French Restaurant Louise Evokes the Home of a Refined Mademoiselle
Interior designer André Fu created several distinct dining experiences within this two-storey heritage building where chef Julien Royer serves up classic French fare
Recently opened French restaurant Louise sits in a freestanding two-storey heritage building in the heart of Central, Hong Kong. Inside, chef Julien Royer serves casual, classic French fare created with top-quality hand-picked ingredients. To complement Royer’s award-winning cuisine — his restaurant Odette in Singapore took the title of Asia’s Best Restaurant earlier this year — hospitality group JIA crafted a narrative about a refined French mademoiselle named Louise, with the restaurant becoming the stylish home where she entertains her guests. Acclaimed Hong Kong architect and interior designer André Fu was commissioned design the space. ‘I have known Yenn Wong, JIA’s founder, since the beginning of my career,’ recalls Fu. ‘Ever since our first collaboration over ten years ago, we’ve been talking about collaborating again.’
The restaurant’s story begins outside. ‘Louise’s persona was further developed through the way I responded to the building’s 1950s architecture,’ Fu explains. ‘It was critical to consider the context of this heritage building, as it’s rare to have such a poetic house in the heart of Central. The way the house is juxtaposed with Hong Kong’s Hollywood Road neighbourhood and lush banyan trees also played a strong role.’ The riotous greenery of Louise’s garden terrace gives way to The Parlour, where more relaxed dishes are served amidst a tropical aesthetic. Rattan furniture and salmon orange lamps mingle in front of a bevelled green marble bar. ‘When I first approached the house, I was mesmerised by the green surroundings,’ says Fu. ‘This informed the design of the Parlour.’ Past the Parlour is the Drawing Room, which can be booked for private events. Upstairs is the main dining space, the Dining Room, which is a vision of mango yellow sofas, agate consoles, and green and pink velvet curtains. Natural light spills in through large picture windows. Connecting the two floors is a stairway done up in botanical wallcoverings by Cole & Son.
‘I was keen to break away from the expected André Fu experience, to use bold patterns and colours to evoke Louise’s personality, and to conceive of contrasting dining experiences on the two floors,’ says Fu. ‘I was curious about expressing my design language in different ways and, more importantly, challenging myself and my team to come up with something different.’
Text / Leanne Mirandilla
Images / Mitchell Geng