This hidden bar in Makati just made it to Asia’s 50 Best Bars for the sixth straight year 2
The Curator Coffee & Cocktails. Photo from IG @thecurator_
Food & Drink

This hidden bar in Makati just made it to Asia’s 50 Best Bars for the sixth straight year

Meanwhile, Hong Kong tops this year’s list with COA as Number 1 on the ranking for 2021  
CYRENE DE LA ROSA | May 07 2021

Following last week’s announcement of its 51-100 list, the main meat of the 2021 list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars has been revealed. Manila’s The Curator Coffee & Cocktails, the hidden joint at Palanca Street in Makati well-known for its exemplary coffee and cocktail programs, is once again named one of the 50 best bars in Asia. 

The Curator is the only bar from the Philippines to make it to this year’s top 50. Ranking four spots higher at number 38 from last year’s 42, and winning with it the Best Bar in the Philippines award for the 5th year in a row.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong went for a strong finish after taking home the top honors at the annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants earlier this year: Coa in HK topped the 2021 Asia’s Best Bars list and is this year’s Best Bar in Asia.

Coa’s owner-bartender Jay Khan, who was in Manila for a guest shift at OTO in Poblacion before the pandemic, named his Hong Kong joint after the machete-like tool used for harvesting agave – the plant from which both mezcal and tequila are distilled from. It comes as no surpise that Coa houses Hong Kong’s largest agave collection, with over 200 bottles and counting. 

This hidden bar in Makati just made it to Asia’s 50 Best Bars for the sixth straight year 3
Jay Lhan, owner-bartender of Coa

China led this year’s list of winners as it garnered 13 spots, with Singapore a close second with 12. Japan follows with six, Thailand five, Taiwan four, South Korea four and Malaysia three. The Philippines, Indonesia and India had one bar each that made it to Top 50.

Luckily for the Philippines, last week, Asia’s 50 Best Bars also announced its inaugural 51 – 100 list where three Manila bars made the cut: Shangri-La Fort’s The Back Room at no. 51, OTO at no. 61; and Buccaneers Rum and Cocktails at no. 100.

The Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021 list was based on the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy composed of around 240 of the most knowledgeable and traveled members of the bar industry, drinks media and mixology experts from across Asia. Voting was based on actual experiences within a given 18 months timeframe that included six months prior to the start of the pandemic, when people were still able to travel regularly.

Together with the Singapore Tourism Board, the annual awards event has announced at the end of the virtual ceremony its plan to bring the Asia’s 50 Best Bars ceremony back to Singapore in 2022, assuming the ongoing worldwide vaccination roll out allows the bar community to reunite by next year.

Here’s the list of bars that made it to this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars list. 

1 Coa, Hong Kong 

2 Jigger & Pony, Singapore 

3 The SG Club, Tokyo

4 Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei

5 Sober Company, Shanghai

6 Manhattan, Singapore 

7 Atlas, Singapore 

8 No Sleep Club, Tokyo

9 Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo

10 Caprice Bar, HK

11 The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok

12 Bar Trigona, KL

13 Charles H, Seoul

14 Native, Singapore 

15 Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou 

16 Sidecar, New Delhi 

17 Bar Mood, Taipei

18 Bee’s Knees, Kyoto

19 Room by Le Kief, Taipei

20 The Diplomat, HK

21 28 HongKong Street, Singapore 

22 Tropic City, Bangkok 

23 Tell Camellia, HK 

24 Aha Saloon, Taipei

25 Quinary, HK

26 The Pontiac, HK

27 High Five, Tokyo 

28 The Wise King, HK

29 Barbary Coast, Singapore 

30 Penicillin, HK

31 Union Trading Company, Shanghai 

32 Speak Low, Shanghai 

33 Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar, Jakarta

34 Bar Cham, Seoul 

35 Backstage Cocktail Bar, Bangkok 

36 Tippling Club, Singapore 

37 Junglebird, KL

38 The Curator, Manila 

39 D.Bespoke, Singapore 

40 Darkside, HK 

41 Alice, Seoul 

42 The Old Man, Singapore 

43 Bar Trench, Tokyo 

44 Le Chamber, Seoul 

45 MO Bar, Singapore 

46 Vesper, Bangkok 

47 Three X Co, KL

48 Teens of Thailand, Bangkok 

49 Sago House, Singapore 

50 Star Bar, Tokyo