Coley climbed 19 spots up the ranks from last year to place at no. 27, rightfully earning The Best Bar in Malaysia 2019 award.

The prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Bars list have just been announced for 2019 and Malaysia is slowly but surely taking up a bigger slice of the pie.

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Coley climbed 19 spots up the ranks from last year to place at no. 27, rightfully earning The Best Bar in Malaysia 2019 award. Junglebird rose two spots up to no. 44, while the Four Seasons KL’s Bar Trigona made an impressive debut on the list at no. 40.

There has also been a number of shifts within the top 10, including a newly crowned Asia’s Best Bar. Take a closer look at the top 10 see if your favourite joint in the region made it.

#10 Quinary (Hong Kong)
#10 Quinary (Hong Kong)

#10 Quinary (Hong Kong)

Rounding off the top 10 is one of Hong Kong’s most innovative bars, Quinary, helmed by locally-renowned mixologist Antonio Lai. The modern long bar here extends to Lai’s personal lab, where he produces the bar’s house-made spirits using a rotary evaporator and redistilling equipments. A must-try cocktail is the signature Earl Grey Caviar Martini, made with Cointreau, citrus vodka and elderflower syrup topped with Earl Grey caviar “air.” W quinary.hk

#9 Jigger & Pony (Singapore)
#9 Jigger & Pony (Singapore)

#9 Jigger & Pony (Singapore)

Like Quinary, Jigger & Pony is a first-timer in the top 10. The old-school bar also bagged the Highest Climber Award 2019, having jumped 33 spots from 42nd place last year. You won’t find super fancy concoctions here, but head bartender Jerrold Khoo promises to knock you off your feet with fresh interpretations of classics like the Crystal Ramos Gin Fizz and Barley Manhattan – served with a welcome dose of warm hospitality. W jiggerandpony.com

#8 The Bamboo Bar at The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (Thailand)
#8 The Bamboo Bar at The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (Thailand)

#8 The Bamboo Bar at The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (Thailand)

Named The Best Bar in Thailand 2019, The Bamboo Bar continues to be a go-to for jazz lovers since 1953. Its exotic yet sophisticated interiors – which include bamboo furniture and tiger prints – remain a pull factor for the adventurous drinkers. Meanwhile, the menu features a selection of classic as well as original, music-inspired cocktails such as Riffin' The Scotch, made with Johnny Walker Gold, mushroom, pear and agave. W mandarinoriental.com

#7 Speak Low (Shanghai)
#7 Speak Low (Shanghai)

#7 Speak Low (Shanghai)

Speak Low dropped four spots down to 7th place, but head bartender Shingo Gokan must still have been proud to take home the esteemed Altos’ Bartenders Bartender Award. His brand of mixology combines unusual ingredients with his Japanese-rooted attention to detail, resulting in the bar’s highbrow selection of cocktails, especially its eponymous Speak Low creation. F @5senses.china

#6 High Five (Tokyo)
#6 High Five (Tokyo)

#6 High Five (Tokyo)

The move to a new, larger premise two years ago has done nothing to affect The Best Bar in Japan’s position on this list. High Five remains consistent, if not more, in its popularity with a 200-strong whisky list and cool cocktails to boot. Crowd-favourites include owner/bartender Hidetsugu Ueno’s signature White Lady and Singapore Sling. W barhighfive.com

#5 Atlas (Singapore)
#5 Atlas (Singapore)

#5 Atlas (Singapore)

Atlas stands out from a strong list of bars in Singapore thanks to its commanding Art Deco lobby, inspiring as much awe as its arsenal of gins and champagnes. Locals, expats and tourists alike often visit for an unadulterated glass of gin, but the roaring 30s-inspired cocktails are no less worth a try. Among the standout gin-based cocktails include the Atlas Martini and Coloured Rhythm. W atlasbar.sg

#4 Native (Singapore)
#4 Native (Singapore)

#4 Native (Singapore)

