Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019: The Old Man from Hong Kong is the top watering hole at tonight’s award ceremony in Singapore

Asia's 50 Best Bars - The Old Man Hong Kong

While Manhattan may have topped the list for the last two years, its limelight was abruptly snatched away by this Hemingway-inspired gem

Singapore turned into the epicentre of mixology tonight, as we saw the return of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards at the Capitol Theatre. The fourth edition of the awards rewarded the region’s best and most innovative talent in the drinks industry, with more than 600 industry figures bearing witness to an evening of surprising wins.

A relative newbie in Asia’s bar scene, The Old Man Hong Kong went up against 49 giants and found itself on top, effectively dethroning Singapore’s Manhattan bar. Helmed by award-winning mixologist Agung Prabowo, the bar takes its cues from literary genius Ernest Hemingway, and entered the list in fifth place last year.

The bar is a hit with patrons, thanks to its innovative repertoire of libations – each one is named after Hemingway’s best works and inspired by the writer’s favourite ingredients such as butter-fat-washed gin and beeswax-infused bourbon.

It’s a particularly exciting win, as The Old Man just opened its doors in Singapore along Keong Saik Street earlier in the year. It makes us want a sneak peek into the 2020 edition of the awards, if only to see where both bars sit on the venerated list. Will The Old Man Singapore give the Hong Kong edition a solid run for its money? Only time will answer that question.

And while Manhattan may have dropped to the number two spot, it certainly didn’t go home empty handed; the bar was recognised with the Best Bar in Singapore and the Legends of the List awards.

It was a good night for Singapore’s bar scene, as the island was well-represented by winners such as Tippling Club, D.Bespoke, Operation Dagger and Jigger & Pony; the latter rose 33 spots from last year to clinch the Highest Climber award. In all, Singapore snagged 11 spots on a winning list that saw 11 new entries from around the region.

Other special award winners include:

Altos Bartenders’ Bartender
Shingo Gokan

Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award
Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Campari One To Watch Award
Pussyfoot Saloon, Seoul, Korea

Highest New Entry Award
Coa, Hong Kong, China

The full list of winners include the following bars in Asia:

  1. The Old Man, Hong Kong, China
  2. Manhattan, Singapore
  3. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei, Taiwan
  4. Native, Singapore
  5. Atlas, Singapore
  6. High Five, Tokyo, Japan
  7. Speak Low, Shanghai, China
  8. The Bamboo Bar At Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand
  9. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
  10. Quinary, Hong Kong, China
  11. Tippling Club, Singapore
  12. Coa, Hong Kong, China
  13. The SG Club, Tokyo, Japan
  14. Charles H, Seoul, South Korea
  15. Gibson, Singapore,
  16. Sober Company, Shanghai, China
  17. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo, Japan
  18. The Wise King, Hong Kong, China
  19. Le Chamber, Seoul, South Korea
  20. Backstage Cocktail Bar, Bangkok, Thailand
  21. 28 HongKong Street, Singapore
  22. Operation Dagger, Singapore
  23. Bar Trench, Tokyo, Japan
  24. Aha Saloon, Taipei, Taiwan
  25. D.Bespoke, Singapore
  26. Vesper, Bangkok, Thailand
  27. Coley, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  28. Bar Orchard Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
  29. Alice Cheongdam, Seoul, South Korea
  30. Union Trading Company, Shanghai, China
  31. Tropic City, Bangkok, Thailand
  32. The Pontiac, Hong Kong, China
  33. Lobster Bar & Grill, Hong Kong, China
  34. Rabbit Hole, Bangkok, Thailand
  35. Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou, China
  36. Stockton, Hong Kong, China
  37. The Curator, Manila, Philippines
  38. 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China
  39. Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar, Jakarta, Indonesia
  40. Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  41. Employees Only, Singapore
  42. Smalls, Bangkok, Thailand
  43. Bar Mood, Taipei, Taiwan
  44. Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  45. Draft Land, Taipei, Taiwan
  46. The Other Room, Singapore
  47. Oto, Manila, Philippines
  48. Teens Of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand
  49. Mixology Salon, Tokyo, Japan
  50. The Back Room, Manila, Philippines

The 2019 awards ceremony kicks off a three-year partnership between the 50 Best organisation and the Singapore Tourism Board – a collaboration that will see The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards and The World’s 50 Best Bars awards make their Asian debut in Singapore in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

Asia’s 50 Best Bars