Singapore's Manhattan ranked No. 3 on World's 50 Best Bars; Atlas breaks into top 10

Singapore clinched the No. 3 spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list which was announced in London, on Oct 3, 2018. Members of Manhattan’s team Philip Bischoff (left) and Gabriel Carlos (centre) were on hand to receive the award. PHOTO: WORLD'S 50 BEST BARS

SINGAPORE - Manhattan at the Regent Singapore is one of the top three bars in the world, according to the World's 50 Best Bars list which was released in London on Wednesday (Oct 3).

After breaking into the top 10 of the list for the first time last year, the cocktail bar scaled four spots to place behind two London bars namely new top-spot holder Dandelyan at Mondrian Hotel and American Bar at the Savoy Hotel.

Manhattan retains its Best Bar in Asia title after clinching the top spot in the Asia's 50 Best Bars list for the second year running in May this year, at the inaugural awards ceremony held here.

Meanwhile, Atlas at Parkview Square also rose to the 8th spot following last year's debut at No. 15 on the list.

Other than the two bars in the top 10, Singapore leads the rankings of bars from Asia with five bars in total on the list.

They include the highest climber, Native at Amoy Street, which jumped 34 places to No. 13; Operation Dagger in Ann Siang Hill which rose one spot to No. 23; and 28 Hongkong Street which fell to No. 34 from last year's 25th spot.

On the ascent to top three, Manhattan bar manager Philip Bischoff, 37, says: "To be included in the top league along with the very best in the world is truly humbling and rewarding, especially for a fledgling bar that has just turned four this year. The award is also a true testament to the commitment, creativity, efforts and passion of our young team.

"We still have lots to learn from more seasoned veterans and big players, and it is important that we put our heads down and continue to stay grounded in this highly competitive arena."

As for whether the top three title has meant added pressure to maintain the standard, Mr Bischoff feels that "rather than (being) pressured, we feel more motivated to push our creative boundaries further, and also privileged to represent Singapore on the world map".

Mr William Drew, 46, group editor of The World's 50 Best Bars feels that Manhattan breaking into the top three "is a reflection of that bar's stellar status and the impact (bar manager) Philip Bischoff and his team have had in recent years".

"Singapore has accelerated rapidly to become one of the great cocktail cities of the world, with a high number of high quality bars and a concentration of great bartending talent, both imported and, increasingly, home-grown," he adds.

He also notes the "diversity and dynamism of the drinks scene in Singapore" demonstrated by the likes of bars like Atlas and Native which contrast drastically in style and size.

Atlas is a cavernous lobby bar which is home to an over 1,300-bottle gin collection and a classics-centric cocktail programme; while Native, located on a second-floor shophouse, champions regional spirits and experimental, modernist cocktails.

Last year, six bars from Singapore made it to the list. Tippling Club, which saw head bartender Joe Schofield leave to pursue other projects in June, dropped out of the top 50 to number 58 this year.

Schofield, however, bagged the Bartender's Bartender award for his "ground breaking flavour developments" according to a press release from World's 50 Best organiser William Reed Business Media. He is set to open Schofield's Bar in his hometown of Manchester next year with his brother Daniel.

Now in its tenth year, the annual list was announced at the Roundhouse in London. Results are voted by by more than 500 drinks industry experts from around the world.

While this year's list features bars from 26 cities, the United Kingdom and United States have the strongest showing with 10 bars each on the list.

Notably, Dandelyan, which placed at No. 2 last year and clinched the top spot this year,recently announced that it will be shutting its doors.

Announcing the decision to close the celebrated bar on Instagram on Oct 1, founder Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as Mr Lyan, wrote: "It feels fitting on our 4th birthday to kill off our now-eldest venue."

The results also follow an announcement on Oct 2 (UK time) that Singapore will be the host country for the World's 50 Best series of awards ceremonies, including the prestigious World's 50 Best Restaurants, starting next year.

As part of a three-year partnership between William Reed Business Media and the Singapore Tourism Board, the World's 50 Best Bars awards will also be held here in 2021, making Singapore the first city outside London to be a host destination.

The World's 50 Best Bars 2018

1. Dandelyan - London, UK

2. American Bar - London, UK

3. Manhattan - Singapore

4. The NoMad - New York, US

5. Connaught Bar - London, UK

6. Bar Termini - London, UK

7. The Clumsies - Athens, Greece

8. Atlas - Singapore

9. Dante - New York, USA

10. The Old Man - Hong Kong, China

11. Licorería Limantour - Mexico City, Mexico

12. Bar High Five - Tokyo, Japan

13. Native - Singapore

14. Florería Atlántico - Buenos Aires, Argentina

15. Attaboy - New York, US

16. The Dead Rabbit - New York, US

17. Oriole - London, UK

18. Coupette - London, UK

19. Himkok - Oslo, Norway

20. Speak Low - Shanghai, China

21. Sweet Liberty - Miami, US

22. Baba Au Rum - Athens, Greece

23. Operation Dagger - Singapore

24. Le Syndicat - Paris, France

25. Lost & Found - Nicosia, Cyprus

26. Employees Only - New York, US

27. Central Station - Beirut, Lebanon

28. Scout - London, UK

29. Three Sheets - London, UK

30. Black Pearl - Melbourne, Australia

31. Tales and Spirits - Amsterdam, Netherlands

32. Linje Tio - Stockholm, Sweden

33. Little Red Door - Paris, France

34. 28 HongKong Street - Singapore

35. Happiness Forgets - London, UK

36. La Factoría - Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

37. Paradiso - Barcelona, Spain

38. Indulge Experimental Bistro - Taipei, Taiwan

39. El Copitas - St Petersburg, Russia

40. Tommy's - San Francisco, US

41. BlackTail - New York, US

42. Candelaria - Paris, France

43. Schumann's - Munich, Germany

44. Trick Dog - San Francisco, US

45. Fifty Mils - Mexico City, Mexico

46. Swift - London, UK

47. Salmon Guru - Madrid, Spain

48. Buck and Breck - Berlin, Germany

49. Bar Benfiddich - Tokyo, Japan

50. Lost Lake - Chicago, US

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