An invitation to leave the crowded Hong Kong streets behind, seeking refuge in a poetic setting that suggests the imagery of the ‘old world’ and its refinement. In his first restaurant Estro, created in collaboration with the hospitality group JIA, the famous chef Antimo Maria Merone offers a context that reflects his Neapolitan roots, adding new levels of creativity and style through modern cooking methods, in tasting menus that rewrite the rules of Italian cuisine. An avant-garde culinary voyage through ancestral memories, history and childhood, which had to be accompanied by an equally fascinating spatial experience.
For the interiors, Andre Fu Studio has worked in close contact with Antimo, precisely to convey that sense of enchantment and fantasy, transporting diners into a dimension that relies on the colors, character and style of a luxurious residence in the historical center of Naples. The spirit of innovation pervades every aspect of Estro, including the tableware custom made by the Italian craftsman Vincenzo Del Monaco.
“My goal was to create a visual journey in line with the chef’s culinary philosophy,” says André Fu. “Avoiding clichés, the setting provides a personal interpretation of Italian history, balanced by an avant-garde artistic spirit. It is a dreamy, filmic landscape, suggesting an abstract revision in the manner of Jean Cocteau and Gio Ponti.”
Upon arrival, guests follow a concrete corridor leading to a richly decorated reception area: a foyer clad in Verde Chantillon marble and emerald wallcoverings, separated from the main dining room by an elaborate arched metal gate. A strong sensation of visual symmetry produced by the undulating profiles of the walls embraces the room, where the atmosphere is opulent but warm, formulated in a variegated palette of terracotta, sage green and turquoise blue tones.
The design elements take their cue from traditional Italian crafts, from panels in walnut briar to intricate inlays in stucco on the handpainted walls and Calacatta marble, in a context of perfect harmony with the custom furnishings. The sinuous curves are enhanced by decorative lighting fixtures – also custom made – in cast bronze and ceramic.
A series of intimate alcoves is provided for semi-private meals, framed by paintings of dancing silhouettes by Elsa Jeandedieu. The private dining room for 10 place settings is in aqua blue tones, with extraordinary wallpaper bearing Amalfi amaryllis motifs and striking dome-shaped lamps suspended from the ceiling.
Guests passing through for a quick espresso, aperitif or after-dinner drink can enjoy the Music Room, offering over 20 Italian liquors to sample in a calm, relaxing atmosphere of sculptural sofas and armchairs, luxurious floors and inlaid walls.