By The Nation
Mango Tree Elements, which is located in the fashionable Elements mall in Tsim Sha Tsui overlooking Victoria Harbour, has undergone an impressive makeover inspired by the ancient city of Ayutthaya, a former capital of the Siamese Kingdom.
The project was overseen by Mai Chongchaiyo, director of design at Steve Leung Hospitality, the award-winning company that has worked on numerous high-end hospitality, retail and residential projects all across Asia. A Thai national with a degree in Interior Architecture from Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, Mai was the perfect person to bring Thai heritage to Hong Kong's harbourfront.
His interiors blend contemporary and classical elements, including extensive use of bare timber, exposed brick walls and other traditional materials, set against a backdrop of monochrome images depicting the temples of Ayutthaya, a Unesco World Heritage site. Flowing through the design is the symbol of the mango, including playful silhouettes of mango flowers, leaves and fruits on the walls and woven into the Thai silk furnishings. Combined with the wooden beams and pillars, this evokes a feeling of dining under a canopy of mango trees in an ancient landscape.
Mai explained that he wanted his design concept to take diners on journey through the restaurant, from the main entrance through to the panoramic windows that gaze out over the harbour.
"We wanted to define a stronger individuality for each restaurant zone. The entrance is distinguished by a facade crafted with a characteristic Thai wood and bricked wall, the adjacent dining area is defined by vibrant and colourful floral patterns, leading towards the dramatic feel of the sea-view dining area. The lighting has been also thoughtfully arranged to bring the different areas to life. I drew inspiration from the ancient city of Ayutthaya, rethinking Thai classic architectural elements in a contemporary approach. The strong sense of Thai authenticity is integrated with a younger and more energetic vibe, creating a timeless yet edgy ambience," he said.
Opened in 2013, Mango Tree Elements has been extremely well received by local diners, who have a deep appreciation of Thai cuisine. The restaurant is overseen by executive chef Anunte Sae-ung, one of Mango Tree's most highly respected chefs, who has more than 30 years' experience in five-star hotels and restaurants. Following its recent makeover, this landmark restaurant is all set to delight a new generation of guests and create memorable dining experiences for many years to come.
"We are delighted with the results of the renovation of Mango Tree Elements. With its waterfront setting, this was one of the jewels in our crown and now, thanks to the vision of Khun Mai and the team at Steve Leung Hospitality, this outstanding restaurant will retain its position as one of the city's most exciting dining destinations. We look forward to introducing diners in Hong Kong to fresh and authentic, yet modern and creative Thai cuisine in this stunning setting," said Trevor MacKenzie, global managing director of Mango Tree Restaurants Worldwide.
Mango Tree Worldwide is currently undergoing a period of expansion, with the aim of increasing its global collection of restaurants from 70 outlets today to more than 100 locations worldwide by 2025.