Following a complete makeover that includes an entirely new look and attitude, the Grand Café at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong has re-opened with a stunning new design by Melbourne firm BAR Studio.
The impressively sized restaurant, located on the lobby level of the luxury 5-star harbourside hotel, has been a local institution on Hong Kong Island since the Grand Hyatt opened in 1989. Bringing the venue into the 21st century, BAR Studio’s redesign interprets the Grand Café for a new era without losing touch with its context and history.
Led by Stewart Robertson, Principal/Director of BAR Studio, the new concept includes a series of spaces, each with their own identity, interest and strength, working together to form a dynamic café-restaurant environment.
Catering for both a la carte and buffet dining, with dishes prepared by rising star Chef de Cuisine Marc Briol, the new café is a modern interpretation of a classic hawkers’ market. A large-scale pavilion – housing Asian, Western and patisserie kitchens – forms the spine of the design. This spine links the two areas of the restaurant and turns what was previously a corridor into the active heart of the space.
“The “hawker market” open kitchen layout of the Grand Café is both an operational and design decision,” highlights the designer Stewart Robertson. “It creates more efficiency by taking everything out of the back of house kitchen and putting it in the front of house. And that in turn creates more theatre in the space.”
At the entry, adjacent to the lobby space, an intimate new café component is made distinct from the lobby with a glass and timber slatted façade. Here, a beverage bar and tall display cases filled with delicious cakes invite guests in to the rich and contemporary space featuring a hint of Asian and old-world charm.
Beyond this, the café component opens up to a remarkable double-height space exploding with light. It’s a dramatic, bistro-style dining pavilion where the theatrical activity on display in the kitchens is the focus.
Soaring windows and a classically simple timber floor complement the steel and slatted timber pavilion. The architecture scales the space into intimate zones and, together with cosy booth seating, allows all seats in the Grand Café to be desirable, whether dining in a group or on one’s own.
Half a level up inside the pavilion, a large-scale Asian kitchen bustles in this section of the restaurant, with all the vibrancy and excitement of a fabulously authentic Hong Kong dining destination.
On the menu at the Grand Café are beloved signature dishes such as the restaurant’s famous Hainanese Chicken Rice with organic vegetables, chicken broth and Asian herbs, and the Hong Kong favourite Egg White Fried Rice with crab meat, asparagus and ginger. New culinary creations include Rosemary and Lemon Grilled French Spring Chicken. Paired with chef Marc Briol’s dishes is an extensive wine list with reds and whites from across the world, such as Riesling from Germany, Pinot Grigio from Italy, and Malbec from Argentina. The Champagne selection lists Bollinger, vintage Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer to name a few.