An eclectic fusion of styles, cuisines, cultural influences, traditions and urban settings was the inspiration and starting point for the dark and masculine design for Ando restaurant in Hong Kong by Singapore-based design firm Brewin Design Office.
The Brewin design office team is led by its award-winning founder, Robert Cheng, known for example, for designing some of Singapore’s most luxurious homes. The team referenced the area in which the 30-seat Ando is located – the famous, often crowded restaurant and bar district Lan Kwai Fong in Central, Hong Kong.
Much construction and development has taken place in this dense urban environment in the past decade, and the designers cut an imaginary slice of this area’s character by using raw concrete, hammered stone and patina-finished metal as the core materials for the 140 square-metre (1,507 sq.ft) space.
Thick-walled arches and a bulky “chimney” feature that descends from the ceiling to spotlight a sculpture add to the feeling of weight and structural solidity. Subtle surface textures further enhance the dark-hued, industrial feel.
Starting with his Italian and Spanish family background, Ando’s Argentinian chef Agustin Ferrando Balbi furthered his international experience by working in famous restaurants in New Orleans and Buenos Aires. He then honed his craft in several of Tokyo’s Michelin starred restaurants, including Nihonryori Ryugin and Zurriola.
Moving to Hong Kong in 2016, he became the head chef at the Japanese restaurant Haku. Balbi brings all of these influences into his special variety of fusion cuisine for Ando, his first solo restaurant in which he is also co-owner with the Hong Kong-based global hospitality group JIA Group. Tuija Seipell.