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The Old Man debuts in the top five at Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018

With restaurant industry insiders still discussing and analysing the results of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 which took place in Macau a little over a month ago, the drinks industry has been eagerly anticipating the results of its sister ranking: Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018, which celebrates its 3rd year running this year.

The results were announced tonight at an industry star-studded reception inside Singapore’s Capitol Theatre, with the stylish Manhattan bar inside the Regent Singapore nabbing the #1 spot for the second year running. For Hong Kong, all eyes were on the Ernest Hemingway-themed bar The Old Man, which opened in August 2017 just in time to make an incredible (and well-deserved) debut on this year’s list at the #5 spot — picking up the coveted Highest New Entry Award. Rounding out the top five are Taipei’s Indulge Experimental Bistro, which jumps three spots from #5 last year; Speak Low in Shanghai coming in at #3; and Atlas in Singapore climbing 8 spots to reach #4 on the list.

The Old Man picks up the Highest New Entry Award in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018.

The rest of the top 10 were filled out with recurring entries from last year’s list, with High Five in Tokyo dropping from #3 to sit at #6 this year; Singapore bars Tippling Club and Native showing a solid ranking at #7 and #8 respectively; Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s The Bamboo Bar giving Thailand a spot in the top 10 at #9; and finally, Lobster Bar & Grill in Shangri-La Hong Kong holding strong at the #10 spot for two years running.

Hong Kong is well represented on this year’s list, with a total of seven bars. The Old Man is the only newcomer on the list, while return awardees include Lobster Bar (#10), Stockton (#11), Quinary (#15), Zuma (#18), 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo (#24), and The Pontiac (#31). Meanwhile, The Chinnery at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour, which placed #42 and #48 respectively last year, dropped off the list altogether in 2018. Overall, Singapore and China tied for the most number of bars on the list (12 each), with the other seven countries represented including Japan, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.

Asia's 50 best bars 2018 sg
Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018 honours the top bars in the region for the 3rd year running.

Asia’s 50 Best Bars is compiled from the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy, which is comprised of more than 200 renowned bartenders, bar managers, drinks consultants, writers and experts, historians and mixologists from across Asia. Each voter casts a total of 7 votes based on their best bar experiences from the previous 18 months, with 3 of those votes required to be outside the voter’s country of residence. This year marks the first year in which the voters list has not been publicised, in an effort to retain their anonymity going forward.

Here’s the full list of winners, with bars in Hong Kong in boldface:

  1. Manhattan (Singapore)
  2. Indulge Experimental Bistro (Taipei)
  3. Speak Low (Shanghai)
  4. Atlas (Singapore)
  5. The Old Man (Hong Kong)
  6. High Five (Tokyo)
  7. Tippling Club (Singapore)
  8. Native (Singapore)
  9. The Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (Bangkok)
  10. Lobster Bar (Hong Kong)
  11. Stockton (Hong Kong)
  12. 28 Hongkong Street (Singapore)
  13. Backstage Cocktail Bar (Bangkok)
  14. Sober Company (Shanghai)
  15. Quinary (Hong Kong)
  16. Bar Trench (Tokyo)
  17. Le Chamber (Seoul)
  18. Zuma (Hong Kong)
  19. Operation Dagger (Singapore)
  20. Bar BenFiddich (Tokyo)
  21. Charles H (Seoul)
  22. Gibson (Singapore)
  23. Employees Only Singapore (Singapore)
  24. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana (Hong Kong)
  25. The Curator (Manila)
  26. Alice Cheongdam (Seoul)
  27. Vesper (Bangkok)
  28. The Union Trading Company (Shanghai)
  29. Smalls (Bangkok)
  30. Janes & Hooch (Beijing)
  31. The Pontiac (Hong Kong)
  32. D.Bespoke (Singapore)
  33. Nutmeg & Clove (Singapore)
  34. Gen Yamamoto (Tokyo)
  35. TCRC (Tainan, Taiwan)
  36. Potato Head Beach Club (Bali)
  37. Bar Orchard Ginza (Tokyo)
  38. Junglebird (Kuala Lumpur)
  39. Loewy (Jakarta)
  40. Mixology Salon (Tokyo)
  41. Union Brasserie Bakery & Bar (Jakarta)
  42. Jigger & Pony (Singapore)
  43. Star bar (Tokyo)
  44. Teens of Thailand (Bangkok)
  45. The Lamp Bar (Nara, Japan)
  46. Coley (Kuala Lumpur)
  47. Keepers (Seoul)
  48. The Ritz Carlton Bar & Lounge (Macau)
  49. Ku Bar (Bangkok)
  50. The Other Room (Singapore)

Leslie Yeh
Editor in Chief
Having worked as a lifestyle editor for almost 10 years, Leslie is thrilled to be writing about the topic she loves most: wining and dining. When she's not out pounding the pavement for the latest new restaurant opening or tracking food trends, Leslie can be found at home whipping up a plate of rigatoni vodka and binge-watching Netflix with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand.