RPB Asia
RPB Asia will provide a focused platform for restaurant, pub and bar owners and operators across Southeast Asia.
Exclusively trade only, and dedicated to the hospitality sector.

The Restaurant, Pub and Bar (RPB) Bartender Invitational 2018 is the first bartending competition of its kind. Neutral, unbiased and objective, this invite only competition is set to bring The Bar Awards' most recent Bartender of the Year winners to celebrate unity, friendship and inspiration all under the spirits of bartending and hospitality.

The intense 3-day competition will put eight award winners from four cities against each other to test all the values that makes a great bartender.

These values are: Business Management, Creativity, Hospitality, Knowledge, Leadership, Responsibility, Skills, Team Work.

The very first RPB Bartender Invitational will be held in conjunction with RPB Asia and Speciality & Fine Food Asia 2018 on 17 to 19 July. RPB will host two of the Bartender Invitational challenges on the Centre Stage. Come by on 17 and 18 July to check out the teams going through their paces of the Classic Cocktail Challenge and the Masterclass Challenge. Also, join us on 19 July (last day of RPB) to find out who is the ultimate Bartender of the Year 2018!


COA | Hong Kong

Recently awarded the Bartender of the Year in Hong Kong 2018 by The Bar Awards, Jay Khan is an esteemed cocktail bar veteran and owner of the newly opened COA (a Mexican inspired cocktail bar and the also the winner of Best Specialist Concept at The Bar Awards Hong Kong 2018).

Jay's passion for cocktails, agave spirits and hospitality inspired him to travel the world and work in some of the best cocktails bar and hotels. After a two year stint in Melbourne (between 2008 and 2010) he triumphantly returned to Hong Kong to take the helm of the renowned Lily & Bloom. Between 2010 and the opening of COA in 2017, Jay has been part of The Macallan Bar (Macau), Ming Fat House Group (which owns Mrs. Pound, Foxglove and Dr. Fern's Gin Parlour in Hong Kong) and the brand ambassador for Remy Cointreau for Hong Kong and Macau.

Jay will lead Team Hong Kong at the upcoming RPB Bartender Invitational 2018.

Jay Khan


Coley | Kuala Lumpur

Even before taking the title of Bartender of the Year in Kuala Lumpur 2017 by The Bar Awards, CK (as he prefers to be called) would be praised by the entire Malaysian bar community. This soft spoken and mild mannered bartender owns the newly relocated Coley (winner of Best Hospitality Team and Bar of the Year in 2017) and Kuala Lumpur's most prominent gin bar, Pahit.

CK's career began over two decades ago working as the Head of Beverage Operations for The BIG Group and Grey Fat Cats. With many years developing these two major group CK’s Coley was one of Malaysia's most anticipated opening. The success of Coley led to Pahit being opened in less than a year after Coley.

CK will lead Team Kuala Lumpur at the upcoming RPB Bartender Invitational 2018.


Vida Rica, Mandarin Oriental (Macau)

Nikita Matveev is widely credited for reinventing the cocktail bar experience, making it relevant for 21st century tastes and sensibilities. Attention to detail, playful presentation and exceptional approach to hospitality are all hallmarks of Nikita's unique approach to bartending. This philosophy has led him to win the title of Bartender of the Year Macau 2018 by The Bar Awards.

The Russian native has won copious awards across Europe and is the current Head Bartender of Vida Rica, Mandarin Oriental.

Nikita will lead Team Macau at the upcoming RPB Bartender Invitational 2018.

Nikita Matveev
Vijay Mudaliar


Native | Singapore

Under Vijay's belt is a collection of awards and experience in some of the best bars Singapore. And this valuable experience has earned him the title of Bartender of the Year Singapore 2018 by The Bar Awards.

Vijay’s experience has him worked with Jason Atherton at The Blind Pig (UK), Pollen and The Library. His most prominent work placing was at the world renowned Operation Dagger in Singapore (winner of Best New Bar 2015 and Most Creative Cocktail Program 2016). The experience and knowledge gained at Operation Dagger inspired him to open his own establishment, Native.

Vijay is also a pioneer of 'urban foraging', a modern form of foraging which involves searching for wild food resources and incorporating them into cocktails. He is also a champion of Asian produce and talent. These philosophies have earned Native the title of Most Creative Cocktail Program in 2017 (which was previous won by his last residency, Operation Dagger).

Vijay will lead Team Singapore at the upcoming RPB Bartender Invitational 2018.

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