From the dynamic team at Maximal Concepts comes an exciting new Chinese restaurant that’s been created to push the boundaries of culinary innovation and sustainability. Opened at Lee Garden Three in Causeway Bay, John Anthony’s 7,000-square-foot space features three custom-built barbecues, a highly customised kitchen and unique interiors designed and built from the get-go with sustainability in mind. The goal behind this restaurant is to incorporate as many sustainable features as possible in the hopes of setting a new standard of environmental consciousness in restaurant design in Hong Kong.
The entrance is an enamouring pink-hued descent into a warren of stylised eating and drinking spaces, which Maximal Concepts co-founders Malcolm Wood and Xuan Mu describe as “a bit Wes Anderson”. The level of detail incorporated into the design is truly reminiscent of a mixture of The Darjeeling Limited and The Grand Budapest Hotel in the train-like ceiling arches, vintage lighting, wall murals and cohesive colour palette awash with rich, warm hues that lend a storybook feel to the entire restaurant. These design elements are accented by brass and vintage wicker along with avant-garde features like patterned fabric ottoman cubes that give a modern bohemianism to the space and keep it from veering towards being too showy.
As mentioned, the restaurant has been built from the ground up on a laudable foundation of sustainability. Reclaimed terracotta tiles from Shanghai, energy-efficient lighting, non-toxic lacquer paints, indigo fabric dyes, recycled clothing and ethical footwear for the staff, a zero-waste bar and carefully sourced ingredients are all the thoughtful features of this restaurant that is positioning itself as a figurehead within a movement that is at last catching on in Hong Kong – every business must care about its impact on the earth as much as its profit margins.
Now, to the food. The menu features sustainable seafood and ingredients sourced from ethical farms interwoven with the theme of the namesake spice trader John Anthony, the first Chinese person ever to be nationalised by England. The dishes incorporate interesting spices like turmeric – no longer to be found only in Indian cuisine – along with tandoori ovens, which were once used in China but are now long forgotten in regional cuisine. Handmade dim sum and charcoal-grilled meats are the headliners of the restaurant, along with the gin bar showcasing a collection of over 350 labels, many of them rare, including four gin shots made with their own homemade infusions. With a bar that’s open late, John Anthony might just make for a vibey place to grab a tipple or two, as great drinking options are not so plentiful in this part of Causeway Bay.
Next up: Maximal has also bagged another restaurant space within Lee Gardens Three on the third floor with an Italian concept planned with fresh pasta, pizza and flatbreads.
Here’s a look at some of the unusual, colourful, spice-filled dishes we sampled:
Smoked cage-free duck eggs with Manchurian roe and Hua Tiao ($95)
Air-dried duck with ginger and yellow mountain honey ($130)
Shredded Australian lamb shank salad ($155)
Dim sum (clockwise from top left): steamed rice roll with soft-shell crab and squid ink, free-range chicken siu mai, tiger prawn har gow with Chinese chives ($65 each)
Northern red-stained spicy Australian lamb rack with chilli powder ($220)
Australian Wagyu beef char siu ($280)
Stir-fried dried lotus root with minced pork and bamboo shoots ($135)
Signature roast goose with dark roasted purple plum sauce and homemade pickled cucumber
($220 for ¼ duck)
Scallops with egg white and crispy rice soup ($255)
Shop B01–B10, Basement, Lee Garden Three, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, 3105 3668, firstname.lastname@example.org
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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