Potato Head — Hong Kong, China
For his newest project in Hong Kong, Ronald Akili, co-owner of Jakarta-based hospitality outfit PTT Family, briefed Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto to design the 750 sq m space as if it were a home.
The result brings a rare dose of authenticity to the venue, where comfort and style trumps transaction with a creative medley of spaces that includes a minimalist coffee counter that serves up tasty brews and freshly baked croissants from local brand I Love You So; a small retail space with a carefully curated range of artisanal homewares; and a casual beach-vibe bar facing a relaxed lounge café with communal tables. Further within, the more formal Kaum restaurant focuses on traditional Indonesian fare and a ‘hidden’ state-of-the-art music room and listening space for the hip audiophile notches up the cool factor even more.
Although Fujimoto’s intriguing façade – semi-transparent windows with geometric white patterns – are a nod to Hong Kong’s traditional metal gates, Potato Head’s interiors are unmistakably Indonesian, sporting an earthy palette of natural materials, hanging plant boxes, and walls and ceilings sheathed in hundreds of traditional handmade carved and painted timber panels. Furnishings meanwhile are an eclectic mix of mid-century antiques and custom-designed Indonesian pieces.
The unpretentious menu served both in Kaum and in the bar is created by chef Antoine Audran and gastronomy activist Lisa Virgiano and focuses on tapas-style gourmet bites inspired by tribal cuisines across the Indonesian archipelago. We particularly liked the Kookaburra cocktail, an exotic blend of lemongrass gin and homemade vanilla sugar, fresh mint and lime, topped with passion fruit with vanilla foam.