Taste for exotic paper furniture

Taste for exotic paper furniture

A new concept restaurant in Central lures clients with its extravagant cardboard decor

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Tony Ng Hung-to, president of the West Dragon restaurant group, in his new Slim Taste eatery
Tony Ng Hung-to, president of the West Dragon restaurant group, in his new Slim Taste eatery
Photo: May Tse
Cardboard is cheap, readily available and dispensable. It's an ideal material for children's projects. The young ones love building makeshift fairytale castles and robot factories from scrap materials at hand, making up stories as they go along.

Now imagine how much fun it would be if you could fit into those fun creations yourself. Thanks to Tony Ng Hung-to, you can. In his new restaurant Slim Taste, the restaurateur has created life-size versions of miniature paper furniture.

Almost everything in the restaurant is made from brown cardboard: tables, chairs, crockery, trays, light shades, wallpaper, cabinets, even curtains.

The restaurant is divided into two zones: day and night. The former features a hand-carved rainbow and clouds; the latter has moon-shaped lamps and owls.

During a trip two years ago to Taiwan, Ng says, he came across a paper product company called Carton King, which specialises in paper art and has its own theme park with paper sculptures, exhibitions and a restaurant.

He decided to create a similar restaurant in Hong Kong.

But what if some customers might be wary about sitting on cardboard chairs? "All of our chairs and stools have been tested and can bear a maximum weight of [180kg]," Ng stresses.

The only things not made of paper in the restaurant are the cutlery, food containers, and tabletops - as well as its healthy menu of traditional Chinese dishes, of course.

"We strengthen chairs with a layer of wax," Ng says. "Even if you spill soup onto them, they won't soak up the fluid as long as we clean up immediately."

Yet even with care, the paper furniture will wear out fast. "We'll have to change all furniture after a year," Ng says, adding this will provide a chance to create a new theme year after year.

But the real test of a good restaurant is its food. "The decor is an eye-catcher that draws people in," Ng concedes. "But the restaurant's soul is the food."

Slim Taste is located on 9/F, 11 Stanley Street in Central

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