Hong Kong bar The Old Man has been crowned the best bar in Asia in the annual “Asia’s 50 Best Bars” list for 2019, the results of which came out last night.
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.”
The Ernest Hemingway-themed bar — which takes its name after his novel The Old Man and the Sea — nabbed fifth place in last year’s list months after it first opened in August 2017.
It’s one of two Hong Kong bars to make the top 10, and one of eight of our bars to make the top 50. The Quinary, which was ranked 15th last year, jumped to 10th place, a position that was last year held by Lobster Bar & Grill, which has dropped to 33rd.
Singapore, meanwhile, has four of the top 10 places with Manhattan, Native, Atlas and Jigger & Pony. Tokyo (High Five), Taipei (Indulge Experimental Bistro), Shanghai (Speak Low), and Bangkok (The Bamboo Bar at M.O.) round out the rest of the top 10.
New Hong Kong-based entries to this year’s list include Mexican-inspired craft cocktail bar Coa (12), and 13th century Spain-inspired speakeasy The Wise King (18).
The Pontiac, a dive bar where “the volume is cranked up to 11” and where the jukebox plays underground rock, was nudged down from 31st last year to 32nd; whisky bar and speakeasy Stockton dropped from 18th to 36th; and Italian fine dining restaurant 8 1/2 Otto Mezzo Bombana went from 24th to 38th.
Only one Hong Kong bar dropped off this year’s list, and that was the modern Japanese-inspired bar Zuma, which last year was ranked 18th.
The Hong Kong bars to make the top 50 list are:
The Old Man (1)
The Wise King (18)
The Pontiac (32)
Lobster Bar & Grill (33)
8 1/2 Otto Mezzo Bombana (38)