With discreet entrances and no obvious signage, these hidden watering holes aren’t easy to find — but that’s all part of the fun! We show you where to wander through small streets and enter unassuming shopfronts to hunt down some of the region’s most intriguing speakeasies.
28 HongKong Street, Singapore
For a speakeasy, 28HKS has a high profile — especially after being crowned as the best bar in the region at Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2016. Nevertheless, the award-winning joint remains tucked away in a 1960s shophouse on HongKong Street, serving up American-inspired craft mixes and artisanal spirits to a cool crowd. Don’t pass up on the food — it takes its bar grub (like the amazing Mac ’n’ Cheese Balls) as seriously as its cocktails.
28 HongKong St; +65 6533 2001; 28hks.com
Mojo Record Bar, Sydney
A vinyl store that doubles up as a bar, Mojo is the place to be for great tunes — lots of blues and rock ’n’ roll — and solid drinks like seasonal and classic cocktails, as well as an extensive range of Aussie beers and wines.
73 York St; +61 2 9262 4999; mojorecordbar.com
Mrs Pound, Hong Kong
Unless you’re a philatelist, you’re highly unlikely to stumble upon Mrs Pound on any given day. Hidden behind the façade of an unassuming stamp shop, this restaurant and bar is as quirky as it gets, with brightly coloured walls, neon signs, reinterpreted Asian street food and interesting cocktails such as the Teaser (gin, yuzu honey jam and white wine).
6 Pound Ln, Sheung Wan; +852 3426 3949; mrspound.com
Hemingway is very much what one would call a gentlemen’s bar. Situated in Jakarta’s hip and happening Senopati ’hood, this cigar lounge — accessible via a door inside a suit shop called Kingsman — offers an impressive array of drinks and bites, which you can enjoy with a spot of live jazz.
Jln Senopati 92, Kebayoran Baru; +62 21 739 7459
To get to Flask, you’ll first have to locate its secret entrance, which is concealed by a vintage Coca-Cola vending machine standing in the corner of a sandwich shop. Therein lies a swanky hangout that stocks more than 100 rye and bourbon whiskey labels, most of which you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the city.
432 Shaanxi Nan Rd, Xuhui District; +86 21 3368 6108; facebook.com/FLASK
Havana Social, Bangkok
It’s not enough to just know where Havana Social is located (right opposite Fraser Suites Sukhumvit). To gain admission, you also have to keep an eye out for the telephone booth — look for the “Telefono” sign — and punch in a special code, which you can get by calling the bar on your mobile. You’ll then be greeted by a sophisticated, rum-focused drinking spot that’s modelled after pre-revolution Cuba.
Sukhumvit Soi 11; +66 87 066 7711; facebook.com/havanasocialbkk
Finders Keepers, Manila
Enter what looks like an ordinary warehouse at La Fuerza Plaza and you’ll find this clandestine bar. Everything’s very laid-back in this smoke-free zone, which offers an array of classic tipples made by the bar’s talented mixologists. Hungry? Head outside for a burger at food truck Joe’s Meat Shack.
Warehouse 5, La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Don Chino Roces Ave corner Sabio St, Makati City; +63 917 558 4937; facebook.com/finderskeepersMNL
Omakase + Appreciate, Kuala Lumpur
Owned and managed by award-winning mixologists Shawn Chong and Karl Too, this compact speakeasy is tucked away in the basement of Bangunan Ming Annexe. Don’t hesitate to tell the bartenders what you like and don’t like (hence the bar’s “omakase” name) — they’ll gamely whip up concoctions that you’re bound to approve of.
Bangunan Ming Annexe, 9 Jln Ampang; facebook.com/OmakaseAppreciate