In 1997, after over 150 years of ruling Hong Kong, the British handed back control to China amongst much fear and anxiety. That anxiety was largely unfounded. In 2015, it seems as if Briton's imperialist aspirations have returned, only this time it takes a very different form. It's UK chefs that are taking control of Hong Kong, and it's the dining scene that is seeing an invasion of the UK's top chefs.
When you think of the UK chefs establishing themselves in Hong Kong, it's usually names like Gordon Ramsey (see post here), Jamie Oliver and Jason Atherton (see post here and here) that spring to mind. However, they're not the only well known celebrity chefs expanding their global network of dining establishments. Tom Aikens may not be the first chef you'd think of when talking UK chefs, but that could be about to change. One of the stable of well known chefs that have dominated Great British Menu, Tom was over visiting his Hong Kong outpost, The Pawn. Of course, we had to get along and check it out.
The Pawn is located in one of the last remaining heritage buildings left in Wan Chai. The Pawn recently went through major renovations, which thankfully kept much of it's heritage charm. Aikens, working with HK group the Press Room Group, has collaborated as consultant chef and brings his uniquely British take on casual fine dining. The dining room sits atop two bar areas, which we had to traverse to get to the restaurant, having failed to notice the main entrance on Tai Wong Street. Instead, we'd taken a dark and narrow staircase up through one of the bars, before finding our way to a rickety elevator to take us the dining floor.