(Beijing / Shanghainese with a contemporary twist)
28/f, 1 Peking Rd
Lunch and dinner (Theres a HK$300 min charge per head for dinner. I think there probably is a min charge for lunch too but Im not sure what it is. I hear that the minimum charge has doubled now.)
This is one gorgeous restaurant. The view of HK island from its windows is stunning and its Chinese interiors extremely well-judged. The aggressive modernity of the space with its end-to-end ceiling to floor windows and brushed concrete floors is softened with a soothing palette of dark brown wood colours and nicely broken with carved screens and moon gate entrances into a variety of eating spaces. This is a place where a great deal of thought and attention has been invested in the entire design of the restaurant, and there is no better place to prove this than a visit to the toilets, where modern technology and an older Chinese aesthetic are combined in an extremely coherent manner. The food is in the same vein intelligently updated Chinese cuisine presented exquisitely and tasting so too.
If Im not wrong, Hutong is related to the various branches of Water Margin in Soho and in Times Square. They all share the same well-thought-through design aesthetic and carefully-crafted menu. If you desire a view, go to Hutong but if youre looking for a more intimate environment, the Soho branch of Water Margin on Peel Street is a better choice. The Times Square branch is beautifully designed but Im not a big fan of eating in a mall, even though to be fair once you are in the restaurant, you can hardly tell youre in a generic mall. My only complaint with Water Margin is portions they are a bit on the small side. With the minimum charge at Hutong in force, I ended up ordering more food than I would have normally so the problem of small portions was minimised.