Ashley Sutton-designed Ophelia pays homage to Hong Kong's history, while the food hits the right notes
Shop 39A-41A, 1/F, The Avenue, Lee Tung Avenue, Wan Chai, 2520 1117
Enter a mock bird shop, draw back the curtains and the mysterious world of Ophelia is revealed. Designed by Ashley Sutton - known for his interiors in restaurants, bars and clubs in Bangkok and Tokyo such as Iron Fairies, Maggie Choo's, Sing Sing Theatre and J Boroski Mixology - his first offering in Hong Kong pays homage to the city's history with muses in cheongsams, opium den-style nooks, a bird cage in which a live performance occurs each night, with a peacock theme featuring 600,000 hand-painted ceramic tiles and real plumage everywhere.
The cocktails fit the theme and we liked the cheongsam with tequila, pomegranate and vermouth, lemon, lime and cinnamon mist. Australian chef Angus Harrison has created small and large plates and we went for the tapas-style offerings, including Moroccan spiced roast cauliflower with saffron yogurt, mint, soaked raisins and dukkah spice (HK$100), truffle mushroom Arrancini green goddess dressing (HK$98), chilli whole-school prawns Szechuan salt nam phrik (HK$90) crushed chat potatoes with chilli aioli and crispy basil (HK$70) and my favourite roasted star anise honey glazed duck with garlic chives, Enoki mushrooms and pickled carrot (HK$120).
The duck was perfect and the flavours well-balanced, leaving you wanting more. If you have room, try the Spanish doughnut with strawberry jam and Jamaican rum-infused caramel (HK$90).