If fine dining can be alluded to as high-performance art, well, then there is no better operatic stage for it in Hong Kong than Mott 32, especially after its latest revamp that’s bound to be the talk of the town this season.
Having undergone its first cosmetic makeover in nearly a decade, the restaurant has amped up the volume; take a bow, Joyce Wang Studio, and clear the mantle for yet another award. The overall experience from a design perspective alone overwhelms—it’s breathtaking.
The dining area, the bar, the private VIP alcoves, the concept, the narratives are all singing a mellifluous new tune—a bilingual dialogue, where authentic Chinese chic dances with Western flair. The seminal theme to the extravagance has always been where the novel and the ancient meet, where the East and West canoodle on canvas, on plate, and by the bar. While some have noted the industrial elements that hang from the ceiling, you will note that there’s a visibly ostentatious lean that Mott 32 has been famed for.
“The new elements at Mott 32 Hong Kong showcase our commitment to the original location,” says Xuan Mu, co-founder and managing director at Maximal Concepts. “After a demanding few years, our design ethos of blending a lofty New York industrial style with Hong Kong opulence remains the same and continues to be seen across our new openings worldwide. As a destination for locals to bring their guests or business partners to enjoy a unique, contemporary-style Chinese meal, we owe it to our customers to ensure the restaurant evolves with the times and continues to deliver innovative yet mesmerising experiences, from ambience to flavour.”
In a city teeming with restaurants and bars, where a novel concept and hot spots are perpetually opening its doors while the lukewarm bring the shutters down for good, Mott 32 always been that mesmerising venue you hit to show off the best of what the city has to offer. This is where the captains of industry, stars of all stripes, and the misters and the mistresses all strike a pose.
New and long-time patrons will find everything new if not renewed. Look for key elements that have taken the room’s famed art direction north by northeast; count the antique lanterns, gothic chandeliers, unique seating, intimate corners, dynastic vases, elegant accoutrements, and new latticework that snake into the bar, while a stone veneer enhances the space. This is where innovative cocktails, a prelude to dinner, is most often staged, and where the panorama gives you your fundamental rights to be seen and heard. Dress sharp to fit in—or get out.
Personally, we have always been great fan of the curated artwork studded on the cavernous walls of the establishment. From masterpieces to modern art, to the renowned Calligraphy Room, festooned with over 2,000 wall-mounted brushes and bright flashes of orange, honouring ancient Chinese art forms, it is what most museums hope to patronise and aspire to do: take the audience’s breath away.
Dusting off the old with the new, every incarnation of Mott 32 has been met with a renewed energy and sweeping brush stroke. “As the design of Mott 32 has grown and evolved across the various new restaurants in Vancouver, Las Vegas, Singapore, Cebu, and most recently Dubai, it was a great opportunity to revisit the original Mott 32 design and re-inject another layer through bold colours and materials such as stone veneer, embroidered fabric lanterns, more hand-painted wall coverings and cane weavings,” says Joyce Wang, from her eponymous studio.
The venue stands on a firm foothold as one of the first ultra-luxury Chinese brands that took the world by storm when it first opened a decade ago. Since then, there are seven international locations studded around the globe.
When you strut down those perilous stairs to the basement of the Standard Chartered Bank building—a landmark in its own right—let the heritage and prestige of the locale hit you in waves. The venue has always had that heady mix of traditional and modern, pan-Chinese cuisine, the finest cocktails and wine, famed chefs, and attentive staff. But it’s so much more than the food, the champagne, the embroidered chopsticks, the black cod, or the signature must-pre-order-Peking duck. Here, come for the opera of grand dining; the stage is meticulously set.
All images courtesy of Sinclair Communications.