Wow, how lucky were we to be in Hong Kong for the Annual Art Week Festival! What was even more lucky, was that our hotel area that we were staying at was supporting Art Week by putting on Art Features along the strip of Wong Chuk Hang Road so you could Art hop your way from Hotel to Hotel seeing all of the creative displays of South Island’s Art Night! Guess what…it gets EVEN luckier! We were also invited to experience an absolutely amazing and delightful 3-course meal at Ovolo Southside Hotel’s award-winning restaurant “CIRQLE” which in itself is filled to the brim with architectural creativity!
I guess it makes sense after I learned it was once a warehouse turned Hotel, the first ever in Hong Kong to be converted like this, so it’s got edgy and urban art written all over it, literally! Ok, where should I start? The food? Or the Art?
Seeing as it was Art Week, I guess it calls for the art first – don’t worry, I won’t leave out any juicy detail about the food, I want that drool being mopped off your keyboard because THAT’S how great it was 😉So, we start with the entrance into Ovolo Southside, I mean the light structure in the Lobby was just gorgeous and there’s definitely a new age feel, very futuristic but still in line with the island “water” theme. To the left of us is where they have set up their Art Feature for the hoppers to come admire. They had three different displays by ‘The Gaunts’, hanging from the ceiling in a sort of diagonal checkers board formation, so you can weave in and out, as well as checking out both sides of the frame for the different pieces, much more efficient than a wall-mounted frame 😛The first display, ‘Bedtime Stories’, was taken in the Hotel itself of the workers in different areas, in abstract poses, posing with Ovolo’s own art pieces already decorating the hotel. I found it was an amazing artistic expression. To me, it said, breaking out of formality. The workers were having fun, and being creative, and going against the regular professionalism that you would find in a hospitality environment. They had a chance to play, be themselves or maybe not themselves for a bit and just be artistic and create something personal. Then, I figured, this is exactly what Ovolo is all about, taking something regular (like a warehouse) and creating something different, artistic and BOLD, daring to be relaxed and fun whilst still staying classy and well-executed, I think they truly showcased themselves well and the display was incredibly engaging to look at.The second was ‘Angel’ which was being projected on the walls in a virtual display. Because of the projection it faded into the background where you would have to divert your attention back from the distracting hanging frames begging for your attention. But I think this was the purpose of the images, to create a calm nostalgia, provoking thought and memories that resonate with the splashes of colour decorating the human form, something that relays to beauty in an innocent dream-like state. The third display ‘Obsession’ was a completely opposite purpose, pushing the boundaries of innocence and boldly going “there” with a provocative display of men and women, nude but covered head to toe in white body paint and with some form of red taboo erotica symbol – bondage, hot wax etc. My favourite piece (pictured) was from the
‘Obsession’ exhibit, although not one of the full body images, the expression in the models face just, I feel, completely sums up what the artists were perhaps trying to convey. You have the strength of a human, prisoner to societies class on erotic behaviour, the string is constricted over the model’s face but behind the engulfment you can see soft eyes, even though you can not fully see the eyes, he is not looking down in shame but rather there is a strength of carrying the weight of the sexuality comfortably. I loved it purely because of all of the contrasting emotions going on inside each image, it was like Shakespeare, it could mean anything! I love seeing that in an art piece, because it leans itself to each individual and can have a different voice depending on the interpreter 😉Ok, so we have the art feature, then if you walk through the hotel, like we did, you can spot some of their own art pieces about the floors, like a dedication to the 1600 panda exhibit created by French Artist – Paulo Grangeon as a symbol of the remaining wild pandas in the world
and launched by WWF in 2008. Ovolo had four purchased pandas via the Adoption Scheme on display, adjacent to a few other art pieces that I had spotted earlier in ‘Bedtime Stories’ display – like this one! It was fun walking through the hotel and seeing the real deal after seeing it in pictures, it was like a Match-It game!
Alright, Art-ed out? Feeling hungry? I hope you have some nibbles handy cause this…is gonna get taaaassssty!
Ovolo’s CIRQLE restaurant is done right. The beautiful balcony terrace overlooks the HK South Island City lights, there’s also a modern dining area inside where you can see the steam flying out of the kitchen as the chefs work their magic in your own view! We had a three-course heaven, starting with a mildly spicy seafood bisque (Menu Name: Gibraltar Fish Soup) and delicious Crab Cakes (MN: Zesty Crab Cakes) I, believe it or not, had never had crab cakes, though Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers had always made me want to try some, so I’m glad my first experience was soooo delish! I see what the hype was a bout, Vince 😉 Then for our second course it was like they had read my mind and brought my two fav dishes! Delicious lamp chops and Paaaaastaaaa – the apple to my eye. You gotta do Lamp Chops right – lemon yoghurt, orzo tzatziki, sumac red onions – yes, yes, YES! (MN: Seared Saltbush Lamp Chops) The Pasta was equally as amazing and that mushroom sauce made it near impossible to resist dipping the table bread assortment in – not that I was in short supply of food here (MN: Trofie with Porcini Mushrooms) I meaaaaan….they know what they’re doing! Simple as that! Of course, they couldn’t just leave me bursting at the seams but quite literally at rolling point with their TO-DIE-FOR Pear Tarte Tain (actual menu name :P) I had never had a tarte tain, I didn’t even know what a tarte tain was. All I knew, was whatever was in front of me, looked goooooood!!!! And it was. Even just writing this has sparked up my sweet tooth. When it leaves flesh memories, you know it’s good! Mmmm mmm! After dinner we took a final stroll up to the Above Lounge, again, artistically designed, really cool vibes and that view of the lights was just stunning. ‘Above’ is definitely a fitting name and I could totally see some great rooftop parties being hosted here! All in all, I can’t thank Ovolo Southside enough for such a SPECTACULAR evening. Great Art, Great Food, Great Location – and seriously COOL hotel concept, Congrats on being the first ever industrial to hospitality conversion in Hong Kong and for your seriously stunning Hotel! P.S. you’re doing it right!
To book a stay, a meal, a visit, relocating your life here cause you’ll never want to leave, then visit – www.ovolohotels.com/en/hotels/hongkong/ovolo-southside/