Autoban’s Award Winning Interiors Set the Stage for 208 Duecento Otto; the Mother of All Hong Kong’s Pizzerias. Mamma Mia!

Some people think that i’m the go-to guy for all things “TO-DO” in Hong Kong, but in the end of the day, I’m the one left behind for the most obvious of destinations. Let’s take the Sheung Wan hit Italian Eatery, 208 Duecento Otto, for example. The first time I came here was actually last month when I met gal-about-town, Rachel Pollard, for Sunday Brunch. Being both a foodie and a design geek, I was quite shocked myself when I hadn’t even been inside 208 for a quick cocktail. I had no idea and no good excuse as to why i’ve put off coming here for so long, but I guess one week after another, i’ve always just been too busy to actually stop by and take a look at the glam interiors by Turkish Design Firm, Autoban. By then, 208 Duecento Otto has already been named by Wallpaper* and ELLE Decor China magazines as being one of the World’s Top 5 Best Restaurant Interiors in 2010.

208 on Hollywood Road, the House that Napolitana Pizza Built.

It’s no secret weapon, but 208 Duecento Otto clearly wins the mother of all HK’s Pizzarias due to the fact that their Napolitana style Pizza is completely baked in a real Napolitana Oven shipped to Hong Kong direct from Naples. Take it from me, I had the real deal in Naples and Im impressed by this Pizza’s authenticity. Plenty of people have criticized the pizza here because they think its too thin or too difficult to pick up. For myself, I find the pizza perfect. Napolian Pizza, in my opinion, is supposed to be that paper thin! In Naples we had the whole pizza to ourselves and we would just take each piece, roll/fold it up, and eat it like a taco. :) It’s completely Kosher I tell you.

Imagine a crispy crust, and a paper thin body that oozes with Tomato Sauce, Cheese, and Peperoni just dripping. And that’s Pizza Naples Style. This below is a snapshot of my pizza at 208 with Rachel that Sunday. Anyway Elfie C. will be giving us the dish on 208’s food and chef, Enzo Carbone in a few days, so watch this space. :)

Set in a two-storied venue, formerly a meat storage warehouse, 208 Duecento Otto is a 4,000 square foot space that combines a lively bar downstairs with a more intimate upstairs dining room, both with semi-outdoor seating that overlooks Hollywood Road. 

The Restaurant Area’s interior walls, were inspired by traditional miniatures on ceramics which are a large part of ancient Turkish culture. For Hong Kong, Autoban replaced the figures with Chinese illustrations and printed them in blue and white.

The Bar Area and Terrace on L1 with their award-wining Nest chairs makes all guests feel extremely relaxed and comfortable upon entrance, as well as keeping the atmosphere low-key with a cool neighborhood oriented flare.

The Intimate Private Dining Room in the back is outfitted with a pair of beautiful glass cubed chandeliers and a feature wall composed of meshed glass and an array of vintage wines. The whole place screams “Imelda Marcos”… purely in a whole 80’s-Dynasty-stylistic way.

My favorite part of 208’s design, the unique interior metal staircase that leads up to the restaurant. To reflect the concept of bringing an Italian restaurant from the New York scene, Autoban used industrial materials such as steel and particular types of steel joins, inspired by New York City’s MEPA (Meat Packing District), and decorative ceiling paneling, an interior detail also common in the Big Apple.

Another important factor was the inclusion of the custom-designed pizza oven from Naples, giving the restaurant that typical Italian restaurant atmosphere and providing familiar Italian aromas to awaken the senses of people dining there.

From Autoban’s Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar:

We were inspired by the district surrounding 208, and used that and the New York vibe and Italian menu to create the design story within the space. Art and design play a large part in the make-up of the restaurant’s surroundings, creating a fresh Bohemian energy that we hope to have captured. The restaurant design was initially intended to support and strengthen this atmosphere in which it is situated.

Fantastic and Tasty! Who wants to go again?! I’m having a whole pizza for myself this time.

+ AUTOBAN ONLINE

Established in 2003 by Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar, Autoban is a design studio operating in the fields of interior design, architecture and product development. Transcending the borders of interior design, Autoban creates unique experiences and offers a lifestyle where spaces are not made but discovered. Autoban has been recognised globally for their inspired designs. In 2004, the Autoban duo were named “Best Young Designers” by Wallpaper magazine, were awarded “Best Newcomer” by Blueprint magazine following their participation at 100% Design in London in 2005, and were also the Blueprint “Bursary Winner” that year, amongst a few other accolades later on the their careers.

208 DUECENTO OTTO, 208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong / +(852) 2549 0208 / info@208.com.hk

JJ.

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