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Hong Kong’s Coa Retains Crown at Asia’s 50 Best Bars

Agave-focused venue leads the pack as seventh edition of the annual awards is held in Bangkok

Coa in Hong Kong retained top spot for the second consecutive year as the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022, sponsored by Perrier, was announced in Bangkok, Thailand.

The ceremony, which was held in front of a live audience of 500 guests for the first time since 2019, revealed the highly-anticipated countdown that features bars from 16 cities across Asia.

The seventh edition of the annual awards was a chance for Asia’s bar community to come together after a hiatus in live events, as the region emerges from the pandemic’s many challenges and international travel resumes once more.

The Asia’s 50 Best Bars list and surrounding programme aims to recognise the immense talent, resilience and constant innovation evident across Asia’s bar landscape.

Coa in Hong Kong secures the No.1 spot for the second year in a row. It is the second bar to achieve this back-to-back feat, after Manhattan, Singapore, in 2017 and 2018.

mission to bring agave spirits to the forefront of Asia’s cocktail scene. The bar offers an extensive menu of handcrafted Mexican spirits that include tequila and mezcal, and rarer expressions such as raicilla, bacanora, sotol and charanda. A veteran of the industry, Khan has over 13 years’ experience and was voted Bartenders’ Bartender at Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020.

At No.2 is Jigger & Pony, Singapore, winning The Best Bar in Singapore for the second year in a row. Coming in at No.3 is Argo in Hong Kong, a new entrant to the list and winner of the Disaronno Highest New Entry Award. The No.4 spot belongs to another new entrant, Tesouro from Goa, which wins the London Essence Best New Opening and The Best Bar in India. Tokyo’s Bar Benfiddich comes in at No.5, moving up four places from last year’s No.9 and takes the Rémy Martin Legend of the List Award and The Best Bar in Japan.

Mark Sansom, Content Director for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, says: “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. Congratulations to Jay Khan and the team at Coa for holding onto their top position after another tumultuous year for Hong Kong.”

A total of 14 bars made the list this year from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Other ranked bars in Hong Kong are new entrant and Disaronno Highest New Entry, Argo at No.3, Darkside at No.13 which has jumped an impressive 27 places from last year’s No.40, Quinary at No.16 which has moved up nine spots from 2021’s No.25, Penicillin at No.22 (up eight spots from last year’s No.30), The Pontiac at No.33, The Wise King at No.34 and newcomer The Aubrey at No.38. Taipei’s Indulge Experimental Bistro is at No.6 and Aha Saloon’s position from last year remains unchanged at No.24. Shanghai is represented by Sober Company at No.11, Union Trading Company at No.45 and Speak Low rounds off the list at No.50. Guangzhou has one bar on the list, Hope & Sesame at No.18.

Singapore’s cocktail bars continue to have a strong presence with 11 positions on the list. Jigger & Pony (No.2) is named The Best Bar in Singapore for the second year in a row and MO Bar at No.8 is the Nikka Highest Climber with an impressive 37 position leap. Manhattan comes in at No.9 and one-year-old Republic is a new entrant at No.12. There is also No Sleep Club (No.15), Atlas (No.23), Tippling Club (No.27) and Sago House (No.31) which has jumped 18 spots from last year’s No.49. Nutmeg & Clove makes a re-entry to the list at No.36, with bartender-owner Colin Chia winning the title of Roku Industry Icon. Another newcomer to the list is 100% plant-based bar Analogue at No.37. 28 HongKong Street also comes in at No.49.

Further east, moving up four places to No.5 is Tokyo’s Bar Benfiddich, which is also The Best Bar in Japan and is awarded the Rémy Martin Legend of the List. Nara’s Lamp Bar re-enters the list at No.20, The SG Club is at No.21 and Bar Trench moves up 18 spots from last year’s No.43 to No.25. Memento Mori (No.41) is Japan’s only new entrant to the list. Bee’s Knees from Kyoto comes in at No.47.

Thailand secures five spots in the 2022 list with newcomer BKK Social Club leading the pack at No.10. Helmed by eminent bar personality Philip Bischoff, BKK Social has also been awarded the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award as well as The Best Bar in Thailand. The rest of the list from Bangkok consists of Tropic City (No.17), Vesper (No.19), newcomer Asia Today at No.43 and The Bamboo Bar at No.46.

Charles H from Seoul leads South Korea’s representation at No.7, winning The Best Bar in Korea with its head bartender Keith Motsi named Altos Bartenders’ Bartender (the only peer-judged award in the Asia’s 50 Best Bars programme). Bar Cham (No.28), Le Chamber (No.39), Alice (No.40) and new entrant Zest at No.48 also feature on the list.

Winning four more spots from 2021’s one placing, India has five bars on 2022’s list with newcomer Tesouro from Goa coming in at an impressive No.4. Unsurprisingly, Tesouro has been awarded both the London Essence Best New Opening and The Best Bar in India. Sidecar (No.14) moves up two spots from last year’s No.16. New Delhi’s Hoots’ (No.26) and Home (No.30), as well as Bengaluru’s Copitas (No.44) are new entrants to the list.

Bar Trigona at No.29 wins The Best Bar in Malaysia as well as the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu; Junglebird moves up two places to No.35.

Indonesia is represented by Jakarta’s The Cocktail Club at No.32 who is a newcomer to the list and is also The Best Bar in Indonesia.

Sri Lanka’s Smoke & Bitters from Hiriketiya is also a new entrant at No.42, making it The Best Bar in Sri Lanka. It is the first time a bar from Sri Lanka has made it into the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars

ASIA’S 50 Best Bars 2022 FULL LIST:

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. Capitas, Bengaluru
45. Union Trading Company, Shanghai
46. The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok
47. Bee’s Knees, Kyoto
48. Zest, Seoul
49. 28 HongKong Street, Hong Kong
50. Speak Low, Shanghai