Modern Italian Salotto from Estro by André Fu
Modern Italian salotto in the heart of central Hong Kong, here’s a glimpse of Estro.
Among the many Italian establishments that have opened in Hong Kong, there may not be one like Estro. At the heart, it is the scene of the intimately nostalgic plates of the chef Antimo Maria Merone; those that touch on the tradition, childhood and history of Italian cuisine. But Estro is a place that also enchants. He transports. Towards sunny Italy. A luxurious salotto, or living room, nestled in a traditional hilltop villa nestled in Naples old town. In the neighborhood of Merone’s house.
Estro, which translates to “inspiration,” is a space designed for the familiar reinvented. The menu, for its part, skips past tradition. And space, the visual starting point of any culinary journey, is also part of the same stride of innovation, approached with a design perspective. You won’t see typical decor tropes that conspicuously point to an Italian-style interior – every swatch, finish and trim has been carefully selected by designer André Fu, first filtered through his own impression of Italy, and then chosen to match the concept of Merone and cooking. In fact, it’s a design style that doesn’t look like Fu at all.
“My vision is to create a visual journey that aligns with the chef’s culinary philosophy. Avoiding clichés, he offers a personal interpretation of Italian history while striking a balance between art and avant-garde, ”explains Fu.
Between earthy rusts, deep terracotta reds, and sage greens that flow in and out of space, connected by endless sinuous lines, are distinct details that nod to Italian silhouettes; in design, craftsmanship and a very thoughtful moderation. A curved metal door greets the entrance –– much like majestic arcades in lavish villa gardens –– surrounded by ornate wall coverings to match the tones of the emerald Verde Chantillon marble framed from wall to wall. This invites a path into the main dining room: open, airy and beautifully drawn in visually symmetrical lines –– a favorite detail embraced in the traditional style as well. salotto lounges.
Once inside, the warm atmosphere resolutely extends into every detailed nook. Abstract half-timbered mirrors hang high on hand-painted stucco walls. Two murals by Hong Kong artist Elsa Jean de Dieu depicting shaded silhouettes cut intimate dining nooks away from the main dining room, anchored by a pink Calacatta marble island and cleverly arranged in Italian handcrafted furnishings, including backdrops made to measure by Italian ceramic artist Vincenzo del Monaco.
In the adjoining music room, an alcove hidden behind velvet curtains, like a favorite and secret reading spot, everything is soft and comfortable with wavy benches set on glossy burl walnut paneling. And then, a little further, a private 10-seater dining space dipped in azure blue with spellbinding patterns that span the geometric carpet tiles before merging into a reflected Amalfi Amaryllis floral wallpaper. by dome-shaped pendants hanging from the ceiling –– complementing Estro’s charming touch of whimsy in an interior that paints a tangible interpretation of Merone’s contemporary southern Italian cuisine.
Estro is open for dinner reservations Tuesday through Saturday via [email protected]
Estro, 2 / F, 1 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong