Singapore’s Jigger & Pony has been named Best Bar In Asia by Asia’s 50 Best Bars in its 2020 edition; with new entrants The Old Man Singapore and MO Bar, Singapore takes a total of 11 spots on the list.
Singapore’s Jigger & Pony has just landed the top accolade in this year’s Asia’5 50 Best Bars by being named Best Bar in Asia. Jigger & Pony Group’s flagship cocktail bar concept jumped an impressive eight spots to dethrone Hong Kong’s The Old Man, which held the top spot in last year’s list. This win follows its meteoric rise in 2019 rankings, where it jumped a whopping 33 spots from No.42 to the No.9 position.
Jigger & Pony – which recently moved from its home of five years at Amoy Street to its current premises at Amara Singapore – leads a total of 11 Singapore bars in this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars, the same number as last year. But the entries have changed – the Old Man Singapore and Mandarin Oriental’s MO Bar made their individual debuts this year at No. 22 and No.46 respectively, while Nutmeg & Clove marks its return to the list at No.32 (it was No.33 in 2018 but dropped off the list in 2019). They replace Employees Only Singapore, Operation Dagger, and The Other Room, all of which have fallen off the list this year.
The 11 Singapore bars that entered Asia’s 50 Best Bars list this year (vs 2019) are:
- Jigger & Pony (No.1)/(No.9)
- Atlas Bar (No.5)/(No.5)
- Native (No.6)/(No.4)
- Manhattan Bar (No.8)/(No.2)
- Tippling Club (No.17)/(No.11)
- The Old Man Singapore (No.22) (new entrant)
- D.Bespoke (No.23)/(No.25)
- Gibson (No.25)/(No.15)
- 28 Hong Kong Street (No.30)/(No.21)
- Nutmeg & Clove (No.32)/(-)
- MO Bar (No.46) (new entrant)
Founded in 2012, Jigger & Pony was built around “thoughtful reimaginations” of classic cocktails. “We are proud that our brand is known for convivial hospitality, says Indra Kantono, co-founder of the Jigger & Pony Group. “It is about connecting people, making them happy and forming friendship bonds with us as well. I think that resonates with consumers and industry alike, whether here in Singapore and in other cities all across Asia.”
“This win is both an honour and a responsibility to represent our team, our city, and our industry across Asia in this time of crisis – and as we navigate the path to recovery,” adds Kantono.
Along with its debut, The Old Man Singapore – the Singapore offshoot of the Ernest Hemingway-themed Hong Kong cocktail bar – also picked up the “London Essence Best New Opening” award. Recently established gastrobar and cafe No Sleep Club on Keong Saik Road also picked up the “Campari One To Watch” award. Earlier, Asia’s 50 Best Bars named Singapore’s Manhattan as winner of its inaugural Michter’s Art of Hospitality award (pictured above) in recognition of the cocktail bar’s top-of-class service standards.
Greater China is showing itself to be a powerhouse in Asia’s cocktail scene, dominating the Asia’s 50 Best Bars for the first time with a total number of 12 Chinese entries on the list. There’s the likes of The Old Man and COA from Hong Kong at No.2 and No.3 respectively, Shanghai’s Sober Company at No.12, and two new entrants with Hong Kong’s Caprice Bar at No.34 and The Odd Couple from Shanghai at No.38.
This year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars award ceremony took place as a virtual countdown online, set against the backdrop of a raging coronavirus pandemic around the world.
“We want to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the bars in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 list in these difficult times. It is wonderful to see a new No.1 and it is a credit to Jigger & Pony’s development that the team has created a brilliant bar that appeals to such a wide range of guests,” says Mark Sansom, Content Editor for Asia’s 50 Best Bars. “We hope that the announcement of the 2020 list will deliver a message of solidarity and encouragement during this harrowing period as the bars in Asia look to get back on their feet.”
“The virtual ceremony this year was not designed as a celebration, but rather as a recognition of all the bar teams’ hard work,” Sansom adds.
Next year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars is likely to look very different as travel restrictions severely impact the work of its voting panel, the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy. Further government lockdown measures – such as the circuit breaker restrictions in Singapore that has shut down all bars to walk-in patrons – are also likely to place significant additional financial and operational strain on cocktail bars. Kuala Lumpur’s Omakase + Appreciate, which landed the No.10 position in Asia’s 50 Best Bars’ 2016 edition, closed its doors for good last month as a result of the coronavirus scourge.
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