Arbor — Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong’s gastronomic scene heaves with a level of brio and creativity that is entirely disproportionate to its size. And yet, every day, new restaurants are added to the city’s diet-averse roster, the latest – Arbor – literally staking the high ground on the 25th floor of CL3 Architects’ silvery stack, H Queen’s.
The conceit of the restaurant is that diners are arriving at the home of a poet and a cook, though judging by Yabu Pushelberg’s interiors, these are deep-pocketed creatives. Riffing off the botanical moniker, the designers worked with a palette of cream, sage, teal and splashes of blush, whilst wrapping the private dining room with a Fragonard-ish mural of trees, and adding customised oak and leather furniture to anchor the high-ceilinged main room.
Chef de cuisine Eric Räty (the former head chef at Chez Dominique) hitches his Finnish background to a seasonal French menu cooked with Japanese ingredients. The cross-border pollination results in visually arresting dishes such as torched Icelandic langoustine paired with tomato and crushed candy, alongside equally inventive desserts like a soy milk ice cream that’s cocooned in sheets of crispy yuba with a salted egg yolk, pieces of white chocolate and black beans dipped in soy sauce.§