Category: Restaurants

Le Flandrin

Le Flandrin, Paris is another stunning creation by Joseph Dirand….one of my favorite designers at the moment (and a bit of a crush too). Love the colour combo, those stunning floors, the use of antique mirror, and those walls look like they’re clad in gold leaf. Stunning. Adding it to my list now…









I’m heading to London for 5 days in September and, as usual, all I can think about is all the great looking restaurants that have opened since I was last there. 

The Gallery at Sketch, a collaboration between restaurateur Mourad Mazouzand and celebrated chef Pierre Gagnaire, with interiors by India Mahdavi and art by Scottish artist David Shrigley…that’s a combination that’s hard to resist. I am loving those zig-zag floors…and actually the combination of pink and brass is not too shabby either. Whould’ve thought! This one is definitely on the list…









Aberdeen Street Social

Yesterday I finally had lunch at Aberdeen Street Social. What was meant to be a catch up with a friend and ex-colleague over lunch turned into a 4hr session. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon I’d say. Working for oneself has perks sometimes. 

Anyway, I think I may have found my new favorite restaurant in Hong Kong.  It seems chef Jason Atherton can do no wrong in this city, after the successful openings of 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry. Londoners will know him from Pollen Street Social, Berner’s Tavern and several other establishments.

The restaurant is located in one of the out buildings in PMQ (the former Police Married Quarters) which is one of very few historical restoration projects in Hong Kong. The interiors are by Beijing-based duo Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu of Neri & Hu.

The designers have used a combination of smoked oak flooring and cabinetry, brass accents, black mirror and accents of green (which sounds like a disastrous combination) brilliantly to create something that’s warm, inviting and equally unpretentious. The custom light fixtures were beautiful, and the shade of green on the ceiling has me dreaming of re-painting our apartment.

Big thumbs up from me!

Song Qi

I feel a trip to Monaco coming on….just to visit the spectacular new restaurant ‘Song Qi‘ by Hong Kong-born London-based Alan Yau (the man also behind Wagamama and Hakkasan).

I’m sure the food is great, but I really want to go to check out the stunning interiors. Created by Monaco based design duo Emil Humbert + Christophe Poyet – who were the ones behind the Beef Bar which I blogged about two years ago here – I think these two are definitely ones to watch. I’m loving the mix of brass, black & white and that green. Absolutely stunning.

The Jane

Good morning! Or at least I wish it was…its bucketing down here. It seems Hong Kong has seen fit to go straight from winter to rainy season. No fun. I have been slightly cheered by these gorgeous images by Richard Powers via Yatzer of The Jane Restaurant in Antwerp, by Piet Boon. LOVE.

How great is this cheese display!?

Waterfront Kitchen

Its been so damn cold and dreary in Hong Kong lately…I almost feel like I’m living in London (minus the architecture or culture). Today though, we finally have blue skies above. 

Speaking of London, and blue, I am very happy to be able to share with you some pics of a recently completed project by the talented team at London-based Central Design Studio. ‘Waterfront Kitchen’ is a casual dining space in The Hilton Vienna, on the banks of the Danube.

The palette consists of limed oak, blackened steel, riven slate which is accented with a rich cobalt blue. All the furniture was designed and custom made for the space, including the coloured glass fixtures by Isabel Hamm.

The team worked hand in hand with graphic designer Jon Powell to create all the branded material for the restaurant, ensuring that the restaurant has a consistent feel throughout. A very important part of designing restaurants, for sure.

Well, I for one don’t mind being transported here for the afternoon – even if it is just via photos. Enjoy!


The latest name on the tip of everyone’s tongue in this city is Duddell’s, located in the floors above Shanghai Tang in their new Duddell street manse, was brought to us by the F&B wunderkind team who are also responsible for favorites such as The Press Room group, Jia Boutique Hotels, Duecento Otto & 22 Ships.

Duddell’s 10,000 square foot interior, which is spread over two floors, was designed by the one and only Isle Crawford, who seems to be another favorite around here.

I finally stuck my head in yesterday and can say that the space is rather lovely, and surprisingly quite minimal. The lower level is a Cantonese-cuisine restaurant, while the upstairs bar / lounge area facing the lush looking 2,000 sq ft terrace has more of a private-club-like ambiance. In typical Crawford style all of the spaces are decorated with a mix of classic 20th C designs and apparently custom designed furniture.

