KL bar named among Asia's best

Chong (left) and Too at their bar OA, which was named in the Top 10 of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list.

KUALA LUMPUR: Local bar Omakase + Appreciate (O+A) is among the top 10 bars in Asia.

The Kuala Lumpur cocktail bar was placed 10th on the inaugural Asia's 50 Best Bars 2016 list which was announced last night.

This made it the first Malaysian F&B outlet to be voted to Asia's 50 Best lists.

Singapore's 28 HongKong Street topped the list which also included bars from China, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand.

Singapore had nine bars in the top 50 (four of which were in the top 10), while O+A was the only entry from Malaysia.

The bar's founders Chong Yi Shawn and Karl Too said they did not have high expectations initially.

"I won't lie - it is quite satisfying to be ranked higher than certain bars in Japan and Hong Kong. I'm happy that our three years of hard work has been recognised," Chong said in an email interview.

Founded in 2013, O+A is a hidden cocktail bar that specialises in cocktails. A cosy cubbyhole that can fit a maximum of 20 to 25 people, the bar is located at the Ming Annexe building in Jalan Ampang.

The name comes from the word "Omakase" which is Japanese for "I'll leave it to you", and is usually used in Japanese restaurants where you leave it to the chef to use his creativity to prepare a meal that is off the menu, using the best possible ingredients.

The Asia's 50 Best Bars 2016 list is the first regional spin-off from beverage magazine Drinks International's renowned World's 50 Best Bars Awards, which takes place annually in October.

World's 50 Best Bars is considered one of the most authoritative international bar surveys ever conducted.

Entries are by nomination only, and the Asian list is voted on by 154 professionals from the bar industries of around 20 Asian countries.

While Asia's 50 Best Bars is a new award, Asia's 50 Best Restaurants was launched four years ago but no Malaysian restaurant made it to the list so far, making O+A's win even more significant.

The full list of winners is available at the World's 50 Best Bars website (Worlds50bestbars.com/asia).