The Aubrey

An eccentric izakaya overlooking Hong Kong’s skyline

Replacing fine-dining favorite Pierre and perched on the panoramic 25th floor of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, The Aubrey had big shoes to fill. A collaboration between Maximal Concepts — the group behind such au courant spots as Mott 32 and Limewood — the izakaya dubs itself “eccentric,” but you should think less quirky than one-of-a-kind. It offers a sweeping set of sensory experiences, from the well-crafted cocktails to the delightful bites of sashimi to the different decors of the Curio Lounge, Drawing Room and bars, all with a view of Hong Kong’s world-famous skyline and Victoria Harbour.

Entering the all-day drinks and dining space, you walk on a literal red carpet through a long hallway, though the voluminous, decorously framed works on the dark wooden walls hint this isn’t a Zen-like austere locale. The Aubrey takes its name from Aubrey Beardsley, the remarkable (though often offbeat) illustrator who brought elegant linearity to prints inspired by Japanese woodblocks. (“Fantastic in conception…perfectly severe in execution” is how he described his work, which is also apt for the meticulously curated spaces of The Aubrey.) This gained him great fame, especially from his support of Japanisme, the 19th-century European art that imitated Japanese print styles, can be seen in later movements such as art nouveau.

The Main Bar’s hanging stemware and art-nouveau-inspired fixtures, set off against green in both ceiling plants and the Omakase Bar, are reminiscent of stepping into a well-stocked kitchen at an urban estate. The Drawing Room, chock-full of impressive smaller artworks along Victorian-style wooden walls, offers sumptuous privacy for a romantic rendezvous or a quiet drink among friends. The Curio Lounge is an airy alternative, bathed in light and showcasing artistic pieces that speak to travel and natural spaces.

No less attention has been paid to the carefully crafted cocktails, the choice of Japanese shochu and the delectable eats. Located in the heart of Hong Kong, bathed in European works inspired by Japanese artists, named for a British illustrator and providing fresh sushi, sashimi, tempura and robata grill items, The Aubrey evokes the East-meets-West cosmopolitan spirit long championed in the city.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Few places cater so well to your mood. A lively dinner is a must in the Curio Lounge, while after-dinner drinks can be had in the shadow of the dark wood, light brown upholstery, warm lighting, brass accents and Japanese-styled artwork in the Main Bar. Cozy corners are available throughout.
  • The cuisine takes inspiration from the izakayas in Ginza and uses traditional cooking techniques and well-sourced ingredients to provide a wide menu of delicious Japanese fare. The bento, served in a lovely handcrafted box, is the best mix for lunch, and the à la carte menu uses fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients and traditional Japanese cookery, including Edomae sushi-making techniques.
  • There’s a DJ on Friday and Saturday evenings, and the playlist of upbeat though relaxed tunes used at other times is an always welcome addition to the inviting ambiance.
  • Beardsley’s daring aesthetic is honored throughout The Aubrey. Decked out like the inviting home of a world traveler and collector — a purposeful nod to Mandarin Oriental’s renowned history internationally — each space evokes art nouveau and the Japanisme style in imaginative ways, matched by the 140 period artworks along the walls arduously sourced from across the world just for this venue.
  • During the Omakase Cocktail Experience, you will learn Japanese history in its liquid form. It begins with a product provenance, followed by a deep dive into the craftsmanship and production process, and finishes with a better understanding of the completed libation.

Things to Know

  • The dress code at The Aubrey is smart-casual attire (no shorts, torn jeans, singlets, flip-flops or gentleman’s sandals).

The Drinks

  • Led by Devender Sehgal, the sought-after hotel beverage manager, The Aubrey crafts exceptional cocktails infused with shochu (no two bottles are alike), awamori (the oldest alcoholic drink from Okinawa, Japan), Umeshu (Japanese liqueur made by steeping ume plums in liquor) and seasonal ingredients. The signature cocktails get their names from chess, with a favorite being the Two Bishops (aged rum, rye whiskey, matcha and milk) and the aptly named Endgame, based in tequila blanco, Campari and vermouth.
  • The intimate Omakase Cocktail Experience takes place in a quieter four-seat bar. It’s a skillfully directed journey through the startlingly diverse flavors of Japanese spirits, personalized to fit your mood. 
  • Those craving bubbles should make their way to the Champagne & Sake Bar in the Curio Lounge, where the knowledgeable staff showcases more than 50 champagne labels and an exclusive selection of 25 sakes, including three sparkling sakes. Or enjoy The Aubrey’s very own house champagne, Hostomme – Tradition Cuvée, which was created in collaboration with maison Hostomme in Chouilly, Champagne.

Private dining
Reservations recommended
Valet parking
Vegetarian options
Getting There
5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, China
The Aubrey
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