Perhaps to no one’s surprise, The Curator has been crowned (once again) the best bar in the Philippines for 2023, reentering the list at number 34.
It is also the highest ranking that Makati bar has achieved. In 2021, it came in at 38th but fell out of the list in 2022.
“We would like to extend a huge thank you to @50BestBars as well as our peers, colleagues, and regulars turned family for this wonderful achievement!” wrote co-founder David Ong on Instagram. “We would not be here if it were not for you all – you guys are amazing.”
This super appreciation springs from an otherwise dark period in the food and beverage industry, which suffered the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. At its height, many establishments were forced to shutter for good, furlough employees, and absorb losses.
“The last few years have been tough for the Food & Beverage Industry in the Philippines, and so this really means a lot to us! Having said that, we speak for everyone when we say, ‘Kumain ka na ba? Tagay hanggang mamatay.’ (Have you eaten? Cheers until death.),” added Ong, before ending the post with a delightful invite to visit the Philippines and The Curator. Meanwhile, The Back Room, another Philippine bar located in Shangri-La at The Fort, landed just outside the Top 50 at number 75.
Hong Kong’s Coa retained the top spot for the third consecutive year during the live awards ceremony that featured bars across 17 cities in Asia. The Best Bar in Asia and The Best Bar in Hong Kong, Coa was established in 2017 by bartender-owner Jay Khan whose repertoire includes a collection of over 200 bottles of tequila, mezcal, and other handcrafted Mexican spirits.
“Asia’s bars continue to push the envelope when it comes to fabulous drinking experiences and that is evident from the talent and creativity on display at the bars on this year’s list,” said Mark Sansom, content director for Asia’s 50 Best Bars.