An amalgam of fine food and fine arts, Duddell’s is neither a restaurant nor a gallery. It is both and then some. Masterminded by a trio of local entrepreneurs Alan Lo, Yenn Wong, and Paulo Pong and aimed at entertaining Hong Kong’s creative minds, the multifunctional venue has been host to many cultural events since its inaugural ribbon was cut less than a year ago, in May 2013 to be exact.
Located in the Shanghai Tang Mansion in Hong Kong’s Central district, Duddell’s is spread across two levels and encompasses a traditional Cantonese restaurant and cultural salon with its adjacent 2,000 sq ft outdoor space occupying the third and fourth floors of the building respectively. Designed by London-based Studioilse led up by Ilse Crawford, striking interior features in the form of an eclectic mix of Mid-century modern furniture and traditional ethnic rugs, are set against stone-coloured travertine and polished cement floors and walls, all vying for attention against a lush terrace that oozes the tranquility and allure of a forgotten, overgrown tropical garden.
Created as a destination for the city’s Arts-appreciating crowd to consume and conceive new ideas and concepts, be it in the form of one of the signature dishes by Michelin-starred executive chef Siu Hin Chi, or during any one of the many cultural events such as exhibitions, literature evenings, talks or performances, Duddell’s has made its mark through sealing its close affiliation with contemporary art by hosting FRAMED, a much-acclaimed exhibition showcasing works by 13 Hong Kong artists curated by none other than Ai Weiwei.
Along with temporary shows and installations, Duddell’s is now also a new home to a collection of Chinese modern and 20th century brush and ink paintings, which once again accentuates the space’s multicultural character while preserving and promoting the local heritage.
Photos by Robert Holden. Courtesy of StudioIlse