Inside The Wonder Room, An Experimental Teahouse Where Gastronomy And Gong Baths Co-Exist
When was the last time you ate dinner inside an art installation? Admittedly, Hong Kong may be lacking in the experiential dining department—we don’t quite have our own answer to Paul Pairet’s multi-sensorial Ultraviolet, Barcelona’s labyrinthine Enigma, or the post-apocalyptic, futuristic, culinary question mark of a restaurant known as LA's Vespertine—but we take what we can get.
The Wonder Room is The Peninsula Hong Kong’s version of an artpiece-turned-restaurant where calm, escapism and indulgence form the backbone of the experience; a place where you can leave behind, however briefly, the drudgeries of real life and be submerged into an alternate world. Created by Lu Zhi-gang, founder of the Shanghai-based design studios MINAX and MINAXDO, The Wonder Room is a masterpiece brought to life by clever woodwork within a self-contained, box-shaped space.
Diners are invited to enter the room through a dim, curtained-off portal via the hotel’s commercial corridor. Once inside, you’re asked to switch your shoes for a pair of soft slippers, before being led into the heart of The Wonder Room, where varying lengths of cedar wood form the gentle, curved trajectory of an egg. A single wooden table is at the centre, just large enough to accommodate four diners. Lu envisioned the room as a quiet space for enjoyment and contemplation, far removed from the disruption and chaos of city life.
Complementing the experience is the soothing sound of a gong bath, performed by master gong player Malbert Lee, and a "zen-inspired" set menu with dishes such as slow-cooked salmon with caviar and beurre blanc, and poached lobster with lobster royale and samphire. At the end of the meal, a small tea ceremony is performed in front of you, the server emerging from the darkness to carry out their duties framed by the circular entryway of The Wonder Room.
While it would be tempting to make a solo pilgrimage here and be lost in the sounds, sights and tastes of The Wonder Room, reservations are only available for a minimum of two people and a maximum of four, at HK$2,888 per person. The experience is on from now until June 21, 2019 and requires 24-hours advance reservation.
The Wonder Room, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; peninsula.com