Manila’s The Curator, OTO, and The Backroom included in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019

Photo: The Curator/FB.
Photo: The Curator/FB.

Three of Metro Manila’s trendy bars gained international recognition after they were announced on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019 during a ceremony at the Capitol Theatre in Singapore yesterday.

Named the best bar in Manila is The Curator, which landed on the 37th spot overall. Located in Makati’s Legaspi St., The Curator is part cafe-part bar. It serves third wave coffee during the day and craft cocktails at night.

The Curator's House Bitterness cocktail. (Photo: The Curator/FB)
The Curator’s House Bitterness cocktail. Photo: The Curator/FB

The Curator dropped slightly on the list (it ranked at #25 last year). However, this is the third year in a row for it to be a part of Asia’s 50 Best Bars.

The next Filipino bar on the list: OTO, at #47. OTO is situated along Enriquez St. in Makati’s hip neighborhood Poblacion. It’s a music lounge that has an entire section dedicated to a collection of vinyl records.

OTO's Whiskey Sour. (Photo: OTO/FB)
OTO’s Whisky Sour. Photo: OTO/FB

Like The Curator, OTO also serves coffee along with its signature cocktails. This is no surprise as both establishments are partly owned by entrepreneur David Ong.

At #50 is The Backroom in Bonifacio Global City, which joined the list for the first time this year. It’s a 1920s-style speakeasy located in a corridor of Shangri-La at the Fort hotel.

The Backroom is so hidden that it doesn’t even have social media accounts. Their cocktail list is just as limited — only 18 options — which is not so much a sign of weakness than it is of proper curation.

Asia’s 50 Best Bars is a ranking based on votes from members of Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy. The organization is made up of mixology experts and media covering the beverage industry, among others. Topping this year’s list is The Old Man from Hong Kong.

The top 10 are:

  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 at M.O., Bangkok
  9. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
  10. Quinary, Hong Kong

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