While there is no signs of reopening in Hong Kong’s bar scene, the following good news may cheer up the bar community – Coa from Hong Kong has won the no.1 spot of Asia’s 50 Best Bar for the second time in a row, with 7 other local bars also recognized on the top 50 list for 2022.
For the first time since 2019, Asia’s 50 Best Bars for 2022 was announced at an in-person award ceremony with 500 guests in Bangkok, which was live-streamed on Facebook and Youtube.
Sponsored by the French brand of mineral water Perrier, this year’s edition has unveiled the highly-anticipated countdown featuring bars from 16 cities across Asia with 14 new entries.
The seventh edition of the annual awards aims at gathering and lighting up Asia’s bar community after a hiatus in live events, as the region was now largely free from the pandemic’s challenges and travel restrictions.
In total, Hong Kong secured 8 positions on the list.
Coa is the second bar to achieve consecutive victory after Manhattan from Singapore in 2017 and 2018.
Launched in 2017 by bartender-owner Jay Khan with over-13-year experiences, Coa offers an extensive menu of handcrafted Mexican spirits including tequila and mezcal, as well as rarer expressions such as raicilla, bacanora, sotol and charanda. Khan himself was also chosen as the Bartenders’ Bartender at Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 from peers voting.
Argo at Four Seasons Hong Kong ranked no.3 with an additional Disaronno Highest New Entry Award. The bar was lauded by cocktail enthusiasts with its breath-taking architecture based on traditional conservatory and a truly authentic and creative cocktail list.
Honky Tonks Tavern from the city’s “SoHo district” also squeezed into no.55 on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars extended list and was named the Campari One To Watch Award, meaning it has the potential to break into the 1-50 list in the future.
This Americana-inspired restaurant, wine and cocktail bar offers tequila, mezcal, bourbon, Australian natural lo-fi wines and more in its cozy spot on Man Hing Lane.
Mainland China also successfully put 4 bars on the list, with 3 bars from its commercial hub Shanghai, including Sober Company at no.11, Union Trading Company at no.45 and Speak Low at no.50. Guangzhou’s Hope & Sesame also came in 18th position.
Outside of Hong Kong and mainland China, Singapore’s cocktail bars had the strongest presence with 11 positions on the list. Jigger & Pony was lauded as the first-runner up winner with titles of The Best Bar in Singapore for the second year in a row.
The award list also features Japan, Thailand, South Korea, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, with Sri Lanka being a new entrant this year.
In addition to the top 50 list, the ceremony also awards multiple special awards including Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award, Campari One To Watch Award, Roku Industry Icon Award, Rémy Martin Legend of the List, Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award and more.
Mark Sansom, Content Director for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, says: “We could not be happier that Asia’s 50 Best Bars returns to a live event format this year and that the community can experience much-needed connection and conviviality once again. Asia’s bars have shown remarkable resilience and growth in spite of the challenges of the past two years, and we continue to be proud to celebrate the talent and creativity on display in bars all across Asia.”
Sansom also shines lights on the champion from Hong Kong, “Congratulations to Jay Khan and the team at Coa for holding onto their top position after another tumultuous year for Hong Kong. Coa’s winning cocktail of an Agave-spirits-forward menu, expertly-crafted menu and a complete understanding of the guest experience has again proven to strike a winning chord with our voting Academy.” he said.
Launched in 2016, the Asia’s 50 Best Bars aims to recognise the talent and constant innovation across Asia’s bar landscape, as well as pushing for positive change in the hospitality sector.
The annual list is voted by Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy which comprises 250 Asia-based industry leaders including bartenders, bar owners, drinks writers, educators and cocktail experts. In particular, the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award is independently adjudicated by the UK-based non-profit Sustainable Restaurant Association.
Here is the full list of Asia’s 50 Best Bar 2022 and Special Awards:
1. Coa, Hong Kong
2. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
3. Argo, Hong Kong
4. Tesouro, Goa
5. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
6. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei
7. Charles H, Seoul
8. Mo Bar, Singapore
9. Manhattan, Singapore
10. BKK Social Club, Bangkok
11. Sober Company, Shanghai
12. Republic, Singapore
13. Darkside, Hong Kong
14. Sidecar, New Delhi
15. No Sleep Club, Singapore
16. Quinary, Hong Kong
17. Tropic City, Bangkok
18. Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou
19. Vesper, Bangkok
20. Lamp Bar, Nara
21. The SG Club, Tokyo
22. Penicillin, Hong Kong
23. Atlas, Singapore
24. Aha Saloon, Taipei
25. Bar Trench, Tokyo
26. Hoots’, New Delhi
27. Tippling Club, Singapore
28. Bar Cham, Seoul
29. Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur
30. Home, New Delhi
31. Sago House, Singapore
32. The Cocktail Club, Jakarta
33. The Pontiac, Hong Kong
34. The Wise King, Hong Kong
35. Junglebird, Kuala Lumpur
36. Nutmeg & Clove, Singapore
37. Analogue, Singapore
38. The Aubrey, Hong Kong
39. Le Chamber, Seoul
40. Alice, Seoul
41. Memento Mori, Tokyo
42. Smoke & Bitters, Hiriketiya
43. Asia Today, Bangkok
44. Copitas, Bengaluru
45. Union Trading Company, Shanghai
46. The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok
47. Bee’s Knees, Kyoto
48. Zest, Seoul
49. 28 HongKong Street, Singapore
50. Speak Low, Shanghai
Disaronno Highest New Entry: Argo, Hong Kong
Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award: Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur
The Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award: Bar Mood, Taipei
Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award: BKK Social Club, Bangkok
Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu: Bar Trigona, Malaysia
Rémy Martin Legend of the List: Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
London Essence Best New Opening : Tesouro, Goa
Nikka Highest Climber: MO Bar, Singapore
Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award: Keith Motsi, Head Bartender at Charles H, Seoul
Roku Industry Icon Award: Colin Chia, Nutmeg & Clove, Singapore