In addition to the food and drinks on offer, the space doubles as a space to showcase local art.  They apparently have plans to launch a continuous programme of talks, performances, film screenings and other events and there’s also talk of a rotating, guest-curated exhibition programme, and rumours Ai Weiwei may be a possibility to take on that task.

I think this might become the new regular haunt for dim sum and drinks with out of town guests!

Melbourne town

I had a great trip back home. Melbourne is a fantastic city, visually beautiful (except some of the fugly looking new developments) and lots going on. In lieu of a more lengthy post (I have so much work to catch up on,  you know how it goes)…I will leave you with a few recommendations for places I visited on this last trip. Mostly food this time…no time or funds for shopping unfortunately.

Firstly, Melbourne is known for its foodies and coffee afficionados. If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain, like I am, you will already know this, as he has referred to the fact that all Melbournians are food critics (or at least we think we are!) so the quality is good and competition fierce.

I had time in the CBD on my own for an afternoon and asked a friend to recommend a great coffee place and these were his recommendations – Patricia and Little Wish. I only made it to Patricia…and was not disappointed. In a city where Starbucks is failing miserably, good coffee is fairly abundant. There are obviously a few that stand out from the crowd and I dare say this is one of them.  With an almost hidden entrance at the back, and probably always packed with uber cool young things, Patricia certainly serves up a mighty fine coffee. And the interior isn’t too bad either 😉

I had breakfast at The St Kilda Dispensary one morning with friends and loved it. I am a bit of a sucker for nice decor and have been known to sacrifice quality of food and service for a nice interior…but you needn’t do that with this place. Set in an historical building (actually the first medical dispendary in the British empire, hence the name) with a fun but not too kitsch interior, and a menu to die for. Great coffee and a selection of interesting and not-so-usual breakfast items. I would definitely go back.

Finally, I enjoyed a wonderful meal with a large group of friends at Otsumami, a Japanese resto on the ever changing and newly hip High Street in Northcote. It must have been good…it managed to get a bunch of strict south-of-the-river Melbournites north of the river for the night! I loved their slightly fusion version of Japanese, and the fact that they managed to please a vegetarian and a pescatarian.  Pretty well priced too.

That’s it for now. Thanks to all the lovely people who made the trip a memorable one. You know who you are…

Mr Blue

Spotted on Yatzer, the dreamy new restaurant in the Palais de Tokyo, Paris – Monseiur Bleu. Designed by a man who is fast becoming one of my favorite designers, Joseph Dirand. I love his use of colour in this space (I have always loved green, not just because Pantone says so)…and how he’s played around with light and dark. It looks fresh and new and so timeless at the same time. If the food tastes anywhere near as good as the place looks, I am making a reservation now!

Hip Hispania

I just spotted some images online of a new restaurant in London called Hispania, designed by one of my favorite Spanish designers, Lorenzo Castillo. I noticed he has used some fabrics from his newly launch collection with Gaston y Daniela, which I happened to see for the first time in person yesterday.  I’m not loving some of the prints, but the geometrics are fab, and in some pretty unusual colours too. Hispania is set to be the UK’s largest restaurant and store focusing on Spanish cuisine. Consider it added to my list for next time!

as easy as A, B, C…?

I’m not entirely sure why it has taken me so long to write a post about AB Concept. Not only are they one of Hong Kong’s preeminent design firms, they happen to be the first design firm I worked for in Hong Kong.  If you haven’t heard of them before, you’re sure to very soon.  They’ve just published their first monograph – “The Language of Luxe” – covering the last 10 years of their work, some of which I was involved in.  Very sweetly, my name features in the list of dedications at the back, along with all past and current staff.  Its available now for pre-order on Amazon, and is already in bookstores in Hong Kong.

One of the many finished projects featured in the book is the somewhat recently completed Shàng-Xí restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel, Shanghai. Its a good example of the level of detail and refinement in their designs and the selection of unusual and luxurious materials.  Its been forever since I was last in Shanghai, and its definitely on my list of places to return…so I might just have to make a special trip to check this place out…



I particularly love the use of real bird feathers here, I have wanted to use those on a project since I first saw them.

