Finest bars in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Shanghai

Asia has greater than 30 cities with populations larger than 5 million folks, but solely two can lay declare to the highest bar on Asia’s 50 Finest Bars listing.

Yearly for the reason that listing’s inception, the continent’s best-ranked bar has been in both Hong Kong or Singapore.

The annual rating is organized by William Reed Media, which additionally publishes The World’s Finest Bars and The World’s 50 Finest Eating places.

“Asia’s 50 Finest Bars was the primary and is at the moment the one regional 50 Finest rating, with the inaugural listing introduced in 2016,” mentioned Mark Sansom, the listing’s content material editor. “Asia has an enormous number of good bars and cities that we felt wanted recognizing as a number of the main cocktail capitals on this planet.”

The ‘finest bar’ in Asia

During the last six years, 5 bars have topped the 50 Finest listing. Singapore gained an early edge in complete wins, but Hong Kong has had the “finest bar” in Asia twice previously three years.

Here is the breakdown:

Bars that ranked No. 1

Yr Bar Location
2016 28 HongKong Avenue Singapore
2017 Manhattan                     Singapore
2018 Manhattan Singapore
2019 The Outdated Man Hong Kong
2020 Jigger & Pony Singapore
2021 Coa Hong Kong
Supply: Asia’s 50 Finest Bars

Hong Kong’s Coa was named Asia’s finest bar at this yr’s awards, introduced in Could. The Mexican-inspired institution, with a menu that leans closely upon agave-based spirits, edged out Singapore’s Jigger & Pony, which fell to No. 2.

Coa, which launched in 2017, made its title with drinks such because the “Ancho Highball” with tequila blanco and salted plum and the “La Chinesca” with mezcal, cayenne pepper and ginger honey.  

Jay Khan (left) opened Hong Kong’s Coa, a Mexican-inspired bar named after the device used to reap agave.

Courtesy of Asia’s 50 Finest Bars

Sansom mentioned Coa clinched the highest spot because of its “delicate agave schooling, relaxed vibes and a merely unbelievable drinks listing… mixed with the good work they’ve been doing to help their group all through the pandemic.”

The complete listing

Asia’s 50 Finest Bars listing is created by tabulating votes from 220 trade insiders who title 5 bars, so as of desire, that they most loved through the previous 18 months. No less than one bar should be outdoors the voter’s nation of residence.  

An Outdated Original, made with sugar sourced from Japan’s Hateruma island, at Singapore’s No. 2-ranked Jigger & Pony.

Courtesy of Asia’s 50 Finest Bars

“This methodology… signifies that bars can’t apply to be on the listing, can’t be nominated, and no exterior influences (from William Reed or our sponsors) can affect the listing,” reads 50 Finest’s web site.  

The method additionally supplies house for newcomers and alternative for motion among the many rankings, each of that are obvious on the 2021 listing:

1. Coa, Hong Kong
2. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
3. The SG Membership, Tokyo
4. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei, Taiwan
5. Sober Firm, Shanghai
6. Manhattan, Singapore
7. Atlas, Singapore
8. No Sleep Membership, Singapore new
9. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
10. Caprice Bar, Hong Kong — No. 34 in 2020
11. The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok
12. Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
13. Charles H, Seoul, South Korea — No. 29 in 2020
14. Native, Singapore
15. Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou, China — No. 36 in 2020
16. Sidecar, New Delhi — No. 40 in 2020
17. Bar Temper, Taipei, Taiwan
18. Bee’s Knees, Kyoto, Japan
19. Room By Le Kief, Taipei, Taiwan
20. The Diplomat, Hong Kong new
21. 28 HongKong Avenue, Singapore
22. Tropic Metropolis, Bangkok
23. Inform Camellia, Hong Kong new
24. Aha Saloon, Taipei, Taiwan
25. Quinary, Hong Kong
26. The Pontiac, Hong Kong
27. Excessive 5, Tokyo
28. The Smart King, Hong Kong
29. Barbary Coast, Singapore new
30. Penicillin, Hong Kong new
31. Union Buying and selling Firm, Shanghai
32. Communicate Low, Shanghai
33. Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar, Jakarta, Indonesia
34. Bar Cham, Seoul, South Korea
35. Backstage Cocktail Bar, Bangkok
36. Tippling Membership, Singapore — No. 17 in 2020  
37. Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
38. The Curator, Manila, Philippines
39. D.Bespoke, Singapore — No. 23 in 2020
40. Darkside, Hong Kong new
41. Alice, Seoul, South Korea
42. The Outdated Man, Singapore — No. 22 in 2020
43. Bar Trench, Tokyo
44. Le Chamber, Seoul, South Korea
45. MO Bar, Singapore
46. Vesper, Bangkok — No. 11 in 2020
47. Three X Co, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia new
48. Teenagers of Thailand, Bangkok
49. Sago Home, Singapore new
50. Star Bar, Tokyo

