In Hong Kong, everyday activities can be elevated, quite literally – just visit some of the rooftop restaurants in the city for proof. Or better still, head to Popinjays at the top of the newly opened hotel The Murray, Hong Kong to soak in the city views while partaking in upscale European fare crafted from seasonal ingredients, or drop by the bar for snacks, cocktails and music.
The 25-storey Murray Building was an important civic landmark, designed by British modernist architect Ron Phillips in 1969. After undergoing a HK$4.4 billion heritage renovation, carried out by Foster + Partners, it has transformed into a luxury hotel that retains the building’s original name. The Murray features several eating and drinking spots, but Popinjays, on the top floor, trumps them all. That’s thanks in part to the rooftop restaurant’s stunning panoramic views of the city’s majestic skyline and Hong Kong Park below.
Popinjays takes its name from the cockatoos that reside along the neighbouring Garden Road, in Hong Kong Park and in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. These birds are known to flock together, rarely flying solo – hence the restaurant’s name, reflecting the bird’s sociable spirit. Bearing all the hallmarks of a sophisticated cosmopolitan restaurant, Popinjays is a purpose-built glass pavilion perched atop the hotel. It enjoys abundant natural light during the day and offers epic twinkling views at night of the surrounding areas, right to the harbour and beyond.
A 4,500-square-foot outdoor terrace, dotted with inviting lounges and comfortable couches, wraps around and frames the indoor dining area. Along with a world- class selection of classic cocktails, bespoke creations and speciality spirits, guests can choose from a variety of bar snacks while taking in the sights.
Inside, the space is a composition of cool greys, bold blues and gold accents. On the walls are colourful artworks by American artist and designer Brian Donnelly (aka Kaws). Private dining room The Aviary seats up to 14 guests, making it ideal for business gatherings, celebratory occasions or exclusive dinners.
The restaurant is helmed by chef Didier Quennouelle, who brings 25 years of experience to the Popinjays kitchen and delivers a modern European-inspired menu. Drawing on the traditions of French gastronomy, the chef interprets classic dishes with his creative flair that has a distinctive Gallic influence. From Tuesday to Thursday, guests can choose from a four- or six-course seasonal degustation menu that changes weekly. A curated selection of vintage champagnes and wines complements the dining experience.
Every Friday and Saturday, diners can look forward to the party-prompting Birds of a Feather menu. Available for a minimum of four guests, it features a selection of shared dishes and free-flow cocktails. Transitioning from day to night, a resident DJ spins a smooth blend of chilled tunes and hot mixes from Wednesday to Saturday. Now that’s our kind of party.
Popinjays, 26/F, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3141 8888
This feature originally appeared in the September/October 2018 print issue of #legend