The annual “Asia’s 50 Best Bars” list came out yesterday. According to the award’s official website, the rankings are determined by a group of “200 drinks experts, including renowned bartenders and consultants, drinks writers and cocktail specialists from across Asia”.
If you’re into lists, what “drinks experts” like, and the dramatics of rankings fluctuations — well, well, well, have we got the recap for you…
An Ernest Hemingway-themed cocktail bar in Central has rocketed to the top 10 list of best bars in Asia, as the number of Hong Kong bars to make the top 50 dropped to seven from eight in 2017.
The Old Man, which first opened in August, is one of eight many new entries to join the top 50 list for Asia, and is the only new bar to make it to the top 10. The other new entries include Smalls, Bangkok (29); Gen Yamamoto, Tokyo (34); Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur (38); Mixology Salon, Tokyo (40); Coley, Kuala Lumpur (46); Ritz Carlton Bar and Lounge, Macau (48); and Ku Bar in Bangkok (49).
The Old Man is one of only two Hong Kong bars to land spots in the top 10 this year. Lobster Bar & Grill retains its position as 10th best bar in Asia.
Another bar that had an impressive showing in the top 50 was Zuma, a modern Japanese-inspired bar in Central that jumped from 24 to claim a top 20 spot at number 18 this year, while 8 1/2 Otto Mezzo Bombana nudged upwards from 26 to 24.
The remaining three Hong Kong bars have dropped a couple of notches from the previous year, and noticeably, two bars that were in the top 50 last year have dropped off altogether.
Speakeasy-style bars Quinary and Stockton who retained comfortable top 10 spots at seven and eight last year dropped to 15 and 11 this year.
The Pontiac, a dive bar where “the volume is cranked up to 11” and where the jukebox plays underground rock, fell from 16 to 31.
British restaurant and bar The Chinnery at Mandarin Oriental and Alice in Wonderland-inspired gin joint Dr, Fern’s Gin Parlour, which were ranked 42nd and 48th last year, respectively, were the two bars that dropped off the list for this year.
The Hong Kong bars to make the top 50 list are:
The Old Man (5)
Lobster Bar & Grill (10)
8 1/2 Otto Mezzo Bombana (24)
The Pontiac (31)