Who’s on shift: Guest bartenders in Asia this October
Find out who’s on shift where this month. By Holly Graham.
Taipei Takeover at JungleBird (Kuala Lumpur)
Three of Taipei’s much loved bars descend on KL to takeover house of rum JungleBird across three nights.
When: Staff Only Taipei: October 3, 9pm-late
AHA Saloon: October 4, 9pm-late
Indulge Experimental Bistro: October 5, 9pm-late
Jakarta Culinary Festival (Jakarta)
This new Jakarta-based festival sees local venues collaborate with others in Asia to bring more buzz to Indonesia and Jakarta’s f&b scene.
When: Mario Calderone (Honi Honi, Hong Kong) at Gunpowder; October 2, 10pm-1am and Social Garden; October 3, 10pm-1am
Ajit Gurung (Stockton, Hong Kong) at A/A; October 3, 10pm-1am
Niks Anuman and Toon Kiattikoon Auengkum (Teens of Thailand and Asia Today, Bangkok) at Social Garden; October 4, 10pm-1am
Sean Halse (Kumquat Tree, Hanoi) at Gunpowder; 4 and 5 October, 10pm-1am
Shawn Chong (Omakase + Appreciate, Kuala Lumpur) and Simone Rossi (Darkside, Hong Kong) at Social Garden, October 5, 10pm-1am
David Ong (The Curator, Manila) at Djournal House; October 5, 7-11pm
Michael Callahan (Compound Collective, Singapore), Ajit Gurung (Stockton, Hong Kong), Sean Halse (Kumquat Tree, Hanoi), Shawn Chong (Omakase + Appreciate, Kuala Lumpur), Simone Rossi (Darkside, Hong Kong), David Ong (The Curator, Manila) back to back at A/A; October 6, 7pm-1am
Sebastian Robinson (Seedlip brand ambassador) at Vida Rica Bar (Macau)
Vida Rica’s “The Painter’s Afternoon Tea Set” teams up with distilled non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip to pair the in-house tea set with alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails created by Sebastian Robinson, brand ambassador for Seedlip in Hong Kong and China.
When: October 5-7, 3-6pm
Yao Lu (Birds of Paradise, Shanghai) and Sebastian Robinson (Seedlip brand ambassador) at Vida Rica Bar (Macau)
Yao Lu brings his latest opening – the tropical haven that is Birds of Paradise – from Shanghai to Macau. Yao, also co-owner of decorated Shanghai bar The Union Trading Company, will be teaming up with Sebastian Robinson from Seedlip, to throw a tiki party at Vida Rica for three nights.
When: October 4-6, 9pm-late
Colin Chia (Nutmeg and Clove, Singapore) and Jamie Rhind (The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok)
In true The Odd Couple fashion, Steve Schneider and Shingo Gokan’s Shanghai outpost throws unusual pairing Colin Chia and Jamie Rhind behind the stick for one night.
When: October 9, 9pm-midnight
Peter Lin (Ounce, Taipei / Flor De Cana rum brand ambassador) at Havana Social (Bangkok) and JungleBird (Kuala Lumpur)
Join Peter Lin as he serves up four Flor De Cana cocktails and Bangkok’s Havana Social. Peter is known for winning the World Class Taiwan 2017 and for his passion for rum, which bagged him the role of brand ambassador of this Nicaraguan rum.
When: Havana Social: October 9, 9pm-midnight
JungleBird: October 30, 9pm-late
Bangkok Supper Club at Jam at Siri House (Singapore)
Bangkok Supper Clubs sees four Bangkok bartenders head to Singapore for two nights serving eight modern Thai cocktails and a street food supper. Join Niks Anuman, Attapon De-Silva, Toon Kiattikoon Auengkum and Buntanes “Pop” Direkrittikul (Eat Me) as they shake up The Botanist gin based cocktails with a Thai influence. Soak it all up with Thai street food favourites such as Thai style fried chicken, mango sticky rice and more.
When: October 9: Niks Anuman (Teens of Thailand) and Buntanes “Pop” Direkrittikul (Eat Me), 9pm-midnight
October 10: Attapon De-Silva (Q&A) and Toon Kiattikoon Auengkum (Asia Today), 9pm-midnight
Jigger & Pony (Singapore) at TRUNK Bar (Tokyo), Q&A (Bangkok) and Bee’s Knees (Kyoto)
Aki Eguchi – bar programme director of Jigger & Pony hits Japan, with shifts in in Kyoto and Tokyo whilst Jigger & Pony’s bar manager Jerrold Khoo hops behind the stick at Q&A Bangkok.
