January 15th, 2012

 

FELIX is a glamorous and evocative restaurant located on the top two levels of The Peninsula Hong Kong, overlooking Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. Felix was  created in 1994 for The Peninsula Hong Kong by the prolific designer Philippe Starck- globally renowned for his distinctive avant-garde designs of myriad objects and spaces- everything from furniture and tableware, to yachts, hotels and restaurants-  an illustrious career now spanning over three decades. The Peninsula Hong Kong is consistently ranked as one of the finest luxury hotels in the world and is the flagship property in the Peninsula group of nine luxury hotels located in other major global cities including Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, New York and Beverley Hills. Founded in 1928 The Peninsula Hong Kong has a rich history, and is the only surviving historic luxury hotel in Hong Kong.

When it first opened, Felix was a bold statement at variance with the  Peninsula group’s perceived conservative style of luxury- its dramatically surreal interior evoking emotions of surprise, fantasy and imagination. Testament to the unique creative genius of the Philippe Starck design is that 18 years later, Felix can still evoke the same exuberant responses from both first time visitors, and the many repeat guests, and remains as fresh and inspiring as on its opening day.

Felix is primarily a restaurant serving Modern European cuisine. Under the direction of Chef Yoshiharu Kaji,who arrived at Felix from The Peninsula Tokyo in 2011, a new, refreshed menu has been introduced specialising in clean, simple and innovative combinations of the finest seasonal produce. In addition to the restaurant dining, Felix offers guests a range of experiences in distinctly featured zones within the overall space. These include the Wine Bar, The Balcony, The American Bar, The Crazy Box, and The Long Table. To visit Felix is a truly memorable experience, and at a point time in Hong Kong where rooftop dining and drinking spaces have proliferated, Felix retains its compelling originality and appeal.  Felix is an extraordinary zone of glamour and sophistication- where guests can appreciate fine contemporary cuisine and sumptuous cocktails, complimented with the spectacular views over the Hong Kong and Kowloon skylines.

 

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The restaurant space- with the two featured  ”snail” curving aluminium & zinc structures and entrance passage in the background

 

The “Felix” experience commences from the moment guests enter the two, custom-designed, “mood-changing” lifts that operate from the lobby level directly to the 28th floor. The brief journey transports visitors from the ultra-materialism of the Hong Kong streets to the surreal interior of Felix, and provides both dramatic contrast to, and connections with, the essence of contemporary Hong Kong.  Entering from the dimly lit, dark panelled lift lobby into the  main restaurant floor space- with its soaring double height ceiling and floor-to-ceiling glass walls on both sides- at once provokes reactions and emotion. Spectacular views of both the Kowloon urban sprawl on the one side, and the stunning Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island on the other, actually take secondary precedence to the extraordinary avant-garde interior that envelopes the visitor. The multi-faceted elements of the interior become apparent- the two zinc and aluminium cylindrical “snail” structures to either side of the entrance, and at the end of the main dining room, the dramatically formed-aluminium wall, and standing on a raised platform, The Long Table area.

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The entrance passageway leading from the elevators into the restaurant

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The Wine Bar- enclosed within the base of one of the cylindrical “snail” structures- an intimate setting for enjoying wine or champagne by the glass

 

Each of the two bodacious “snail” structures contain two distinct feature spaces. In the “snail” on the Kowloon side of the entrance, the lower internal space holds The Wine Bar- a softly lit, intimate space, and directly above, accessed by a spiral staircase of lighted perspex, The Balcony presents an entirely different outlook- with an open view across the main restaurant space and through the lightly curtained glass walls to the Kowloon skyline beyond.  Molded aluminium chairs and tables are placed on a floor of glass panels lighted from beneath by Philip Starck designed “O’Kelvin” candle lamps.

The “snail” structure on the Island side contains on the lower level The Crazy Box- an enclosed, soundproofed dance space, with its unique “footprint floor” that illuminates the footprints of dancers as they make their moves. And in the space above is The American Bar- a stylish cocktail bar that features a circular shaped marble bar counter, and an adjacent communal table which overlooks Victoria Harbour and the Island beyond.

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The Balcony – a space above The Wine Bar  for enjoying tasters and light dishes with drinks

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Lighted spiral staircases of the two feature cylinder-shaped  ”snail” structures- lead up to The American Bar and The Balcony, respectively.