The Beef Bar

I’m definitely someone that loves their food…I don’t know if I’d go so far as to label myself a ‘foodie’, but it certainly is a passion…and so it makes sense that restaurants and their design are also something I’m very passionate about.  Its a combination of two of my great loves. 
I attended the HD Asia conference which was just on in Hong Kong this week.  There were some amazing speakers on the panel who talked about the trends and future of hospitality design in this region, and the ever changing nature of restaurants was one of the topics covered.  Tony Chi, whose work I’m a big fan of, spoke on the first day, and was incredibly entertaining and inspiring.  
So, perhaps because the weekend is coming and I’m looking forward to getting into the kitchen, or because my brain is wired on all things restaurants at the moment…this little gem caught my eye.  The Beef Bar in Monte Carlo. Designed by the firm Humbert & Poyet, I’m totally loving the mix of luxe materials, the dark moody colour palette and all those little details that make a great restaurant memorable.  I think all of a sudden I’m craving a steak…



Every now and then in a city like Hong Kong you come across a place that makes you want to shout about it from the rooftops, or hide it away and make it top secret because its just that great you don’t want to share it. AMMO is one of those places.  I was lucky enough to be invited to a launch party of sorts last night.  Having just moved house and office space the day before (more on that later), I almost didn’t go.  I’m so glad I did.  
First off, AMMO is named after its location amongst the heritage ammunition storage buildings in Admiralty, now run by the Asia Society. The setting is incredible.  Lush tropical mountain side, and yet so central. The heritage buildings have been restored and preserved beautifully. Old magazines have been turned into art galleries, mini theatres, and private function rooms.  Its so nice to see heritage restoration done well in Hong Kong for a change.  
But back to AMMO. The interior, which is absolutely stunning, was designed by ridiculously young, and ridiculously nice local but international designer, Joyce Wang. Having just completed the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, she certainly is one to watch. Well, not if you want to be feeling like an under achiever, as I was after meeting her…  The interior was inspired by French Sci-Fi movie ‘Alphaville’ by Jean-Luc Godard which portrays what a dystopian future looked like in the 50’s. Think industrial luxe with a bit of 50’s futurism thrown in.  Everything was custom made for the space, and the furniture is beautiful, not to mention those fantastic chandeliers in the centre (yes, those are actually lights!)

And now, for the best and most important part….the food!  My husband and I are big fans of the sister restaurant, The Drawing Room, so if you have eaten there and liked it, you will love AMMO.  Local celebrity chef and restaurateur Tony Cheng, together with his mentor, Chef Roland Schuller from The Drawing Room had a vision to serve simple, elegant and affordable cuisine with unpretentious service. They want guests to enjoy the salubrious surroundings without the fussiness and stuffiness associated with other fine dining establishments. I think they have succeeded!  

We were served a selection from the Tapas menu and everything was amazing.  We went back for 2nds, 3rds, and after that it just got embarrassing but we went back for more anyway. I’m not normally a fan of Foie Gras, but even than was delicious. 

All I can say is, I’m glad my birthday is coming up soon so I don’t have to wait too long for an occasion to go back. Its just that good.


David Collins Studio has done it again! Their latest project is “Massimo” located in the brand new five star Corinthia Hotel, which opened at the end of April. The restaurant is named after the Roman chef Massimo Riccioli who will bring his signature cooking to London for the very first time.

The design was inspired by the beauty of the late Victorian building, and mixes English architectural references with classical Italian styling.

The overall mood of relaxed elegance has been created throughout the space using a stunning colour combination colour of black, white and rich green. The details that David Collins Studio is renowned for are definitely on show here, and many of Collins’ signature luxury materials have been used to their best advantage – timbers, marbles, leathers and glassware sourced from around the world.

In addition, David Collins was very keen that the design reflect the exquisite simplicity of Massimo’s cooking, commenting: “Our vision was to make this restaurant simple, informal, enjoyable and beautiful – as always translating words into reality is a journey, and this journey has been exciting and fun.”

Its definitely a winner in my book, and will be high on my list of restaurants to check out on my next trip to London (which, with another wedding coming up, might not be that far away!)

Photograph by Richard Powers, care of David Collins Studio

Lily + Bloom

I had the pleasure just last week of dining with a good friend and my hubby at the fairly new restaurant / bar Lily + Bloom. The designers, New York based firm AvroKO, have filled the space with lots of quirky details, including a private humidor behind a secret door, and a private smoking room (the “Blind Pig” room, see last image) that’s also hidden, behind not just one, but two hidden doors! A short guided tour by the Manager of the establishment revealed many other details, and little surprises (including the bathrooms, but you need to go see them yourself!)…so if you’re in the neighbourhood and haven’t already, go check it out!

Oh, and the food, service and cocktails aren’t bad either…