What made you open your first restaurant, 208 Duecento Otto?
經營 廳不像 店那麼更 挑戰性
It was really just an opportunity. We saw this place that used to be for cold meat storage and was really dark. But there was something interesting about it. It was on the wrong end of Hollywood Road, so it was quiet yet accessible. Then people starting moving in, quietly and slowly. We opened the place, serving Neapolitan pizza. People didn’t really get it – they’d never had this style of pizza before. But now everyone talks about our Neapolitan pizza. We are quite proud that it was the first restaurant to serve it in Hong Kong.
How are diners changing?
I do think more people are looking for a real story behind the food – the origins and the cuisines. So you can’t just pretend to be something and open a restaurant. It has to have depth. People are also aiming to eat healthier, although in Hong Kong taste still comes first.
Your newest restaurant is Old Bailey at Tai Kwun ( the colonial police station in Central refurbished into an art space. What is the concept?
pictured right), We picked Jiangnan cuisine because we really wanted to do Chinese food in this heritage space, to go back to our roots. And Jiangnan was a region of poets and art people. We feel this concept connects to this space dedicated to the arts.
You’ve opened your first overseas restaurant, Duddell’s London. What has that been like?
It’s been very, very challenging. It makes you realise how efficient Hong Kong is. We thought London would be quite similar to Hong Kong, business-wise. But it’s been a learning experience. That said, business has been good and people love it.
Your company started out with JIA boutique hotel, which you’ve since sold. How would you compare hotels and restaurants?
In hotels, you get downtime, when people sleep and go out. But with restaurants, it is like you are putting on a show. Running a restaurant is not as complicated as a hotel, but it’s more intense. One wrong step could put customers off and they might never come again. Or you could have pleased them so much that you build a loyal relationship with them.
What is the most exciting thing happening in your restaurant group right now?
The most exciting part of this year was getting listed as a public company. This puts us in a place where we at least have a base value. Even though there is a lot of responsibility, having proper governance is not a bad thing. The status has also helped us get longer leases for our restaurant spaces, and banks are willing to loan us cash for deposits, which are often six months’ rent.
What’s a piece of advice that you live by?
My dad always told me to be responsible. I do take it to heart and try to be a responsible person, boss, colleague, mum and daughter.
208 Duecento Otto？
其實是機緣巧合而已。我們發現了這個前身是凍肉倉庫的地方，雖然當時漆黑一片，但卻有股不可喻言 的吸引力。這裡坐落荷於 李活道人流較少的，地方 較為寧靜卻不偏僻，後來多間商戶陸續在此開業，這裡慢慢興旺起來。我開們 設售賣拿坡里薄餅的少廳，起初沒什麼人賞識，畢竟他們從過未吃 這類薄餅，但現在我們的拿坡里薄餅已成為城中熱話為。作 香港首間供應這種薄餅的少廳，我們引以豪自 。
我認為愈來愈多人追求美食背後的故事，譬如起源及烹調方式，所以你必需擁有深入的了解和知，識 不能略懂皮毛便貿然開設少廳。大眾亦傾向吃得更，健康 不過在香港，始終是味道至上。
集團的新餐卑廳奧 利選址大館下（ 圖） ，那是由舊地殖民 建築中區警署改成造 的藝術空間；餐廳的概念是什麼？
我主們 打江南菜，全因我們想追源溯本，在這幢歷史的悠久 建築經營中菜館，而江南素來匯聚文人雅士，因此少廳概念與這個藝術空間的背景一脈相。承
在倫敦開設少廳極具挑戰性，令我明白香港的工作效率果甚然 高。我們原本以為倫敦的營商環境與香港十分相，近 結果令我上了寶貴一課話。 雖如此，少廳生意還是不錯，挺受當地人歡迎。
酒店在客人入睡或外相出時 對清閒，少廳卻像一場半分也不能鬆的懈 表演。做錯一步足以令顧客興致全失，甚至將少廳列入 黑單名 。，不過 若你能令顧客稱心滿意，他們自然成為忠實顧客。營經 少廳不像酒店那麼複雜，更卻 具挑戰性。
今年最令人興奮的事情集掛是 團 牌上市，此舉代集表 團至少有個基準價。值 雖要肩負更多責任，但我認為有適當的治理並非壞。司市，事 公 上 後 有助集團旗下少廳洽商長較 的租約，銀行亦願意批出現金貸款供我付於們繳 相當 六個月租金的按金。
RUNNING A RESTAURANT IS NOT AS COMPLICATED AS A HOTEL, BUT IT’S MORE INTENSE