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The circular marble bar counter and lounge seating of The American Bar

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Communal table at The American Bar

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Looking down on the restaurant from The American Bar

The main restaurant is an opulent space- with towering bronze sheaved pillars prominent at each end of the room, and the full glass walls on both sides filling the room with alternatively daylight, and the spectacular nighttime lights of the Hong Kong and Kowloon office towers. Tables are generously spaced across the floor, and the avant-garde theme extends to details such as the tableware which feature signature Starck pieces such as cheese graters and corkscrews.  The famous Starck  ”Loius XV Ghost” chairs feature at some tables, on the main floor the dining chairs are the signature “XO Leather”- each with cloth seat back covers featuring the portraiture of leading Peninsula staff members- past and present.

Diners at Felix are presented with iPads featuring an interactive presentation of Chef Kaji’s menu- with colorful photos of each dish, tasting notes and  characteristics for the wine selections, and a digital sommelier that can suggest the best wines to match the diner’s mood and menu selections. The dishes created by Chef Kaji represent the blending of his Japanese culinary background with the essential elements of fine Modern European cuisine. The assemblage of dishes feature finest quality seasonal produce, prepared with a Japanese influence, resulting  in an innovative, uncomplicated presentation. Some Appetizer highlights – Canada Scallop and Bottarga Ceviche with Tomato Dressing,Sweet Shrimp Sashimi with Miso Mayonnaise,Sea Urchin with Crustacean Mousse; Duck Rillette with Parma Ham,Jellified Anchovy Dressing, Charred Seasonal Vegetable; and Marinated Maitake Mushrooms with Deep-fried Rice Fish,Coconut and Sesame Oil Powder . Main dishes include Tasmanian Salmon with Lime Crumble,Smoked Salmon Tartar, Creamy Braised Leek, Cheese Penne, Boiled Mini Potato;  Roasted French Pigeon Breast, Sautéed Eggplant and Duck Liver,Balsamico-red Port Jelly; and Roasted Japanese Beef Tenderloin, Jerusalem Artichoke Cream,Sautéed Vegetables and Garlic-potato Sabayon. And finally some selections from the Dessert menu- Mascarpone and Strawberry Mousse, Sable and Pop Candy Chocolate Cookies and Strawberry Ice Cream; and Bitter Chocolate Parfait, Sea Salt-caramel Ice Cream, Pop Chocolate.

Special set dinner menus are offered at attractive prices- an early set dinner of three courses and a glass of wine, served between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm, is priced at HK$460 per person; and the “Felix Experience” is a five course set menu, served all night at HK$850 per person (without wine pairing), and at HK$1350 per person, with a glass of wine paired with each course.

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The main restaurant dining floor- with the “Long Table” and aluminium wall in the background

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The covers on the chairs in the dining room feature portraitures of notable staff members from the history of The Peninsula.  At front right is the face of Mr. Felix Berger- the restaurant’s namesake and 40 year veteran of the hotel- including three-times General Manager; and the front left cover photo is of the Felix Chef-  Chef Yoshiharu Kaji.

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The “Long Table” – performs double function as either a dining / cocktail table, or when a Philippe Starck -designed cover is added, a catwalk for fashion shows

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The Ladies washroom- overlooking Victoria Harbour & Hong Kong Island ( The Gentlemen’s washroom faces the opposite side- with Kowloon city views)

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A Felix bartender serving up a “Lavender” cocktail @ The American Bar


The Beverages Menu at Felix, in addition to the extensive wine list, features champagnes and wines by the glass, premium spirits, and the signature “Felix Cocktails“.

Also on the Bar Menu is the  ”Snack Experience“-  a selection of three dishes that are paired with a glass of wine ( choice of four different wines).

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“Lavender”- Belvedere Vodka, Bols Parfait Amour, Eldeflower Cordial, Warburn Chardonnay

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“Fraise Royale” – Fresh strawberry, Creme de Fraise, Peninsula Champagne

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“Southside”- Absolut Mandarin, Rum, Blue Caracao, fresh juice

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“TMG”- Tequila, Midori & Grapefruit Juice

 

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FELIX at The Peninsula Hong Kong

Address: 28th Floor, SalisburyRoad, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon. Hong Kong
MTR: TST station -  3 minutes walk
Reservations: +852. 2315 3188
Website: www.peninsula.com/Hong_Kong
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ThePeninsulaHongKong

Opening hours: Daily
Dinner:
6:00 pm ~ 10:30 pm
Snacks: 6:00 pm ~ 12:30 pm
Drinks: 5:00 pm ~ 1:30 am

Dress Code: Smart Casual

Dedicated elevators to FELIX – located in Peninsula Arcade- direct to 28th floor