November 2014 Update: The Principal has been awarded two Michelin stars in 2015 list
January 2016 update: The Principal has CLOSED permanently
August 7th, 2012
Sumptuous dining with a modern, ingredient-inspired cuisine
Located within the increasingly popular Star Street Precinct of Wanchai- a creative lifestyle hub of artisans, galleries, boutiques, cafes and restaurants- The Principal is an impressive new restaurant presenting a creative modern cuisine that champions the ingredients ahead of a specific origin-based culinary style. Occupying a street level space in a premises that was originally a school, The Principal is conveniently located at the head of Star Street, directly behind the Three Pacific Place office complex. A bright and airy contemporary dining space provides an ideal environment of relaxed, understated sophistication for guests to appreciate the carefully sourced, well-executed culinary creations of head chef Jonay Armas. The Principal is the latest addition (opened in December 2011) to the expanding portfolio of the acclaimed group of Hong Kong restaurateurs- The Press Room Group. Other notable restaurants created by the group include The Press Room, The Pawn, The News Room, and Classified. Commensurate with the superb quality of the cuisine and dining experience, The Principal can be comfortably classified in the “fine dining” category of restaurants.
The interior of the ground level space occupied by The Principal has been designed by a Melbourne based studio- Hecker Guthrie- who have created a contemporary chic style- a classy setting of restrained sophistication compatible with the the modern cuisine featured by the restaurant. Entering the restaurant, the reception area opens seamlessly to the main dining room, with a stylish white marble cocktail bar counter extending down one side of the passageway that leads back to the kitchen. The main dining floor space features a prominently placed waiters’ service station in the centre of the room. A series of four private dining booths are set into alcoves that extend across the far wall, and at the rear of the main space, the private wine / dining room showcases special collections of vintage wines. The interior palette of neutral tones is attractively accented with raw brick work that delineates the doorway arches and internal columns. White marble is utilised extensively for the counter tops and facings of both the bar and the waiters’ station, both lighted by modern copper luminaires suspended from the ceiling. Simplicity and restraint are further evident in the spare, contemporary decor.
The main dining room as seen from the entrance- with four private booths set into alcoves along opposite wall
The waiter’s station is prominently placed in the centre of the main dining space
The central waiter’s station- with breads and cheeses on display
The front section of the dining room- with the tartan-patterned fabric banquette extending across the front window
The private dining / wine room showcases the “library collection” of vintage wines
The cocktail bar adjacent to the restaurant entrance- features a sleek white marble counter accented with a copper-faced back bar display and suspended copper luminaires
The creative modern culinary style of Spanish head chef Jonay Armas focuses on an ingredient-centric approach to creating dishes. With dishes that draw on both traditional home cooking techniques and modern, innovative methods, the dining experience at The Principal explores new combinations of flavours and textures. The cuisine is presented in both degustation and a la carte menus, together with a Set Lunch offering with choices of 2, 3 or 4 courses. A Sunday Brunch has also been recently introduced. The menus are models of clarity with concise descriptions and no unnecessary embellishments. The attentive and knowledge serving staff provide details on the preparation and ingredients as requested.
Highlights from the menus include Starters such as Smoked Dutch Eel- with Herring Roe, Pineapple ice cream, and Tomato textures; Foie Micuit- with Rhubarb Compote and Arrope, Apple Cru, Buckwheat Brioche; and Gazpacho- Berries, Oil Caviar, Tomato-Sherry sorbet, Thai Basil.
Main Courses include- Suckling Pig – with Lemon Puree, Sauteed Red Endives, Pomegranate Jus; Grilled Kobe Sirloin- Foie Royale, Black Garlic, Sauteed Baby Carrots and Turnip; and Pan-Seared Red Mullet- Tomato and Mint, Pancetta Parcels, Spinach Cream, Roasted Garlic Puree.
To compliment the cuisine, The Principal have assembled an impressive wine cellar- presented as an Atlas of over 750 labels from the major wine producing countries of both the Old and New Worlds- but additionally- also with representations from lesser known wine districts in countries such as Japan, China, Croatia and Turkey. And the highlight of the wine atlas is the “Library Collection” featuring rare vintages from 12 iconic producers.
Selections from the SET LUNCH menu
SPRING SALAD- Caramelized Larrun Gatza Cheese, Comice Pear, Figs, Honey-Sherry Dressing
BONITO- Confit Bonito, Aioli, Tomato, Shallots, Herbs.
HAKE– Seared Hake, Carrot Purée, Spinach, Green Asparagus, Mustard Seeds
PORK- Pork Belly, Apple Compote, Chorizo Potato Purée, Pork Jus
PB & J- Peanut Butter Custard, Raspberry Granita, Strawberry Jelly
NUTELLA – White Chocolate Cheesecake, Nutella Mousse, Mandarin Sorbet
THE PRINCIPAL- Hong Kong
Address: 9 Star Street, Wanchai. Hong Kong
MTR: Admiralty station – 5+ minutes walk via Three Pacific Place link
Reservations: +852. 2563 3444
Lunch- Monday to Saturday: 12:00 noon ~ 3:00 pm
Dinner- Monday to Saturday : 6:00 pm ~ 12:00 am
Brunch- Sunday 12:00 pm ~ 2:30 pm