On April 30, the movers and shakers of Hong Kong headed to Tai Kwun to toast Tatler’s May cover star Syed Asim Hussain
Celebration rang in the air on the night of April 30 as the movers and shakers of Hong Kong headed to Tai Kwun to toast Tatler’s May cover star Syed Asim Hussain. The co-founder of Black Sheep Restaurants was surrounded by friends on the final evening of his pop-up Primavera ad Amalfi, a month-long tribute to Italian hospitality in collaboration with Tatler, which occupied the heritage centre’s Magistracy building and courtyard.
Enjoying all the charm of the Amalfi Coast in the heart of Hong Kong, guests sipped on summery aperitifs of limoncello, Aperol spritz and Campari soda, dug their spoons into refreshing gelato and made the most of the comfortable al fresco setting before the city’s summer heat took over later that month.
In the courtyard, the pop-up’s market stalls and carnival games invited guests to show off their ring-toss and bocce ball skills while listening to the sweet sounds of Italian jazz. Meanwhile artist Stephen Case, who looked thoroughly the part in a straw hat, delighted party-goers with his caricatures.
Inside the dining area, Michel Lamunière, chairman of Tatler Asia, welcomed guests to “the best pop-up restaurant in the history of Hong Kong”, which was received with cheering and applause. “All our covers are special and unique, but this one has a different flavour to it. In 2016, when Asim was a Gen.T honouree, we asked him, ‘What is your tip for success in running a restaurant business?’ to which he replied, ‘It’s very simple. You just show up every day’.
“Asim, your commitment to showing up has created one of the most successful and dynamic restaurant groups in the city and is redefining what hospitality means in Hong Kong. We can’t wait to see how you take Black Sheep to the rest of the world.” Lamunière raised his glass to count down to the big reveal. “Three, two, one … Saluti!” came blasting through the speakers before confetti cannons filled the air and a giant version of the magazine cover unfurled from the ceiling. AC/DC’s Back in Black guitar riff echoed in the background as Hussain took to the stage in true rock star fashion.
“We’ve been between a rock and a hard place for so long, so thank you so much for being here. You are what makes our song sweeter. Thank you to Tatler for giving us perennial outsiders and cage-rattlers a platform to tell our story,” Hussain said, thanking his co-founder Chris Mark, family and colleagues in heartfelt tributes to each.
“Friends, partners and champions of our work, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for seeing us for who we are. I seldom look in the rear view, but the process of working on this story has given me a chance to reflect, and I’m so proud of how far we’ve all come. Cheers to you all. Now let’s party!”