Up four spots from last year, Native has earned the respect and support of many for its unique cocktails made with ingredients foraged from the local and regional landscapes. Skip the classics and try creations you won’t find anywhere else, such as the intriguing Antz (made with Thai rum, aged sugarcane, tapioca and soursop topped with ants on a frozen basil leaf) at this laid-back bar. W tribenative.com

#3 Indulge Experimental Bistro (Taipei)
#3 Indulge Experimental Bistro (Taipei)

#3 Indulge Experimental Bistro (Taipei)

Expect the experimental at this unwavering Best Bar in Taiwan that offers modern European food to accompany its intriguing cocktails. Combining the best international trends with Taiwanese touches, the contemporary purple-lit bar has something for everyone from classics to original creations. Highlights on the menu include the signature Spring Awakening, 1795 Old Fashioned and Ruby Black. W indulgebistrotaipei.blogspot.com

#2 Manhattan (Singapore)
#2 Manhattan (Singapore)

#2 Manhattan (Singapore)

Singapore’s Best Bar may have lost its crème de la crème title after a two-year succession, but by no means has its charm diminished, as its Legend of the List award proves. The bar’s Old World glamour continues to attract new and loyal customers for a taste of its era-divided libations. Its latest cocktail menu, in particular, celebrates the 19th century’s Golden Age of drinking with tipples like 12 Mile Out and Cuban Old Fashioned. W regenthotels.com

#1 The Old Man (Hong Kong)
#1 The Old Man (Hong Kong)

#1 The Old Man (Hong Kong)

Knocking Manhattan off top spot is The Old Man in Hong Kong, which name pays homage to Ernest Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize-awarded novel, “The Old Man and The Sea,”. The American novelist’s favourite drinks, spirits and flavours also inspired head bartender Agung Prabowo’s curation of inventive concoctions that incorporate rotovap distillation technology. These libations are known to feature interesting ingredients not typically found in drinks, such as Gruyère cheese. Coupled with its distinguishing tropical interiors and T-shaped bar, it’s no wonder The Old Man gets the girls (and guys!) coming around for a tipple. W theoldmanhk.com

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See the rest of the list below.

  1. Tippling Club (Singapore)
  2. COA (Hong Kong)*
  3. The SG Club (Tokyo)*
  4. Charles H (Seoul)
  5. Gibson (Singapore)
  6. Sober Company (Shanghai)
  7. Bar Benfiddich (Tokyo)
  8. The Wise King (Hong Kong)*
  9. Le Chamber (Seoul)
  10. Backstage Cocktail Bar (Bangkok)
  11. 28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
  12. Operation Dagger (Singapore)
  13. Bar Trench (Tokyo)
  14. Aha Saloon (Taipei)
  15. D.Bespoke (Singapore)
  16. Vesper (Bangkok)
  17. Coley (Kuala Lumpur)
  18. Bar Orchard Ginza (Tokyo)
  19. Alice Cheongdam (Seoul)
  20. Union Trading Company (Shanghai)
  21. Tropic City (Bangkok)*
  22. The Pontiac (Hong Kong)
  23. Lobster Bar & Grill (Hong Kong)
  24. Rabbit Hole (Bangkok)*
  25. Hope & Sesame (Guangzhou)*
  26. Stockton (Hong Kong)
  27. The Curator (Manila)
  28. 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo (Hong Kong)
  29. Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar (Jakarta)
  30. Bar Trigona (Kuala Lumpur)*
  31. Employees Only (Singapore)
  32. Smalls (Bangkok)*
  33. Bar Mood (Taipei)*
  34. Junglebird (Kuala Lumpur)
  35. Draft Land (Taipei)
  36. The Other Room (Singapore)
  37. Oto (Manila)*
  38. Teens of Thailand (Bangkok)
  39. Mixology Salon (Tokyo)
  40. The Back Room (Manila)*

* new entries

See also: Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018

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Images courtesy of respective bars

Featured image: Bar Trigona

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