When: TRUNK Bar (Tokyo): October 10, time tbc
Q&A (Bangkok): October 26, 7-11pm
Bee’s Knees: October 31, 7-11pm
Singapore’s newest spirit-based festival celebrates all things rum on Singapore’s Keong Saik Road. The initiative – devised by the neighbouring Neon Pigeon, Taki Taki, Limehouse and Bula Café & Bar teams, explores the world of rum in a series of guest shifts at their venues.
When: October 13, 3pm onwards, schedule below:
The Sea (Hong Kong): 5–6.30pm
Baba Au Rum (Athens): 6.30–8pm
Tropic City (Bangkok): 8–9.30pm
The Pontiac (Hong Kong) vs. Low Tide Tiki (Singapore/Manila): 9.30–11pm
The Bar at 15 Stamford (Singapore): 6–7.30pm
JungleBird (Kuala Lumpur): 7.30–9pm
Origin (Singapore): 5.30–7pm
The Other Roof (Singapore): 7–8.30pm
Honi Honi (Hong Kong): 8.30–10pm
Din Hassan (Black Tears rum brand ambassador) in (Bangkok)
Din – one of Singapore’s bartending veterans and brand ambassador for Black Tears rum, will be launching the only spiced rum from Cuba across Bangkok in series of guest shifts.
When: Seen Restaurant & Bar with Michelle Ang (Employees Only, Singapore): October 14, 6-8pm
#FindTheLockerRoom: October 15, 8pm-midnight
Havana Social: October 16, 8-11pm
Jay Khan (Coa, Hong Kong) at (SEEN Restaurant & Bar, Bangkok)
Hong Kong’s agave shrine Coa just featured on the World’s 50 Best Bars 2019 list, and founder Jay Khan will be heading over to Bangkok for one night only.
When: October 16, 8pm-midnight
Boudewijn Mesritz and Choon-Leong Lai (Tales and Spirits, Amsterdam) at Backroom (Manila)
Tales and Spirits owners Boudewijn Mesritz and Choon-Leong Lai will be behind the stick for an Ableforth Takeover, serving Bathtub gin and Rumbullion! Cocktails. Earlier in the day, catch them at Ministry of Crab Manila with Kevin Clark of Atom Brands delivering a masterclass
When: October 16, 8pm-midnight
Michter’s John Ng (Michter’s Whiskey) at The Bar at The Peninsula (Manila)
Before serving up Michter’s drinks in the evening, catch John conducting an American whiskey workshop at Salon de Ning in The Peninsula Manila from 2.30–4pm.
When: October 17, 7pm-late
Phil Nguyen (Irusu Lounge, Ho Chi Minh City) at The Warehotel Hotel Lobby Bar (Singapore)
Catch award-winning bartender Phil Nguyen serving up an innovative menu of cocktails inspired by the sights, sounds and tastes of Vietnamese culture.
When: October 17, 6-11pm
Ali Ali (Oriole, London) at Vida Rica Bar (Macau)
Oriole, number 17 on the World’s 50 Best Bars 2018 list and sister bar of the acclaimed Nightjar, is known for its eccentric vessels, extravagant garnishes and esoteric flavours. Catch Oriole’s bar manager Ali serving up said quirky cocktails at Vida Rica Bar for three nights.
When: October 17-19, 9pm-late
Davide Boncimino (Madame Fan, Singapore) at Bulgari (Tokyo)
Catch Davide for one night only at Tokyo’s glitzy Bulgari.
When: October 18, 7pm-late
Nikos Arvanitis (formerly of Ballroom, Paris) at JungleBird (Kuala Lumpur)
Nikos Arvanitis’ passion for rum led him to the Caribbean, where he covered over 45 distilleries and sugarcane fields, both active and inactive. His journey is still ongoing and through his travels and speeches, he continues to spread his love for the traditional production process of the rum, so where better than Asia’s “rumah rum” than JungleBird.
When: October 18, 9pm-late
Divyesh Chauhan (JungleBird, Kuala Lumpur) at Woobar (Kuala Lumpur)
Divy brings some of JungleBird’s rum love to WooBar at KL’s W hotel for one night only.
When: October 19, 8pm-late
Matthieu Gouze (Maison Ferrand) in Manila
Maison Ferrand’s Sales Director, Matthieu Gouze will be conducting a series of masterclasses and industry shifts on his products as below.
When: October 21: Plantation rum masterclass at Buccaneers, 2.30-4pm and takeover, 7pm-late
October 22: Citadelle gin masterclass at Long Bar, Raffles Hotel Makati, 2.30-4pm and takeover 7-11pm.
Hong Kong’s unofficial bar week
The lead up to Speed Rack sees Hong Kong packed out with bar shifts with almost one a night, and up to three a night some evenings. Brace yourselves and get ready to #backtherack!
