Named for the father of London's first Chinatown, John Anthony Hong Kong, Maximal Concepts' latest restaurant offers modern dim sum in a space that fuses elements of Asia and late 18th-century England
The latest venue from Hong Kong dining group Maximal Concepts, John Anthony is a modern Cantonese grill and dim sum restaurant with its roots firmly in the past. Located in the heart of Causeway Bay, in the basement of Lee Garden Three, it is named for the first Chinese person to be naturalised as a British citizen, by an act of Parliament in 1805.
John Anthony is a modern Cantonese grill and dim sum restaurant with its roots firmly in the past
An employee of the East India Company, John Anthony travelled from Asia to London's East End docklands to manage the welfare of the company's Indian and Chinese sailors and later became known as the "father of Limehouse", the city's first Chinatown.John Anthony Hong Kong was designed by Shanghai-based firm Linehouse, co-founded by Perspective 40 Under 40 winners 2017, Alex Mok and Briar Hickling. Its design is inspired by the journey made by Anthony and explores and fuses architectural styles and materials from Asia, British colonies and the storehouses of London's 18th- and 19th-century docklands, where the Chinese sailors were housed, to create a British tea hall turned Chinese canteen.
Entering the basement via a staircase of white metal and diffused backlit glass offers a foretaste of what is to come. Downstairs, guests find terracotta render walls, an arched ceiling clad in pink tiles, and a lime green terrazzo floor. High-level mirrors expand the space through infinite reflections of the arches.
The main dining hall is an interpretation of the docklands' storehouses with a modern vaulted space that plays on verticality, lightness and Wes Anderson-style whimsy with circular canopy columns in dusty-pink lacquer and white metal arches surrounded by terracotta render. The terracotta tiles paving the main dining hall were sourced from abandoned houses in rural China.Backlighting in the uppermost arches allows for shifting light effects throughout the day and night, while more arches behind the bar highlight an expansive collection of gins. Behind the bar, vertical tubes filled with gin are infused with blends of botanicals once found along the spice Private dining rooms are decorated with hand-painted wall tiles featuring large-scale illustrations of commodities traded between the British and Chinese in the 18th century, such as medicinal plants and exotic animals. Overhead is a hand-shaped arched plaster ceiling.
Even the bathrooms reference the spice trade, with walls bedecked in a custom laminate in green, mustard and turquoise, custom copper-mounted vanities, and a green, arched ceiling
A room behind the bar welcomes guests to a series of floral booths separated by cream linen curtains on copper rails. Hand-dyed indigo linen envelops the ceiling. Even the bathrooms reference the spice trade, with walls bedecked in a custom laminate in green, mustard and turquoise, custom copper-mounted vanities, and a green, arched ceiling.
Photos. Jonathan Leijonhufvud Architectural Photography
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