January 20th, 2012
The Pawn occupies the upper three levels of a restored heritage building in the Wanchai area of Hong Kong Island. Originally constructed in the 1880’s as a series of 4 Chinese style residential tenement houses, the building was restored in 2003 under the direction of a Hong Kong government authority- and the premises leased out for commercial purposes. The Pawn presents a unique dining experience, within a historic building featuring interiors that evoke a traditional British style of lounge and dining rooms, and with a kitchen team serving contemporary British cuisine. The three levels each have their own distinct style and function- the first floor became the Living Room, the second floor is the Dining Room, and on the rooftop is the open-air terrace of the Roof Garden.
The Pawn is owned and operated by the highly regarded PressRoom Group – whose other dining outlets in Hong Kong include The Press Room, The News Room, and a series of Classified neighbourhood cafes. The location enjoys proximity to the bustling Wanchai nightlife, but with sufficient separation to retain its own identity and dignified outlook. The Pawn has earned a solid reputation and popularity with discerning local Hong Kong residents as a destination for relaxed “chill-out” drinks along the spacious balconies, rooftop terrace and indoor lounges, and for the fine Modern British cuisine served in the dining room. And it is firmly on the radar of tourists due to its historic heritage status, the eclectic interior design and furnishings, and prime location on the Johnston Road tramway.
The Woo Cheong Pawnshop Building Cluster on Johnston Road- dating from 1880’s
Known locally as the Woo Cheong Pawnshop Building, it was originally constructed as four residential “shophouses” in a style that blended Chinese and European architectural influences. In the course of the restoration work in 2003, the internal walls separating the four original terraces were knocked out to create a flow of connected rooms across each floor. Many of the original design features were preserved in the process- the narrow terrazzo staircases leading to the first floor, the balcony balustrades and urns on the rooftop. The interiors of The Pawn were designed to recreate a retro feel- with an eclectic mixture of antique furniture, light fittings and other decorative items. Reclaimed timbers from old ships were crafted to form the ceilings and wall fittings. The interior rooms on the first and second floors open onto the spacious exterior, full length balconies through folding French style timber shutters, where vintage wicker and wrought iron chairs are mixed with modern sofas to provide both lounge and dining options.
The Living Room on the first floor- middle section. Antique furnishings juxtaposed with contemporary copper light fittings.
The Living Room on the first floor with full length Chesterfield sofas and vintage timber chairs and tables
Outdoor balcony tables on the first floor- overlooking the Johnston Road tram line
The concept behind The Pawn was to invoke an experience of entering a house, progressing first from the street level via the narrow, curving terrazzo staircase to the casual refinement of the first floor Living Room, with its leather Chesterfield sofas, vintage timber chairs and tables providing the setting for drinks, snacks and social engagement. Moving up to the next floor- the Dining Room– the guest finds a series of elegant dining spaces- with vintage timber tables and chairs, white table clothes and classy table settings. Large framed panels of a local artist’s modern interpretation of Cantonese calligraphy hang on the walls. Other features include the intimate, white marble topped oyster counter, and the open kitchen. Finally, moving up to the rooftop level, the Roof Garden is an open-air space, designed for casual after-dinner drinks- the retro theme continued with reclaimed raw timber panelling on walls, verdant greenery, and vintage style timber and wrought iron chairs and table settings to take in the fantastic night views over the lights of Wanchai.
Oyster counter on the second floor Dining Room space
The Dining Room on the second floor- elegant dining settings
Outdoor dining tables on the balcony of the second floor- part of the Dining Room
Open kitchen on the Dining Room floor
The open-air rooftop terrace garden- lush greenery, and tables for casual evening drinks
Wrought iron table setting on the roof top terrace- with fabulous views over the Wanchai skyline
The cuisine style at The Pawn is Modern British- a cuisine made internationally famous by British celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. Modern British cooking focuses on using fresh, high quality local ingredients, incorporating them into traditional British recipes, with contemporary innovations, and blended with multicultural influences from Mediterranean, North African, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. Being an island nation, various species of freshly caught fish- cod, haddock, trout, oysters- are important ingredients in Modern British cuisine. Recently joining The Pawn as Head Chef, Anthony Fletcher has refreshed the Dining Room menu, drawing on his extensive experience cooking at a number of celebrated fine dining establishments in the UK.
