Three indie S'pore bars debut on Asia's 50 Best Bars; Jigger & Pony falls to No. 2

All-day bar No Sleep Club in Keong Saik Road made its debut at No. 8 - the highest new entry on the Asia's 50 Best Bars list ever. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Independently-owned Singapore bars had a strong showing on the annual Asia's 50 Best Bars list, with three new debuts.

No Sleep Club in Keong Saik Road made its debut at No. 8, the highest new entry on the list ever.

The other two debuts were Barbary Coast in North Canal Road at No. 29 and Sago House in Sago Street at No. 49.

They defied a particularly challenging year for the food and beverage industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

All-day bar No Sleep Club and dual-level venue Barbary Coast opened in late 2019, just before the pandemic hit.

Dive bar Sago House opened in April last year in the thick of the circuit breaker period, amid tight public health restrictions brought on by the pandemic.

Despite all this, Singapore bars still managed to secure 12 spots on the list, up from last year's 11, with four bars once again placing in the top 10.

Besides No Sleep Club, the other three bars were Jigger & Pony at Amara Singapore, which was knocked off the top spot by Hong Kong's Coa to place at No. 2; Manhattan at Regent Singapore, which climbed two spots to No. 6; and Atlas at Parkview Square, which fell two spots to No. 7.

The results for the sixth edition of the annual awards, which features bars from 10 countries in Asia, were announced in a virtual countdown live-streamed on Thursday (May 6).

Other Singapore bars that made the cut include Native at No. 14 (previously at No. 6); 28 Hong Kong Street at No. 21 (previously at No. 30); Tippling Club at No. 36 (previously at No. 17); D.Bespoke at No. 39 (previously at No. 23); The Old Man at No.42 (previously at No. 22); and MO Bar at No. 45 (previously at No. 46).

MO Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, also clinched the Michter's Art of Hospitality award, given to the bar with the top hospitality experience.

China led the list, securing 13 spots - ahead of Singapore (12), Japan (six), Thailand (five), Taiwan (four), South Korea (four) and Malaysia (three). The Philippines, Indonesia and India had one entry each.

This year, Asia's 50 Best Bars also announced the inaugural 51-100 list for bars outside of the top 50.

Six Singapore bars made the list, including new entries Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall at No. 71; Live Twice at No. 75; and Junior The Pocket Bar at No. 82.

Gibson by the Jigger & Pony Group placed at No. 66, Employees Only at No. 70 and The Other Room at No. 79.

No Sleep Club opened in late 2019, just before the pandemic hit. PHOTO: ST FILE
Jigger & Pony at Amara Singapore was knocked off the top spot by Hong Kong's Coa. PHOTO: JIGGER & PONY

The Asia's 50 Best Bars list has been published annually by London-based William Reed Business Media since 2016, based on votes from 220 industry experts across Asia's bar scene.

Given the major global travel restrictions last year, voting also changed this year. While in previous years members voted for seven bars, with at least two from outside their home country, this year they voted for a total of five bars, including up to four from their home country.

The organisers have also confirmed that the ceremony for next year's edition will take place in the Republic, in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board.

"We look forward to holding a physical awards ceremony not only to celebrate and recognise the best in the business when the situation improves, but to bring together bartenders, bar owners, drinks writers and cocktail aficionados from around the world," said Mr Mark Sansom, content editor for Asia's 50 Best Bars.

"We are hopeful that the ongoing vaccine roll-out will allow the bar community to take this opportunity to reunite in Singapore next year."

Asia's 50 Best Bars 2021 Top 10 list

1. Coa, Hong Kong

2. Jigger & Pony, Singapore

3. The SG Club, Tokyo

4. Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei

5. Sober Company, Shanghai

6. Manhattan, Singapore

7. Atlas, Singapore

8. No Sleep Club, Singapore

9. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo

10. Caprice Bar, Hong Kong

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