Two floors of art, food and more art await at Duddell’s Hong Kong, a new gallery-slash-restaurant, housed on two floors of the Shanghai Tang mansion, on a historic stair-step street in Hong Kong’s Central neighborhood.
The innovative eatery is the result of the collaboration of three of the city’s most influential hospitality talents: Alan Lo of the Press Room restaurant group; Paulo Pong of Altaya wines; and Yenn Wong of JIA, the company responsible for the stylish tables at Duecento Otto and 22 Ships, among others.
The talented trio’s aim was to create a space for people to come together, a go-to address for the art crowd. “Duddell’s represents an appreciation of the fine things in life — savvy art, tasty food, good wine and cocktails, and, of course, great company,” Wong says.
But some people may come just for the food. Siu Hin Chi, who won accolades as the chef at T’ang Court, is in charge of the kitchen. The cuisine is high Cantonese — abalone and bird’s nest figure prominently — and the presentations are worthy of the lavish setting. A crab claw gets a pretty crown of caviar; crispy chicken roosts in a taro nest with asparagus and macadamia nuts. Dim sum dishes are made sumptuous with the addition of lobster, crab roe and more bird’s nest.
The equally impressive wine list is heavy with first-growth Bordeaux (no surprise considering Pong’s involvement), and mixologist Alexandre Chatté has re-imagined classic cocktails through a Hong Kong lens. The Special Administrative Region Sazerac House is made with bamboo-aged rye, and his Bloody Mary mix contains soy, oyster and XO sauces (the latter is salty and made with ham and dried seafood).
But the art program is at least as ambitious as the food. Some wall space is dedicated to 20th-century Chinese works from the storied MK Lau Collection. Other areas will be filled by a dynamic series of exhibits, curated by leading voices in contemporary art.
London designer Ilse Crawford, whose credits include NYC’s Soho House, was enlisted to do the interiors. The main dining room is on the lower level, and a grand staircase leads to a salon, library and an expansive garden terrace, where you can gather for a more casual meal or drinks. It’s meant to feel like the private home of a collector more than a restaurant or gallery, per se.
A membership program gives access to special events and amenities, but the roster is already full. No matter: Though it may feel like a club, Duddell’s is open to the public.
Photos courtesy of Duddell’s