As Art Basel Hong Kong prepares to open its doors at the end of the month, art goers need not fret that the creativity ends as they walk out the doors of the exhibition centre; and for those who are more gastronomes than art lovers, all the more reason to be excited. In celebration of the international art scene arriving on our shores, several hotels and restaurants have taken inspiration from the artworks to create and concoct their own edible masterpieces. These dishes although equal in its aesthetics, might just be easier to appreciate than the artworks on the wall.
The Mandarin Oriental Serving Up Treats for All Hours
The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong returns for the fourth time as the Official Hotel Partner for Art Basel Hong Kong. Apart from hosting its own art exhibition Surroundings & Influences at the Clipper Lounge, Uwe Opocensky is also back to serve his art-inspired three-course lunch or five-course dinner menu at the Michelin-starred Mandarin Grill + Bar.
The restaurant will be serving up artistic dishes like Street Art, Paint Box, and Art Excavation to delight its guests. For those who fancy a cocktail instead (or even after!), the hotel’s fashionable M bar will be offering art-inspired crafted cocktails inspired by the different sections of this year’s Art Basel: Insights, Discoveries, Encounters and Film.
The Surroundings & Influences exhibition will take place at the Clipper Lounge from March 4 to 12 April 2016 while the accompanying Afternoon Tea Set will be available only from 7 till 28 March. The treats on offer at the Mandarin Cake Shop will be on offer throughout the month of March.
The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. 5 Connaught Road, Central. +852 2522 0111. www.mandarinoriental.com. For dining reservations, call +852 2825 4007 for the Clipper Lounge or +852 2825 4004 for the Mandarin Grill + Bar.
The Langham: Crafting the Art of Dining on a Plate and in a Glass
The Langham hotel across the harbour, not to be outdone, will also offer its own art-inspired menu.
Award-winning local artist Michael Lam will unveil his latest collection called ‘Elements of Art’ that will be displayed in The Bostonian. The collection, depicting the artist’s interpretation of nature’s four elements, will also be transformed into a scrumptious four-course menu, consisting of Hokkaido Scallop and Sea Urchin as a cold appetiser, Iberico “Bellota” Ham served on planted migas crumb soil with porcini mushrooms and black truffle, a roasted Lamb and Boston Maine Lobster dish, and a sweet dessert of Blueberry and Lilac Flowers with sprinkled white chocolate.
The Langham’s Artesian bar will also be offering cocktails served up with handcrafted sketches by mixologist Rajendra “Rush” Limbu. Vincent van Gough’s Starry Night, Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, and Piet Mondrian’s Tableau I will be transformed into artistic libations with the cocktails serving as blank canvases for the depictions of these masterpieces.
The “Elements of Art Menu” and the Artesian’s art cocktails will be available from 23 March to 30 April 2016. Both require advanced reservations.
The Langham, Hong Kong. 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. +852 2375 1133. www.langhamhotels.com/hongkong. For dining reservations, call +852 2132 7898.
The Mira Whisks Together Fine Art, Fine Food and Fine Wine
The Mira Hong Kong will also bring its own art-inspired menu to its tables but with a more international outlook. Not limiting themselves to the exhibitors at Art Basel, the chefs of Whisk, the hotel’s restaurant have been scouring contemporary art from around the world to serve as inspiration for their creations, which include Five Nights, an appetiser that features an arrangement of botan ebi, scallop, hamachi, salmon and tuna under a charcoal seaweed cracker, and the expressionist main course A Difference that Makes a Difference that consists of premium cuts of Japanese A4 Wagyu and chocolate. Whisk will also be offering a wine pairing with the art menu, consisting of small-batch Tuscan wines by iconic wine-maker Bibi Graetz, whose selected reproductions of expressive paintings will be on display at the restaurant to coincide with the artistic offerings at Whisk.
For those that want the evening to last longer, The Mira’s open-air lounge Vibes will be transformed into a pop-up bar in partnership with Absolut Electrik and other local creative talents. The special cocktails on offer at the pop-up art bar, 36 Views of Mount Fuji, I Love Mona Lisa!, and Feel Electric, are created by Vibes’ mixologist James Tamang and fuses Absolut Vodkas with an eclectic mix of floral and fruity ingredients.
Both the art menu and art bar are available at The Mira from 10 – 26 March 2016. There will also be an Opening Night Party on 10 March to allow guests to sample the cocktails and a four-course preview menu at Whisk. Tickets for the Opening Night can be purchased online.
The Mira Hong Kong. 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. +852 2368 1111. www.themirahotel.com. For dining reservations, call +852 2315 5999.
Popsy Modern Kitchen: Eat More Art!
If swanky hotels aren’t your thing, or if you’re looking for a more intimate experience, the Popsy Modern Kitchen in Sheung Wan is just the place. Bringing together art and all-day dining, the restaurant will present artist Elisabeth Sonneck’s Infinite Nuances, a solo exhibition of colouristic experimental works, while simultaneously immersing guests’ palettes in the exhibition by creating a dessert and cocktails inspired by the vibrant colours of the works displayed.
Part of the five-course Infinite Nuances menu on offer, the dessert Crimson Tide, incorporates the technical precision of Sonneck’s brush stroke while channelling the evocative character of her paintings. Meanwhile the cocktails serve as a blank canvas for the team at Popsy’s to imitate and channel the colourful spectrums of Sonneck’s works. If you so desire, guests can also experience of creating the cocktails themselves by learning how to spray and transfer the artwork to the glass.
If you want something a little more hands-on after viewing the artworks, artist and creative founder of Popsy Modern Kitchen Jennifer Chung is on-hand and will offer Eat More Art workshops every Saturday till April. Each week, the workshops will traverse the different art movements across history, informing patrons to discover the art movements behind their favourite artist: Picasso and Cubism, Mondrian and Neoplasticism, Dali and Dadaism, Kusama and Feminist Art, Magritte and Surrealism, and of course Warhol and Pop Art.
Popsy Modern Kitchen’s Infinite Nuances menu and art-inspired cocktails will be available from 14 March 2016. The Eat More Art Workshops by Jennifer Chung takes place every Saturday from 3-5pm from 12 March till 16 April.
Popsy Modern Kitchen. 5/F The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Sheung Wan. +852 2907 8188. www.popsymodern.com.
An Out of This World Experience at The Peninsula
If you’re looking for something a little out of this world, then maybe the Felix at The Peninsula might be able to satisfy your post-Basel appetite. Chef Yoshiharu Kaji had turned his gaze to the skies to search for inspiration, and his five-course feast reflects the cosmic influences. His dishes fuse together colour and texture to recreate celestial bodies like the Sun, the Moon, comets and planets, some of which lend themselves to his dishes’ titles. Accompanying his space-inspired masterpieces are six specially created Absolut Vodka cocktails that are perfect both as an aperitif for Chef Kaji’s menu or enjoyed on their own. Drawing inspiration from Art Basel, the cocktails are based upon the different aspects of the art exhibition like The Exhibitors, Artful Tart and Trio Basel.
The six-course menu is available at Felix from 22 March until 17 April 2016. The Absolut Vodka cocktails are also available during the same period from 5.30pm onwards.
The Peninsula Hong Kong. Salisbury Road, Kowloon. +852 2920 2888 hongkong.peninsula.com.