The Bar Awards 2018: Top 10 bars in KL, and full schedule of events


  • Asia & Oceania
  • Thursday, 08 Nov 2018

Bar Trigona is one of the most nominated bars on the list, making it into the Top 10 for Best Bar and Best New Bar, among others. Photo: Four Seasons KL

The Bar Awards' Top 10 lists of best bars and bartenders in Kuala Lumpur has been revealed, with the eventual winners to be revealed in an awards ceremony on Nov 25, the finale to a week-long programme of events (full schedule below).

Last year's winner for Bar Of The Year, Coley Cocktail Bar, makes the list once more, alongside former winners JungleBird (2017's Best New Bar) and Taps Beer Bar (2017's Best Beer Bar), perennial favourites The Vault, 61 Monarchy, Hyde and PS150, as well as new entries into the KL bartending scene like Bar Trigona, Joloko and Pacific Standard Bar.

Bar Trigona of Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur leads the way in terms of total number of entries in the Top 10, with nine in total, followed by Coley with eight and JungleBird with seven.

Also, this year, for the first time ever, the awards have been extended to the Penang cocktail scene. Penang will get its own city-specific categories – Bartender of the Year and Bar of the Year, which will be voted on by a panel of Penang based judges.

Unlike other ceremonies in Malaysia, which tend to be popularity contests voted by the public, The Bar Awards are judged by a panel of professionals from the Malaysian F&B industry including bartenders, bar owners, restaurateurs, distributors, and members of the media.

Here are the Top 10 nominees in each category:

Bartender of the Year (Kuala Lumpur)

  • Alvin Nirmal George 'Loco' (Coley)
  • Angel Ng Ji (PS150, Thirsty Trio Trader)
  • Arsenio 'Ash' Mariano Jnr. (The Vault)
  • Ashish Sharma (Bar Trigona, Four Seasons KL)
  • David Hans (Three x Co)
  • Jason Julian (Soma)
  • Joshua Ivanovic (JungleBird)
  • Karl Too (Omakase + Appreciate)
  • Kho Chee Kheong (Coley, Pahit)
  • Shawn Chong (Omakase + Appreciate)

Bar of the Year (Kuala Lumpur)

  • 61 Monarchy
  • Bar Trigona (Four Seasons Hotel KL)
  • Coley Cocktail Bar
  • Hyde
  • Joloko
  • JungleBird
  • Pacific Standard Bar (Alila Bangsar)
  • PS150
  • Taps Beer Bar
  • The Vault

The Rising Star

  • Abel Sukau (Skullduggery)
  • Al Imran Ahmed (JungleBird)
  • Caden Chua Hui Chan (Coley)
  • Calzeno Clitus (W Kuala Lumpur)
  • Joe Ngui (Bar Trigona, Four Seasons Hotel KL)
  • Jordan Lim Jen Xian (Pahit)
  • Mahbub 'Rusho' Hasan (Beta)
  • Mitchell Raymond (Kenshin)
  • Sam Yap (Three x Co)
  • Yeo Zhen Yue (Hyde)

Best Restaurant Bar

  • Beta
  • Birch
  • Chocha Foodstore
  • Fuego
  • Joloko
  • Lavo
  • Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar
  • Nadodi
  • Pincho’s Tapas Bar
  • The Locker & Loft

Best Beer Bar

  • Ales & Lagers
  • Bottle Haus
  • Brussels Beer Café
  • Delirium Café
  • Paus
  • Sid’s Pubs (All location)
  • Taps Beer Bar
  • The Beer Factory (All locations)
  • The Great Beer Bar
  • Uncle Don’s (All locations)

Best Wine Bar

  • Brasserie Fritz
  • Cellar 18
  • Chocha Foodstore
  • Dewakan
  • Joloko
  • Lavo
  • Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar
  • Private Room
  • Sitka Studio
  • Vintry

Best Hotel Bar

  • Arthur’s Bar (Shangri-La Hotel)
  • Astor Bar (St Regis KL)
  • Bar Trigona (Four Seasons Hotel KL)
  • Chambers Bar (Hilton KL)
  • Mai Bar (Aloft KL Sentral)
  • Man Tao Bar (Hotel Stripes KL)
  • MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental KL)
  • Pacific Standard Bar (Alila Bangsar)
  • Sky Bar (Traders Hotel KL)
  • Vertigo (Banyan Tree KL)

Best Specialist Concept

  • 61 Monarchy (Whisky)
  • Bar Trigona (Four Seasons KL) (Trigona Honey)
  • iPong (Themed)
  • Joloko (Mezcal)
  • JungleBird (Rum)
  • Los Flowerpecker (Vermouth)
  • Pahit (Gin)
  • The Deceased (Themed)
  • The Rum Bar (Rum)
  • The Whisky Bar (Whisky)

Best Hospitality Ambassador

  • Alvin Nirmal George “Loco” (Coley)
  • Ananda Ruben (Pacific Standard Bar, Alila Bangsar)
  • Andrew Tan (61 Monarchy, Hyde)
  • Angel Ng Ji (PS150, Thirsty Trio Trader)
  • Ashish Sharma (Bar Trigona, Four Seasons KL)
  • David Hans (Three x Co)
  • James Estes (Huckleberry Group, Jack Rose, Tequila Ocho)
  • Joshua Ivanovic (JungleBird)
  • Kho Chee Kheong (Coley, Pahit)
  • Shawn Chong (Omakase + Appreciate)

Best Hospitality Team

  • Bar Trigona (Four Seasons Hotel KL)
  • Coley Cocktail Bar
  • Joloko
  • JungleBird
  • Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar
  • Pacific Standard Bar (Alila Bangsar)
  • Pisco Bar
  • PS150
  • The Vault
  • Three x Co

