As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc for the hospitality industry,
restaurants in Hong Kong have re-strategised their business in recent
months, with unique dining experiences and team-building activities to
draw in the corporate crowd.
Eating into luxury
Conrad Hong Kong Hotel offers bespoke experiences at each of its private dining room venues, using tailor-made menus catered to client preferences.
“One of our most unique options is the dim sum cooking class at Golden Leaf, an interactive and engaging team-building exercise,” said commercial director, Tina Ma.
Housed at the upscale Landmark shopping mall, Zuma is a stylish venue serving Japanese menus. Occupying two floors, corporates can book the semi-private rooms – Maru and Kasai – for a canape-style dining experience. The latter features a chef’s table for a close-up encounter. The whole restaurant can be booked exclusively for private events.
Similarly, Tokyo-grown two-Michelin-starred Tempura Uchitsu launched
its first overseas debut at Four Seasons Hong Kong last year. The
restaurant offers a private dining package welcoming corporates and VIP
clients, which can host up to 12 people at a time in its Japanese-style
Gaining an extra Michelin star in the latest Michelin Guide for Hong
Kong and Macau, L’Envol at The St. Regis allows for corporate buy-outs.
Personalised team-building exercises are also an option at The St. Regis, where its catering team presents ideas and unique experiences for
clients. “We hosted a virtual wine-tasting class with our chief
sommelier as one of the team-building exercises for a technology company
which hosted an annual summit at the hotel," said a spokesperson.
Themed dining rooms can also entice corporate groups looking for an
engaging experience. S&S Hospitality Group’s al-fresco Portico
terrace features a range of themed private rooms which include a secret
garden, and the projector-equipped Roma Room for a unique setting
experience. Corporate packages are bespoke.
Meanwhile, The Peninsula Hong Kong is offering its bespoke services
at private meeting and dining venues across the hotel. These include the
elegant Salisbury Room, the lavish Hankow I and II, and the
private-elevator-led Garden Suite which features an open-air setting.
Dining inside hotel rooms is also proving popular. Mandarin Oriental
Hong Kong serves tailor-made packages for corporate clients at its
lavish Mandarin Suite, or the presidential suite which houses up to 12
persons for a corporate dinner, with menus curated by award-winning
Rent a private kitchen
The private kitchen boom in Hong Kong is niche but has drawn in corporates thanks to its innovative, intimate appeal.
Many are led by award-winning chefs, such as Ta Pantry by chef Esther
Sham, which serves creative French cuisine. Her meeting package
features the choice of four different menus inspired by different
cuisines. Event planners can utilise the rent-a-kitchen service for
potential team-building activities.
Led by Lebanese chef Maria Bizri, Pomegranate Kitchen offers bespoke
services from set-up to tailored menus. Popular corporate team-building
options include on-site cooking competitions and cooking classes that
involve teaching and assigning different skills to team members. In
light the of the government's evening curfew, all-day packages are also
Test Kitchen, a unique dining movement that invites highly-acclaimed
chefs from around the world, provides a pop-up kitchen concept which is
also open for corporate bookings. Each experience is bespoke, with
highlights such as a sourdough-making masterclass, and an eight-course
tasting menu that is eaten across a three-storey venue – meaning each
floor can have its own theme.
“Whether its a product launch or cocktail reception, or a hands-on
experience with the chefs, our space is multi-functional”, said founder
Vincent Mui. Previous clients include Lane Crawford, Celine, Johnny
Walker and Google.
Catering company, RELISH, has also launched unique culinary experiences in the wake of Covid-19.
“We also curate unique workshops such as beer brewing and
cocktail-making geared towards specific groups' individual needs," said
founders Evelyn Tonry and Abby Cadman. The company can also cater to
corporate clients at their offices if requested. “One of our most unique
experiences was a bespoke individual picnic, complete with branded
picnic hampers and blankets."
Portable feasts to perk-up virtual meets
Aiming for a remote kitchen concept, Shangri-La Group's Unplugged programme
provides a unique catering experience that brings its award-winning
chefs into all sorts of kitchens across the city, allowing guests to
enjoy a customised dining experience from the comfort of their office or
S&S Hospitality is heading towards the same direction. “As a lot
of companies now prefer hosting events at their offices or a private
premise, we offer catering packages where we can bring our restaurant
services and cuisine to them anywhere, anytime," said a spokesperson.