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Fish School celebrates Hong Kong's fishing heritage

by Leona Liu on Mar 14, 2016 in Interiors
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Rendered in hues of blue reminiscent of the sea, the private dining room features a wall-sized window that peeks out onto one of Hong Kong’s
oldest stone walls

Rendered in hues of blue reminiscent of the sea, the private dining room features a wall-sized window that peeks out onto one of Hong Kong’s oldest stone walls

One of Hong Kong's newest restaurants, Fish School celebrates the city's age-old fishing heritage with a nostalgic outdoorsy approach to its design

Tapped by award-winning hospitality entrepreneur Yenn Wong for Fish School, Hong Kong-based designers Paola Sinisterra and Ignacio Garcia drew inspiration from the city's heritage and bygone days to create a nostalgic design for the new restaurant.

Set not far from the harbourfront in Sai Ying Pun, Fish School — conceived by Hong Kong-born chef David Lai, who is known for his love of seafood and knowledge of local produce — sits in the heart of Hong Kong's fishing heritage, where bustling local markets and fish stalls still can be found on many street corners.

Tucked away in an inconspicuous location off Sai Ying Pun's Third Street, the entryway features a lush jungle of rubber trees and other plant species often seen in Hong Kong's expansive countryside

Tucked away in an inconspicuous location off Sai Ying Pun's Third Street, the entryway features a lush jungle of rubber trees and other plant species often seen in Hong Kong's expansive countryside

Tucked away in an inconspicuous corner just off Third Street, the restaurant showcases its unique design right from the outdoor entrance. Pairing grit with greenery, the entryway features a lush jungle of rubber trees and other plant species often found in Hong Kong's expansive country parks, creating both an oasis and providing natural cooling away from the metropolitan's bustling rhythm.

Inside, the main dining area recalls an intimate yet stylish cabin. Nearly a third of the 50-seater restaurant's dining area surrounds an open kitchen at the bar, where a blackboard with handwritten menu introduces the catch of the day — seafood hand-picked by Lai from the local markets each morning. An aquatic tank houses seasonal fish, shrimp, lobsters and crabs, completing the scene of a traditional Hong Kong seafood restaurant.

The oak plywood wall cladding pays homage to the traditional wooden crates used to transport fresh fish from sea to market, complemented by a contemporary and stylish fish mural by artists Rocky Yip and James Woodward Jr of Entendre Studios

The oak plywood wall cladding pays homage to the traditional wooden crates used to transport fresh fish from sea to market, complemented by a
contemporary and stylish fish mural by artists Rocky Yip and James Woodward Jr of Entendre Studios

In search of an authentic, minimalist feel, Sinisterra and Garcia looked to Hong Kong's bygone days to help them choose the materials palette. "We wanted to use materials that resonate with the history and aesthetics of Hong Kong while trying to capture the appeal of the wet markets and traditional local shops," notes Sinisterra.

This is an excerpt from the "Fishing for Compliments” article from the March 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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