Lovers of novel or even eccentric dining spaces now have a new addition to put on their to-visit list: The Aubrey at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, which opened in February 2021. Jointly designed by Maximal Concepts and Silverfox Studios, the Japanese izakaya takes up the 25th floor of the hotel, with a sweeping vista of the picturesque Victoria Harbour.
From the outset, the space promises to set itself apart from the usual austerity and minimalism that one usually associates with Japanese décor. That’s because The Aubrey’s style is instead inspired by Japonisme, an movement from the 19th century where several Western works of art were heavily influenced by Japanese culture. “The Aubrey is set to honour the incredible cultural elements and exchanges that have happened here over the years,” says Matt Reid, co-founder of Maximal Concepts.
It is this medley of bold colours, Art Deco elements, and swirling patterns that creates an interesting, enjoyably eccentric ambience. Guests are first ushered through the entryway, a dark corridor lined with various gilded portraits and ceiling mirrors. Beyond lies a veritable playground: three distinctive bar experiences, as well as a curio lounge and drawing room.
At the stylish Main Bar, you can enjoy a selection of Highball and Chuhai cocktails, a signature cocktail menu inspired by the game of chess and a rotating selection of three seasonal cocktails based off a single Japanese ingredient. These are created by celebrated head mixologist Devender Sehgal and his team of bartenders.
For a more intimate experience, the Omakase Cocktail Bar – which seats only four – offers to take guests on a journey where they will experience different Japanese spirits and flavours. Prefer something more classic? You’ll love the Champagne and Sake Bar, which serves up oysters, champagne, and sparkling sakes.
Gastronomes will also appreciate the traditional Edomae sushi-making techniques of Chef Yukihito Tomiyama and his culinary team, the robata grill where your food is cooked over binchotan charcoal, and the tempura menu, which showcases the art and lightness of the cuisine. At lunch, The Aubrey also serves bento, presented in beautifully hand-crafted wooden boxes.
Beneath the style and verve, The Aubrey takes its environmental impact seriously. In an endeavour to set an example for sustainable hospitality, it aims to go zero-waste as far as possible, eschewing single-use plastics for more environmentally-friendly options such as the world’s first compostable clingwrap and bamboo products from sustainable sources.
In this sense, The Aubrey sets itself apart in both unparalleled style and sustainability. “This vibrant, beautiful and multi-faceted space celebrates the very best of Japanese drinking and dining in a city which embraces other cultures like few others,” says Pierre Barthes, General Manager and Area Vice President of Operations at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.
For more information, please visit www.mandarinoriental.com/hong-kong.