Dinner restrictions in Hong Kong have eased starting tonight, and while everyone is looking forward to finally reconvening with friends (groups up to 4 are allowed) and having that cocktail at a respectable hour, we are feeling rather sentimental. We do what we do every day out of an abundant love of and commitment to hospitality. While dinner service is undoubtedly a crucial boon to our business, the meaning in our work goes far beyond the bottom line: It is serving familiar faces, the thrill and sense of togetherness that permeates a packed dining room, and the creative outlet in finding ways to create memories through every element of our experiential dining, from the details to the grand gestures.
Just as you have missed your favourite vodka pasta at Carbone, wine dates at Associazione Chianti or sake-fuelled evenings at Fukuro, we have missed seeing our regular guests and making memories during those special evenings that cause you to return time and again: from the tableside flourishes to the stocked gin carts and roaming dessert trolleys, and the special events, be it birthdays or anniversaries, that you choose to celebrate with us. Dinner should be an occasion, and we are ready to light the candles, set the mood, hit play on the soundtrack, and bring back the sharing dishes you know and love.
The rollercoaster ride of restaurant restrictions during the past year has served as a lesson in adaptation, patience and sacrifice for many of our team of chefs and restaurant workers, be it front-of-house, kitchen or operations. Our hearts are filled with excitement for this long-awaited return of nightly service, and we are looking forward to seeing all of our guests in full force again, with a drink or three to celebrate! Here are some of the things our team are most looking forward to.
JJQ, The Last Resort
The nervous excitement at 5.50pm just before a busy service and walking through SoHo as the lights come on. You can feel the neighbourhood buzz around you.
Amy Stott, Fukuro
Looking through the reservations and recognising the names of our champions who will be joining us. We always try and spot a repeat guest and thank them for choosing to dine with us again. For new guests, we try to give them that positive memory that will turn them into a regular.
Dipti Budhrani, Artemis & Apollo
Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ really loudly, or that look of surprise on a guest’s face when we ask them to stand on their chair, shout ‘Yamas’ and smash a plate for their birthday! As a team, if we can be a part of making someone’s night special, then we’ve done our job.
Melody Li, La Vache!
When you look at your watch, realise the time has flown by, and you can kick back with your team. There’s nothing like that feeling of taking the pressure off your feet at the end of a busy, non-stop night of running around the restaurant. It’s a feeling that has to be earned.
Gigi Nicolas, BELON
A team tasting of new dishes during pre-dinner briefing and knowing that guests are in for some amazing flavours. We can’t wait to see the reaction in the dining room.
Brian Ferguson, Chôm Chôm
The music, the playlists, the buzz of running a busy door. When guests have had that one drink too many and simply don’t want the night to end.