The Dining Room menu features contemporary interpretations of classic British dishes such as: Pot–Roasted Wild Pheasant- seared breast & confit leg, koffman cabbage, truffled potato mousse & game sauce; Roasted Rack of Free–Range Berkshire Pork- rubbed with sage & wholegrain mustard, served with granny smith apple sauce, crackling & thyme gravy ; and Organic Irish Sea Trout-served with Brussels sprouts, young turnips, olive oil mash, lemon purée & roasted chestnuts. The menu for the Living Room features dishes such as Ploughman’s platter with crusty bread; Homemade Pie of the day, chips; The Pawn Sharing Platter- Mini battered fish and chips, devils on horseback, devilled whitebait, crispy pig’s ears. Served with a selection of dips; and English Breakfast, toasted open sandwich.
Weekend Set Brunches in the Dining Room are always popular- and feature selections of Starters, Brunch dishes, Sunday Roasts & Rotisseries, and Desserts & Savouries.
Chicken & Foie Gras Pressing ( available in the Dining Room only)- leeks, wild mushrooms, pistachios, sauternes jelly & spiced pear
Fish & chips (available in the Living Room only)– with peas & homemade tartare sauce
Pot–Roasted Wild Pheasant (available in the Dining Room only)- seared breast & confit leg, koffman cabbage, truffled potato mousse & game sauce
The drinks options at The Pawn are highlighted by an extensive selection of specially concocted cocktails, an impressive wine and champagne list featuring vintages from world-wide premier wine districts. And single malt whiskys complimented by a selection of vintage cigars that runs to three pages.
The cocktail categories include- The Pawn Collection– unique, contemporary creations such as Pawn Broker- Grey Goose vodka, wild raspberry liqueur, shaken cold with muddled fresh raspberries and a touch of homemade raspberry syrup; Dragon fruit Mojito- Flor de Cana 4yr rum, mint, dragon fruit pieces, lime, pear juice and soda water; and The Pawn signature cocktail– Chinese Lantern- Ginger and lime muddled with lychees, lychee liqueur, shaken with Pravda vodka. The Pawn Identity is a collection of post-Prohibition era inspired fruit based cocktails- Pawn Fiction- Crushed apples, Calvados, Apple schnapps, Martell VSOP brandy, lemon juice, honey syrup, lemonade; Herbal Thyme Martini- Belvedere citrus, orange marmalade, lemon juice, fresh aromatic thyme; and Floridian- Belvedere orange vodka, lime, grapefruit, passion juice, apricot brandy. Prohibition Speakeasies feature a selection of classic cocktails – refined for the modern palate- examples: The Martini – Served with two measures of the customer’s favorite frozen vodka or gin, stirred gently over ice and atomized with extra dry vermouth. Choice of olives, pearl onions or lemon twist; Cigar Rum Old Fashioned- Cigar infused aged spiced rum, organic maple syrup, angostura bitters; and Raisin & Maple Cobbler-Raisin infused Makers Mark bourbon, raisins , maple syrup.
The Pawn- gastropub in Hong Kong
Address: 62 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Reservations: +852.286 63444
Lunch- Monday to Friday 12:00 pm ~ 3:00 pm
Dinner- Monday to Sunday 6:00 pm ~ 12:00 am
Brunch- Saturday & Sundays and Public Holidays 11:00 am ~ 3:00 pm
Monday to Saturday 11:00 am ~ 02:0 am Sunday & Public Holidays 10:00 am ~ 12:00 am