This article originally appeared in the October 2015 Issue: Craving Comfort. Read it here!
That crucial element
To survive in Hong Kong’s competitive dining scene, it’s not just great food and service that’s required, a combination of lighting, furnishings and decoration sets the mood for any meal and can make or break the success of a restaurant, bar or café in the city. As such, Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong decided it was time to sing the praises of those who are excelling at providing just the right setting to excite diners’ taste buds.
With a glamorous awards ceremony, the businesses with the best ambiance in the F&B biz, along with their designers, were celebrated in categories from best hotel, casual dining and fine dining restaurants to best café and best bar.
We spoke to Lois Lam, Marketing Manager for Post 97 about their gold medal win in the Bar category:
What do you think sets your bar apart to result in your win for this award?
The concept is very well developed for this project as a Victorian-style speakeasy with a focus on botany, and the interior plays an important role to enhance the entire consumer experience. From the moment you walk into Post 97, you will feel you have been transported from the hustle and bustle in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong, to this intimate home of a Victorian explorer.
What are some unusual features of Post 97?
The fact that if you look at the shop front, you are unable to see the happening interior, and as soon as you walk through the heavy curtain, it opens up into this beautiful bar. Pass through another curtain and it will take you to the main dining room with a totally different vibe.
What do you think people like most about the interiors of your venue?
The bar at Post 97 is definitely eye catching. With a beautiful display of bottles and the custom-built wooden bar right in the middle of the place, it is decorated with small objects and beautiful Tiffany lamps that will surely catch your eyes.
What was the inspiration for the design?
The entire concept is based on the home of the fictional character, Theodore St. John, a Victorian botanist and explorer. Everything around the design is the imagination of his home with his eclectic collections and his botany findings, which is also part of our food and beverage philosophy.
What special detail should guests look out for when they visit?
The small barrels by the entrance, which stored our aged cocktail, as well as being part of the decoration; the design of the drink menu was based on an explorer’s notebook that he would take out with him into the field, and also the medicine cabinet at the door.
What sort of an environment were you seeking to create with this design?
The philosophy of Post 97 is a social dining place, which offers artisanal craft cocktails, so we would like to offer a casual and cosy environment that people can come in and have a good time with their friends.
What other venues in Hong Kong, or around the world, do you personally feel have stunning decor?
We like Stockton, and PDT (Please Don’t Tell) in New York is also very cool.
What does this award mean to your team at Post 97?
To get the seal of approval from our peers, in both hospitality and the interior design industry, is a great honour and affirmation on our work. We will continue to keep up the good work and develop other ideas and concept.
Penthouse, winner of the gold medal for Casual Dining, said they owe their success to their open plan design,“the people like our venue because when they come out from the elevator, they will see on our left side is a nice bar where they can see our bartender making cocktails, and on the right side is an open kitchen to see our chef making good food for customers.” And Penthouse said they hope that because of these awards more people will come to dine in their restaurant in the future.
Here is a full list of the winners from the night:
Gold: Silver Room (TUVE) with design by Design Systems
Silver: Gradini Ristorante E Bar Italiano (The Pottinger Hong Kong) with design by LCL Architects
Fine Dining Restaurant
Gold: Mott32 with design by Wang’s Studio
Silver: ÉPURE with design by Yabu Pushelberg
Casual Dining Restaurant
Gold:Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein with design by Kinney Chan and Associates
Silver:Kinsale with design by Kinney Chan and Associates
Gold:Post 97 with design by Positive Partnership
Silver:The Envoy with design by Artichaut
Gold:The Coffee Academic The Pulse with design by The Coffee Academics
Silver:LA STATION with design by Atelier E