotel.
Now in Langkawi, Ruben is all set to explore the island’s famed attractions, from pristine beaches to mangroves teeming with wildlife. “Working in hospitality has given me the chance to experience new places and meet people from around the world,” he says. “I’m very excited to join the Four Seasons brand and can’t wait for guests to sample our new beverage offerings.”