This new fine dining venue in the heart of historical Hong Kong evokes the atmosphere of both a feminine boudoir and a stylish gallery.
May 5th, 2017
When award-winning chef Vicky Lau wanted a new premises for her artful dining experience she enlisted Hong Kong-based studio JJA / Bespoke Architecture to design a space that would blend the home, the gallery, and the restaurant.
TATE Dining Room and Bar is a 2,200-square-foot venue split over two floors on Hong Kong’s Hollywood Road in the heart of Sheung Wan – a historical neighbourhood home to private eateries and funky galleries.
According to studio founder JJ Acuna, the location was a perfect fit for TATE’s chef-centred creative restaurant. “The way she focuses on artful creations of dishes rather than mass-market offerings further cements our relationship with the quiet street oriented concept of this area of Hollywood Road, which is littered with small mom-and-pop kind of creative businesses,” says Acuna.
Acuna worked very closely with chef Vicky Lau to design a cake shop, lobby area, and dining room split over two floors.
The eatery’s palette of whites, nudes, pinks, brass, and greens was perhaps an easy place for the pair to start as the colours were chosen to reflect the chef’s culinary approach when she opened her first TATE in another part of central Hong Kong. “The concept is about femininity, softness, and the luxury of eating something new and made from the best fresh ingredients,” says Acuna.
The interior palette was deliberately left neutral enough to let chef Vicky Lau’s art-piece meals speak for themselves, while the restaurant’s configuration as a gallery-meets-boudoir-meets-restaurant also comes from the chef’s approach to cuisine. “The way that Chef Vicky treats her restaurant guests is reflective of how she would treat guests visiting her house – in a way, this restaurant project was very close to being a residential project,” Acuna muses.
The ground floor is a gallery-style cake shop named Poem, from which stairs lead to a first floor foyer area and then a dining area. The staircase is residential size, welcoming guests upstairs, the kitchen is open, and the finishes are soft and textured.
The dining room itself has various seating configurations; a two-person diner style booth, a group style banquette shaped like a couch, a circular banquette with an artful circular table, and a private room which seats 10 people. Lavish bespoke touches include a metal table in the private dining area etched with plants and leaves by Elsa Jeandedieu and wallpaper sourced from Brooklyn-based firm Calico.
Acuna’s favourite part about the project? “The opportunity to work with a concept from a feminine perspective that is all about warmth and softness. But it’s a kind of femininity that is not passive, it’s actually quite sure-footed and aggressive, like it stands for something,” he tells us.
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