AB Concept designs a trio of dining spaces in Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun
Recently Hong Kong’s arts and culture centre Tai Kwun has seen a plethora of dining and bar spaces open, but few have made a splash quite like Aqua Group’s trio, which command a prime position over the top floor of the 170-year-old Police Headquarters.
Local design and architecture firm AB Concept masters the tricky art of playing homage to a historic property without descending into theatrics. At the entrance, flanked by the two dining rooms, is The Dispensary, an opulent Colonial-inspired lounge bar with British restaurant Statement on one side and The Chinese Library on the other.
Each takes inspiration from the history of the area and retains the building’s reclaimed original wooden floors, high-pitched ceilings and period tall windows. Classic black and white tiled balconies run along both sides of the restaurants.
The nostalgic theme continues inside with a quintessentially moody British palette of soft blue-green and a deluxe mix of onyx tables and leather banquettes at Statement. The British menu features traditional roast, braised and stewed dishes with a modern take on classics like pan-friend scallops and smoked cabbage heart served with Welsh laverbread butter, and slow-cooked Gressingham duck with plum sauce and salt-baked carrot. Hand-churned butter infused with Marmite is a nice touch.
The Chinese Library has a different rhythm – that of a glamorous dining room – with its jade-coloured walls, mirrors, illuminated onyx screens and black and white antique Chinese marble tabletops. Menus are similarly well thought through, focusing on Hong Kong’s favourite Chinese dishes from across China including Chrysanthemum ‘Thousand Cut’ silken tofu in chicken broth.§