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Makati’s The Curator among Asia’s top 50 bars for 2021

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Makati’s The Curator among Asia’s top 50 bars for 2021

Photo from The Curator's Instagram page

Legazpi Village's specialty coffee and cocktail bar ranks 38th place this year, and is the only Philippine bar to make it on the list

Local cocktail and coffee bar The Curator is among Asia’s top 50 bars for 2021, according to the Asia’s 50 Best Bars Academy.

The bar, owned by David Ong, jumped 4 places from its previous 42nd spot on the prestigious list last year. It is now ranked 38 on the list; the only Philippine bar to make it this year.

The Curator is located in Legazpi Village, Makati City, and has been operating since December 2013 inside Cyrano Wine Shop and Deli. The Curator took over the wine shop in December 2016 and has since been known for their specialty coffee served during the day and their hand-crafted cocktails served at night at the back of the establishment.

“We can’t celebrate this. It doesn’t feel right that we do… not yet. We’ll say a giant THANK YOU to the people who voted for us, who still root for our survival. It’s a responsibility that we will never take for granted,” The Curator shared in a Facebook post

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the bar started offering delivery and pick-up services through their website. Drinks on their cocktail menu include Bespoke Bottled Cocktails that are customizable to the customer’s preferences, and the Caffé Milano, which is a bottle of campari with coffee-infused vermouth, among others. Their coffee options also include bottled cold brew, bottled espresso with milk or water, and bottled iced mocha, among others.

The esteemed Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, released on May 6, features bars from 10 countries across the continent. Hong Kong’s Coa was named the best bar in Asia, followed by Singapore’s Jigger & Pony in second place, and Japan’s The SG Club in 3rd. 

The list also includes Taiwan’s Indulge Experimental Bistro and Shanghai’s Sober Company in the 4th and 5th spot, respectively.

“We want to extend our heartiest congratulations to all the bars named in the list. We hope that the announcement of the 2021 ranking – as well as the publication, for the first time, of those ranked from 51 to 100 – will provide optimism and encouragement to all bars as travel routes gradually open up and guests begin to plan their next fine-drinking experiences,” Asia’s 50 Best Bars Content Editor Mark Sansom said in a press release.

China dominated the prestigious top 50 list, featuring 13 bars and 4 new entries: The Diplomat, Tell Camellia, Penicillin, and Darkside. Singapore followed with 12 bars, 3 of them new on the list.

Newcomers No Sleep Club, Barbary Coast, and Sago House from Singapore also clinched the 8th, 29th, and 49th spots respectively.

Included in the list were 6 bars from Japan, 5 bars from Thailand, 4 bars each from Taiwan and South Korea, 3 bars from Malaysia, as well as one bar each from Indonesia and India.

The Asia’s 50 Best Bars list is an annual accolade decided among a group of 220 bartenders, bar owners, drinks writers, and cocktail enthusiasts. Given the travel restrictions imposed in the past year, the group voted for 5 bars only from the previous 7 bars.

The Asia’s Best Bars Academy also released the latter half of its top 100 list of bars in Asia on April 29, which included 3 other Manila-based bars – The Back Room, Oto, and Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails – in 51st, 61st, and 100th place, respectively. – with reports from Andrea Tibayan/

Andrea Tibayan is a Rappler intern.

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