Indians from Hong Kong bars make it to the list of top 50 best bars in Asia

Friends gathering having Italian food together

Hong Kong: The annual Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards, streamed live recently to announce its coveted 2020 list.

The award ceremony was originally scheduled to commence at the Capitol Theatre in Singapore, but in light of the current situation, the committee decided to show the countdown online.

This year’s list featured bars from 10 countries in Asia, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Greater China including Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and more.

What’s worthy in this list is that even with not many Indian bars apart from Sidecar, New Delhi, are seen on the list many renowned Indian faces could be seen here.

Sandeep Kumar’s co-founded, The Wise King, Hong Kong ranked 18th on the list. The bar’s regal interior sets the tone, and the signature cocktails focussed on adding a Spanish twist to classic concepts, complements it perfectly. He launched his career with Taj Bengaluru and is world-famous for his work.

Devender Kumar, bar manager of Otto E Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, celebrated his presence on the list at rank 28. He is probably one of India’s most well-known bartenders and is recognised worldwide as one of the key people who has been pushing the boundaries of India’s burgeoning cocktail revolution.

Originally from New Delhi, he started out with Taj Hotels in Delhi and Mumbai before being awarded India’s World Class bartender of the year in 2012. He has been bar manager of Chef Umberto Bombana’s Hong Kong flagship since 2014.

Another name to the list includes Harsh Roopchand from The Pontiac, Hong Kong. The Pontiac is a grungy, down-at-heel American-style bar that looks like it would fit in just as well in downtown NYC as it does on the steep slope of Old Bailey Street.

Its retro rock-chick vibe with an all-female bar staff makes it a hotspot for the party-hardy Hong Kongers.

He is a hospitality, food and beverage, and events specialist who is co-founder of award-winning Hong Kong-based bars and restaurants 8 creATEive, Fatty Crab, and The Pontiac (#35 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020) and The Pontiac Stardust and Flat Stanley in Bali.

The bar is helmed by Beckaly Franks, a lady who’s mixed it with the best. Beckaly recently (2019) did a two-night pop-up at Olive Bar and Kitchen Mumbai, Public Affair, New Delhi and even represented Hong Kong at the Jameson stall in India Cocktails week held in New Delhi in 2019.

Sidecar, New Delhi, owned by the bartender and award-winning mixologist, Yangdup Lama, and consultant and beverage marketing expert Minakshi Singh becomes the only Indian bar to make it to the list this year.

True to master mixologist Yangdup’s passion, Sidecar, spread over two floors, is yet another interpretation of a bartender’s bar run by the team behind the multi-award-winning Cocktails and Dreams Speakeasy.

The drinks menu boasts artisanal cocktails made using in-house flavour extractions including bitters, syrups, grogs, and tinctures – these truly define the character of this bar.


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