On Thursday night (31st March 2016), Drinks International announced its highly anticipated Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2016 winners.

It is the first, and only, regional list to be published alongside the internationally renowned World’s 50 Best Bars Awards that takes place annually in October.

Asia's 50 Best Bars 2016
Source: facebook.com/Worlds50BestBars

The bars in the list were voted for by more than 150 industry experts from Asia, representing the ultimate guide to the top bars in the region. The inaugural list includes bars from 12 cities in 10 countries with restaurant bars, speakeasies, hotel bars, and tiki-themed venues all contributing to the diverse and eclectic list.

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28 Hongkong Street claimed the title of Asia’s Best Bar taking the #1 spot in the list. The bar is lead by a combination of highly regarded industry legends including Michael Callahan, Zdenek Kastanek and David Cordoba. Drinks are renowned for their clean, fresh, flavour-focused approach, all served in a famous Singapore party environment.

L-R: Omakase + Appreciate founders Shawn Chong & Karl Too. (Source: worlds50bestbars.com)
L-R: Omakase + Appreciate founders Shawn Chong & Karl Too. (Source: worlds50bestbars.com)

Also in the top 10, Kuala Lumpur sits alongside Asia’s cocktail capitals with Omakase + Appreciate ranked 10th best bar in Asia. Run by owners and local bartending heavyweights Karl Too and Shawn Chong, it has a monthly changing drinks menu, its location in the basement of an anonymous office block places it amongst the other inconspicuous speakeasies on the list.

What are some of the qualities that helped Omakase + Appreciate cinch its #10 spot? Speaking to us exclusively, Omakase + Appreciate co-founder Shawn Chong, who is also the Diageo World Class SEA Bartender of the Year 2015 winner, said, “Firstly, I think being in the business for 3 years was a starting point. Aside from the years, since the start we have always tried to get our bar out there, despite being a speakeasy. We’ve worked to keep things fresh and people like that. For example, we change our menu every so often, every month or once in two months. This is apart from the customised drinks that we do and it showcases our creativity.”

“Since the start as well, we have always worked to connect with our network outside of Malaysia. The way we do this is having the constant effort to host guest bartenders in our bar which in fact does give us some international exposure. In regards to that as well, I believe being involved in international competitions has also put ours and Malaysia’s name out there. Due to these efforts, we have even gotten some international media coverage. Lastly, the simple wish to offer quality cocktails and service with genuine and sincere hospitality is what trumps it all, I think,” he added

Truly a standout joint and a gem inconspicuously located behind a “No Entry” door, Omakase + Appreciate serves up world-class cocktails – you just have to find it 😉

Source: worlds50bestbars.com
Omakase + Appreciate at Ampang Bangunan Ming Annexe in Kuala Lumpur. (Source: worlds50bestbars.com)

Check out Omakase + Appreciate via their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Thailand also fared well with a total of 6 bars included, the highest being Vesper Bar at number 17 which creates serious cocktails alongside Italian cuisine, whilst Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines, and Indonesia are all also represented on the list.

The full list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards winners as follows:

Rank

Bar

Location

Market

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1

28 Hong Kong Street

Singapore

Singapore

2

Speak Low

Shanghai

China

3

High Five

Tokyo

Japan

4

Lobster Bar & Grill

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

5

Manhattan Bar

Singapore

Singapore

6

Quinary

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

7

Operation Dagger

Singapore

Singapore

8

Jigger & Pony

Singapore

Singapore

9

The Union Trading Co

Shanghai

China

10

Omakase + Appreciate

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

11

Alice

Seoul

South Korea

12

Tippling Club

Singapore

Singapore

13

D.Bespoke

Singapore

Singapore

14

ABV

Manila

Philippines

15

Alchemy Bar

Taipei

Taiwan

16

The Curator

Manila

Philippines

17

Vesper Bar

Bangkok

Thailand

18

Janes & Hooch

Beijing

China

19

The Pontiac

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

20

WooTaipei

Taipei

Taiwan

21

Benfiddich

Tokyo

Japan

22

Gibson Cocktail Bar

Singapore

Singapore

23

TCRC

Tainan

Taiwan

24

Charles H

Seoul

South Korea

25

Le Chamber

Seoul

South Korea

26

Q&A

Bangkok

Thailand

27

Teens of Thailand

Bangkok

Thailand

28

Royal Bar, Palace Hotel

Tokyo

Japan

29

Honi Honi

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

30

Trench

Tokyo

Japan

31

Stockton

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

32

Loewy

Jakarta

Indonesia

33

Star Bar

Tokyo

Japan

34

Bamboo Bar

Bangkok

Thailand

35

Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar

Jakarta

Indonesia

36

The Bar code name Mixology

Tokyo

Japan

37

Bar Orchard

Tokyo

Japan

38

Mixology Laboratory

Tokyo

Japan

39

Zuma

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

40

Ounce

Taipei

Taiwan

41

Maggie Choo’s

Bangkok

Thailand

42

Constellation 1

Shanghai

China

43

Antidote

Singapore

Singapore

44

Origin

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

45

The Envoy

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

46

R&D Cocktail Lab

Taipei

Taiwan

47

Mahalo Tiki Lounge

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

48

Sugar Hall

Singapore

Singapore

49

D.still

Seoul

South Korea

50

Hyde & Seek

Bangkok

Thailand

 
The awards are the first regional list brought to you from the World’s 50 Best Bars, the most influential and respected global survey of its kind, produced by Drinks International.

For more information, visit the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards website.

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.