Maguchi Kazunari (Rockfish, Tokyo) at Fukuro (Hong Kong)
Tokyo’s ‘Highball King’ heads to Hong Kong to serve the iceless highballs he’s famed for and spent thirty years perfecting. His signature is The Kaku-hi: a Kakubin highball made of an intensely researched ratio of ice-cold Suntory Kakubin 43 per cent – a whisky designed for highballs and sold exclusively to Maguchi – and Wilkinson Tansan, Japan’s preferred club soda, finished with exactly two firm pinches of lemon peel.
When: October 22 and 23, 6pm-10.45pm
Jason Williams (Proof & Co) at Darkside (Hong Kong)
Proof & Co’s creative director and Atlas’ (Singapore) master of gin Jason Williams will be launching Proof’s new gin Widges to Hong Kong. Catch him from 2-4pm talking all things Juniper at Darkside before his shift.
When: October 23, 8-11pm
Nick Wu (Bar Mood, Taipei) at Bar De Luxe (Hong Kong)
Hosted by Bar De Luxe founder Hidetsugu Ueno, Nick Wu will be serving drinks to two sittings of guests by appointment only – email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot.
When: October 23, 8-9.30pm and 10-11.30pm
Phil Abowd and Bomin Kim (Southside Parlor, Seoul) at Coa (Hong Kong)
The dynamic duo from Seoul bring their Texan-Korean flavours to Coa for a night of signature drinks served with a heavy dose of southern soul – picklebacks included!
When: October 23, 9pm-midnight
Moe Aljaff (Two Schmucks, Barcelona) at The Pontiac (Hong Kong)
Moe Aljaff of Two Schmucks – number 57 on the World’s 50 Best Bars 51-100 2019 list – brings a slice of the Barcelona craft dive bar’s fun and schmuckery to another celebrated craft dive bar: The Pontiac.
When: October 25, 8pm-midnight
Martin Hudak (Maybe Sammy, Sydney / Mr Black global brand ambassador) at Caprice Bar (Hong Kong)
Martin Hudak heads to Hong Kong as Speed Rack Asia’s international judge, but not before shaking up some Mr Black coffee liqueur cocktails at the stunning Caprice Bar at Four Seasons Hong Kong.
When: October 25, 8-11pm
Jon Lee (formerly of Tippling Club, Singapore) at Dispensary (Hong Kong)
Jon Lee, having left Tippling Club, is now striking out on his own with his brand Bad Monté. Catch him serving Diplomatico rum drinks for one night only.
When: October 26, 9pm-late
Speed Rack Asia Season Two (Duddell’s, Hong Kong)
Technically not a guest shift, sure, but head to Duddell’s for Speed Rack Asia Season Two to see badass babes battle it out for the title of Miss Speed Rack Asia 2019, all whilst raising money for the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation.
When: October 27, 5.30-9.30pm. Buy tickets here.
Afterparty: Honi Honi 9.30pm-late
Speed Rack Recovery Afternoon at The Sea (Hong Kong) hosted by Callan Green (Laird’s Applejack)
Shake off that post Speed Rack afterparty dustiness with Applejack cocktails, highballs and classic comfort food, with proceeds donated to charity.
When: October 28, 2pm onwards.
Macarena Rotger (The Other Roof, Singapore) at Foxglove (Hong Kong)
Fresh from competing in Speed Rack Asia 2019 the night before, join Macarena at Foxglove for an evening of Cointreau drinks to keep the Speed Rack party going!
When: October 28, 7-11pm
Colin Chia (Nutmeg & Clove) at The Sea (Hong Kong)
The legendary Colin Chia brings a taste of Nutmeg & Clove – who made a triumphant return to the World’s 50 Best 51-100 list this year – to The Sea for one night only.
When: October 30, 7-10pm
Yukiko Watanabe (Bols brand ambassador) at Gibson (Singapore)
To celebrate Gibson’s fourth anniversary Yukiko Watanabe, Japan’s Bols brand ambassador, will take residency at the bar for two nights.
When: October 23 and 24, 6pm-1am
Kitibordee “Gov” Chortubtim (Liberation, Bangkok) at Jigger & Pony (Singapore)
Gov heads to Jigger & Pony to present his winning World Class Bangkok 2019 cocktails.
When: October 30, 8pm-midnight
Taeeun Yoon (formerly of Charles H, Seoul) at Vida Rica (Macau)
Taeeun Yoon, former lead bartender of Charles H at Four Seasons Seoul, will serve up a unique collection of drinks inspired by Korean horror movies to celebrate Halloween, alongside Vida Rica’s new head bartender Mark Solomko.
When: October 31 – 2 November, 9pm-late