A restaurant which mirrors the soul of its own chef, naturally. The designer Joyce Wang interprets the Rhoda, Nathan Green’s Hong Kong-based restaurant in partnership with the catering entrepreneur Yenn Wong of JIA Group. Inspiration develops around a play on subtle references to the British chef’s culinary philosophy and passions. Beyond two large sliding portals in raw steel lies a world unscathed by the frantic rhythms of the Sai Ying Pun area, opening out onto an architectonic space constituting a veritable aesthetic narration.
At the centre of the ample open space area, the cocktail bar counter and open kitchen face each other and reign supreme in the visual and gastronomic scene. Material and decorative choices, along with furnishings and lighting by Joyce Wang Studio, add an original and vibrant touch to the industrial atmosphere. The walls and columns are clad in wood and sport a “charred” look, obtained using the ancient Japanese technique of Shou Sugu Ban, a finishing used in vernacular architecture involving the fire treatment of cedar wood to preserve it over time. Inside the Rhoda, this charred effect is an explicit reference to a preference for “Nate” cuisine, the grill – the restaurant’s heart. The original chandelier exudes smoky notes and is made from upcycled, flame-blackened washing machine barrels. It sheds light over the large table which is an ode to conviviality, whereas warm and amber tones are obtained by the use of copper, which manifests itself in oxidised green on the bar counter, or in its original hues, originally applied to bar zone lighting. The designer is renowned for his selection of unusual materials for the creation of intriguing and surprising combinations.
Here cement and metal net have been used to finish the walls, and barber’s brushes hang from copper tubes in “Nate’s Room”. For those in search of a complete experience, this small dining room for six people, reminiscent of a vintage barber’s shop, is an invitation to discover the chef’s “quirks”.
Client: JIA Group
Interior designer: Joyce Wang Studio
Artifacts: Banquettes, Dark Timber Chair, Bar stools by IF Collections; Washing Machine drums, Bar lights, Bathroom Lights by Joyce Wang Studio; Gauged Wood Tables by Pun Projects; Large Dining Table by RailisDesign
Photo credits: Lit Ma