Most Creative Cocktail Program

  • Bar Trigona (Four Seasons Hotel KL)
  • Bar Zhen
  • Coley Cocktail Bar
  • JungleBird
  • Kenshin
  • Omakase + Appreciate
  • Pacific Standard Bar (Alila Bangsar)
  • PS150
  • The Deceased (Themed)
  • Three x Co

Best New Bar

  • Bar Shake
  • Bar Trigona (Four Seasons Hotel KL)
  • Bar Zhen
  • Beta
  • Joloko
  • Kenshin
  • Knowhere
  • Pacific Standard Bar (Alila Bangsar)
  • The Iron Fairies
  • Three x Co

Besides the above awards, there is also a special category called The Bar Awards Luminaries, presented to individuals or groups that have contributed to the growth and development of the Malaysian bar community. Winners will only be announced during the awards ceremony on Nov 25.

This year's Bar Awards KL will also feature a week-long programme of bartending masterclasses and guests shifts by award-winning regional bars, among other activities. The following is the full programme of this year's Malaysia edition of The Bar Awards. All events are open to public, unless stated otherwise.

Diplomatico rum brand ambassador Sai Charan will have guest shifts at The Rum Bar (Nov 21), Bar Trigona (Nov 22) and JungleBird (Nov 23).
Diplomatico rum brand ambassador Sai Charan will have guest shifts at The Rum Bar (Nov 21), Bar Trigona (Nov 22) and JungleBird (Nov 23).

Wednesday, Nov 21

  • Quinary Masterclass feat. Antonio Lai (The Cabinet, 3pm)
  • Diplomatico Rum Pop Up by Sai Charan, Diplomatico Brand Ambassador (The Rum Bar, 8pm)
  • The Bar Awards Opening Party (Coley Cocktail Bar, 6pm) - The traditional opening party for the Bar Awards will feature bartenders from award winning bars in Bangkok (Rabbit Hole, Vesper, Maggie Choo’s and The Iron Fairies), Singapore (Jigger & Pony, Manhattan), Manila (ABV) and Hong Kong (Quinary), as well asPerrier brand ambassador Francesco Moretti.

Thursday, Nov 22

  • Angostura Masterclass feat. Daniyel Jones (Coley, 2pm)
  • Masterclass: Opening A New Bar - Secrets to Success feat. Indra Kantono (owner of Jigger & Pony) (Skullduggery, 3pm)
  • Diplomatico Rum Pop Up by Sai Charan (Bar Trigona, 8pm)
  • Mixology Madness (Skullduggery, 8pm) - Featuring bartenders from Arrack & Spice (Jakarta), ABV (Manila), Jigger & Pony (Singapore) and Vesper (Bangkok).
  • Angostura Pop Up feat. Daniyel Jones (Omakase + Appreciate, 9pm)
  • Fico Group (Maggie Choo’s & The Iron Fairies Bangkok) Pop Up (Three X Co, 9pm)
  • The Bar Awards On Tour - Penang (Golden Shower by Chin Chin, 8pm) -

    Featuring Francesco Moretti (Perrier Brand Ambassador), and guests shifts by Manhattan (Singapore), Quinary (Hong Kong), Rabbit Hole (Bangkok), all 2018 Bars of the Year in their respective countries.

Friday, Nov 23

  • Rum Masterclass (JungleBird, 2pm) - Come learn about rum with Diplomatico rum brand ambassador Sai Charan.
  • ABV Pop Up (Birch, 8pm)
  • Arrack & Spice Pop Up (Jack Rose, 8pm)
  • Jigger & Pony Pop Up (Pahit, 8pm)
  • Fico Group (Maggie Choo’s & The Iron Fairies Bangkok) and Iron Balls gin Pop Up (Coley, 8pm)
  • Fine & Rare Rum Launch feat. Sai Charan (JungleBird, 8pm)
  • Quinary Pop Up (Bar Trigona, 8pm)
  • Francesco Moretti (Perrier Brand Ambassador) Pop Up (The Pawn Room, 8pm)
  • The Secret Mermaid (Singapore) Pop Up (The Cabinet, 8pm)
  • Vesper Pop Up (Joloko, 8pm)
  • Angostura Pop Up feat. Daniyel Jones (Three X Co, 9pm)

Saturday, Nov 24

  • Mumm Sabrage & Food Pairing Session (ticketed event) (Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar & Restaurant, 7pm)
  • Fico Group (Maggie Choo’s & The Iron Fairies Bangkok) and Iron Balls gin Pop Up (The Locker & Loft, 8pm)
  • Adam Westbrook Pop Up (Pahit, 8pm)
  • Francesco Moretti Pop Up (The Rum Bar, 8pm)
  • The Secret Mermaid (Singapore) Pop Up (JungleBird, 8pm)
  • Tropic City (Bangkok) Pop Up (Skewer Bar, 9pm)
  • Quinary Pop Up (PS150, 9pm)
  • The Bar Awards Nightcap (exclusive F&B industry only) (Omakase + Appreciate, 1am)

Sunday, Nov 25

  • Go Local with Giffard (RSVP only: info@thebarawards.com, 12pm)
  • Amaro Di Angostura VERSUS Cocktail Competition Finals (The Iron Fairies, 12pm)
  • The Bar Awards Party (exclusive invite for F&B industry only) (APW @ Bangsar, 6pm)
  • The Bar Awards After Party (JungleBird, 10pm)

Wednesday, Nov 28

  • Perrier Wrap Up Party, feat. TBA founder Tron Young and Mattman Joseph (Coppersmith @ Troika, 8pm)


For more information, visit the Bar Awards Facebook page or download the full calender here.


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