While the bar-restaurant-for-members combination has always been key to success in the city (ie. Dragon-i, KEE, Boujis, etc), a few have made “elegance”, “culture”, “art”, and “heritage”, as an F+B concept’s main characteristics. Duddell’s, the brainchild of founders Alan Lo, Paulo Pong, and Yenn Wong, located on Level 3 of the Shanghai Tang Mansion on 1 Duddell Street, gets at the cool factor by making sure it is the go-to destination for traditional Cantonese fare (yes regression is progression for most kids these days), and by surrounding the clientele with walls of curated art and cultural programming. The night I had my media tasting, we spent the first hour on Duddell’s lush Garden Terrace during one of it’s “Plastic Cups Nights”; an after work drinks programme to attract Hong Kong’s creative network with 40 HKD drinks to meet and greet under the stars.
But even without a “Plastic Cups Night” its a good idea to step out here and order a signature cocktail like the Gong Bi Mary, to just wet the palate.
The cantonese meal at Duddell’s, prepared by the culinary team of Executive Chef Siu Hin Chi of the Michelin starred T’ang Court, is completely focused on the classics, which is good for me! While there’s something on the menu for Hong Kong’s young foodies and old grannies alike, I myself feel like I’ve had a re-education on the the cuisine’s true flavours.
Even if I’ve fallen out of love of Cantonese food at several times, I feel romanced anew by the a new taste from the exact same dishes i’ve had everywhere else. Several times I would take a bite out of the Crispy Suckling Pig, the Barbecued Pork with Honey, and the Crispy Salted Chicken, and wondered out loud if this is what these dishes were supposed to taste like all along… and not like the ones i’ve been tasting on the street.