The latest double exciting new concepts by Leading Nation, coming to Ice House Street, Central this summer
<<4th June 2021 – Hong Kong>> MARGO, an intimate brasserie-style modern European dining concept headlined by Chef Mario Paecke (former Chef de Cuisine of SOMM and Sous Chef of 2-MICHELIN-starred Amber), is set to open doors this mid-June at The Galleria at 9 Queen’s Road, Central. Tucked away on MARGO’s mezzanine level is KYLE & BAIN, the new American martini bar concept helmed by Leading Nation’s multi-award-winning Beverage Director, John Nugent, who led The Diplomat to achieve #20 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021, as well as the London Essence’s Best New Opening Award 2021.
MARGO by Chef de Cuisine Mario Paecke
MARGO sets an intimate dining scene with elegance and finesse. Helmed by Chef de Cuisine Mario Paecke, former Chef de Cuisine of SOMM and Sous Chef of Amber at Landmark Mandarin Oriental, the restaurant tells a vibrant story of modern European cuisine with eccentricity, flamboyance, and style.
Chef Mario’s 23-year culinary career began in Germany, leading to a stint as Chef de Cuisine at 2-Michelin-starred Luce d’Oro in Elmau, before being discovered by Mandarin Oriental Group in 2007. There, he refined his culinary technique and eventually led his own team as Chef de Cuisine at SOMM by October 2017. He envisions a naturalistic concept in his cooking style, in which original flavors of ingredients are simply enhanced using traditional European culinary techniques.
With a locally inspired menu, Chef Mario strives to serve quintessential dishes that are light and fresh on the palate. Inspired by his travels, Chef Paecke brings about novel flavour profiles from various regions of Europe. For example, the 12-month aged organic Tilapia, is brilliantly paired with Grilled Peaches, Chanterelle Mushrooms & Verbena-Champagne Sauce on Mashed Potatoes.
By enhancing the natural flavors of high-quality ingredients, the restaurant offers contemporary European cuisine with German influences from Chef Mario’s native origins. For example, Chef Mario provides a modern take on Berlin’s currywurst, a classic comfort food of bite-sized Bratwurst with a fun spin on the irresistible curry ketchup sauce. Another traditional German dish — Königsberger Klopse, is made with tender veal meatballs with a novel pairing of delicate Norwegian langoustine, then served with fresh and creamy caper sauce for a sweet finish. Enjoy the bistro-style dishes at MARGO with a selection of curated wines, all hand-picked by experienced Head Sommelier Elvis Lo.
KYLE & BAIN by Beverage Director John Nugent
Hidden away in MARGO’s mezzanine level, KYLE & BAIN is the latest whimsical speakeasy cocktail bar headed by Leading Nation Beverage Director John Nugent. Hidden away in the mezzanine of MARGO, KYLE & BAIN is Hong Kong’s very first specialty American Martini Bar that unravels the mystery of the American Martini by deconstructing history’s best-kept secrets on how to make it.
In the late 1800’s of colonial Hong Kong, ice was once a luxury. In order to escape the humid embrace of the South Asian climate, giant ice blocks were shipped at vast expense from the frozen ponds of New England, passing the Cape of Good Hope, before finally reaching its destination at the Fragrant Harbour. It wasn’t until two entrepreneurs and inventors William Kyle & John Bain patented the first ice machine, that ice became an affordable commodity in Hong Kong.
Paying homage to ice machine inventors William Kyle & John Bain, John Nugent – Beverage Director of Leading Nations and Head Mixologist of KYLE & BAIN – adorns the Ice House street concept bar with colonial-inspired creations, offering a neighborhood gastropub for Martini lovers to call their second home. Stay tuned for Margo and Kyle & Bain’s official opening this end June 2021.
About LEADING NATION
Founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Gerald Li and Kevin Poon, Leading Nation is a Hong Kong-based hospitality group specialising in eclectic F&B concepts with a focus on quality, craftsmanship and design, leading to unique culinary experiences.
Leading Nations Hospitality portfolio includes stand-alone concepts such as La Rambla by Catalunya – located in Hong Kong’s iconic International Finance Centre, Wagyumafia Hong Kong – the first international outpost of top Chef Hisato Hamada’s wagyu-centric concept; and The Diplomat, recently voted as one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. Driving shop growth are multi-location brands Morty’s (American Deli), Mashi No Mashi (Wagyu Ramen), and Elephant Grounds (Lifestyle Specialty Cafe).
As key players in the international Art and Fashion scene, co-founder Kevin brings an urban appeal to fine dining, while partner Gerald’s strategic approach to operations and keen sense of culinary trends places the group at the forefront of Hong Kong’s dining scene.
Restaurant Contact – Margo
Address: Shop 6, 9 Queens Road, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2130 7731
Instagram: @margo.hkg @MarioPaecke_Photography
Bar Contact – Kyle & Bain
Address: Shop 6, 9 Queens Road, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2222 2345
Instagram: @kyleandbain @jpnuge