Of the eight bars making their first look on the listing, half are in Hong Kong, probably the most of any metropolis in Asia. That does not shock John Nugent, co-founder of The Diplomat, a speakeasy-style bar in Hong Kong’s Central district which, at No. 20, was the very best rating new bar to open in Asia this yr.

“Hong Kong has at all times been a metropolis keen to push the envelope,” he instructed CNBC Journey. “We now have seen and can proceed to see enjoyable, fascinating and thrilling bars within the close to future.”

The Diplomat’s John Nugent instructed CNBC its “extraordinarily enjoyable” to be a part of Hong Kong’s new bar scene “that are owned and operated by bartenders themselves.”

Courtesy of The Diplomat

Nugent is opening a brand new martini bar in Hong Kong this summer time, and he is heard rumors of latest bar openings within the neighborhood, he mentioned. He described the world as just lately being “simply a few takeaway kebab joints, however now we have now three ’50 Finest Bars’ inside 30 seconds of one another.”

New in 2021: the expanded listing

Regardless of its title, Asia’s 50 Finest Bars printed an expanded listing of bars that ranked from 51 to 100 this yr, a primary for the group.

“The 51-100 listing provides us the chance to acknowledge a larger variety of wonderful bars, particularly throughout this troublesome interval for the hospitality trade,” mentioned Sansom. “It was nice to see new locations corresponding to Sri Lanka and Vietnam seem for the primary time on the listing.”

Plus, he mentioned customers now have “double the selection of expert-approved ingesting locations” as they make journey plans within the months forward.

Hong Kong has three bars on the prolonged listing:

  • 54. The Outdated Man — No. 2 on final yr’s listing
  • 65. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana
  • 68. The Shady Acres 

Singapore has six:

  • 66. Gibson
  • 70. Workers Solely
  • 71. Ah Sam Chilly Drink Stall 
  • 75. Stay Twice
  • 79. The Different Room
  • 82. Junior The Pocket Bar

Particular person awards

A remaining lens by way of which to judge Asia’s cocktail capital are the person honors the 50 Finest group awards to particular bars and other people. Collectively, Hong Kong and Singapore secured seven of these 9 awards.

This yr, these Hong Kong institutions took residence particular person awards:  

  • Quinary — Heering Legend of The Record award, for a bar that constantly ranks properly yr after yr
  • The Diplomat — London Essence Finest New Opening, honoring a brand new bar that opened with the very best rating
  • Caprice Bar — joint winner with New Delhi’s Sidecar of the Nikka Highest Climber award, for the bar that has risen probably the most in rankings in a yr
  • Penicillin — Ketel One Sustainable Bar award, for the bar with the strongest dedication to sustainability

Learn extra from CNBC Journey

Singapore clinched these three:

  • No Sleep Membership — the Disaronno Highest New Entry award, for the highest-rated bar coming into listing for first time
  • Bannie Kang of Anti:Dote Fairmont Singapore — Mancino Bartenders’ Bartender award, for the person who contributed probably the most through the earlier yr
  • MO Bar — Michter’s Artwork of Hospitality award, for finest hospitality expertise

Following this yr’s digital ceremony, Asia’s 50 Finest Bars awards presentation is scheduled to return to an in-person format in 2022. Sansom indicated Singapore and Hong Kong could face stiff competitors on the occasion, which is to held in Singapore.

“With the best way the bar scenes are progressing in different components of Asia,” he mentioned, “there are various different areas which are pushing very exhausting for the highest spot.”

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