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Coley wins top Malaysian spot at the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019

Coley has just bagged the top spot for Malaysia in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019 awards, held in Singapore. Coming in at the 27th spot, Coley has gone up a whopping 19 spots from last year’s 46th spot. Other Malaysian bars that made the cut include Junglebird at number 44, who was previously in the 38th spot in last year’s list. Bar Trigona is also a new Malaysian addition to the list, entering at number 40.

Kho Chee Keong, fondly known as CK to all, is the owner at Coley. (Picture: NZP.)

It’s been a pretty good year for Coley ever since the bar moved out of its back-of-the-cafe spot and into its own shop lot. Not only did Coley enter Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018 for the first time, the bar was also named Bar of the Year during The Bar Awards Kuala Lumpur 2017 and 2018. In KL, Coley is already a well-known establishment loved for its locally-skewed cocktails such as the Gin & Coconut and Whisky Bubble Tea.

Bar Trigona of the Four Seasons KL hotel also makes waves by entering Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019 in its first year of conception. It is already a hit in KL with its outstanding menu centring on the trigona honey bee and using produce sourced from local farms. The hotel bar is also one of the pioneers of the renaissance of hotel bars in KL, and that finesse has certainly caught the attention of the people behind Asia’s 50 Best Bars.

Bar Trigona enters the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019 list at number 40. (Picture: NZP.)

As always, Singapore’s bars continue to dominate this year’s list. However, former champion Manhattan did not manage to retain its number one spot this year and instead, went down to the number two spot. Bagging the top spot in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019 is The Old Man. The Hong Kong bar entered last year’s awards in the fifth spot, making it the highest new entry of the year. Congratulations to all bars who have won and made it onto Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019.

Here is the full list of winners — asterisks mark new entrants:

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



PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.