Not being well-versed in the traditions of colonial Hong Kong, when I saw this restaurant was located in the territory’s former Junior Police Call Clubhouse, I assumed it was once a social club for the constables of the force to blow off steam without the senior officers there to put a damper on things. But no, Hong Kong has a youth police organisation like the Air Cadets, and this is where one of the branches used to meet. Aberdeen Street Social now occupies the building under the leadership of restaurateur Jason Atheron and entrepreneur Yenn Wong. Together their partnership is behind some of the region’s most celebrated restaurants, and here in Hong Kong’s PMQ development they have commissioned Shanghai-based firm Neri & Hu Design Research Office to work its magic.
Both floors of the restaurant enjoy outdoor spaces, as well as a garden wrapping around the building breathing life into the city centre location. Downstairs there’s a terrace surrounding a cocktail bar and café which does all-day drinks and casual dining, and upstairs is the more formal dining area with a private room and balcony. Suspended mirrors give the rooms an unexpected dimension, reflecting light around in interesting ways, and there’s more direct visual interest from the far-out patterned Hypnagogia installation. Furthermore, when a business lunch turns into an old-fashioned all-day beano, Aberdeen Street Social even provides a fake sicknote to present to the boss excusing your absence from work, and giving a prognosis on your likely return based on the amount of refreshment taken on board. How very thoughtful!