Timothy Oulton’s Whimsical Hong Kong Restaurant

SLIDESHOW: Inside Gough’s on Gough, Timothy Oulton’s first restaurant.

What happens when Timothy Oulton, a quirky antiques entrepreneur, designs a restaurant? Feathers on the walls and piranhas in the fish tank.

Timothy Oulton is one of those people you’d describe as ‘a character’. Beyond creative, the second-generation British furniture and antiques entrepreneur is known for hosting wild and decadent parties at his showroom in Gaoming, China. So it was only natural that his sense of occasion should lead him into the restaurant business.

This month, Oulton opened his first fine-dining and bar venture, Gough’s on Gough, a whimsical Gatsby-esque adventure next-door to his Hong Kong furniture gallery. Named after its location on Gough Street in Soho, the modern British eatery is an Alice in Wonderland escape from the city’s often too-predictable dining scene.

At the front door you are greeted by ’Derek the Diver’: a 1940s deep-sea-diving helmet and vintage Russian diving suit, surrounded by Amazonian red-bellied piranhas in a custom-built aquarium. Stepping over the threshold, optical Roman-patterned marble walls and flooring cover the ground-floor bar area in a mesmerising display. A central floating spiral staircase in marble and brass draws your gaze up but tells nothing of the space above.

On the first floor, an illuminated moonstone bar takes inspiration from the Art Deco period, handcrafted using herringbone K9 glass and brass panels. Rich hand-tufted leather banquettes and marble dining tables with brass inlay convey a heady sense of romance and occasion, while fluffy white goose feathers line the walls, impossible to resist.

A sumptuous cavern of crystal, marble and leather, the decor at Gough’s on Gough is a feast for the senses, and an ideal showcase for his furniture. Oulton’s vision for the project was to create “a seductive subliminal assault on the senses for the ultimate romantic experience”, and every inch has been designed with this in mind.

Oulton said: “For me, it’s always been about giving people a great experience. That’s the company philosophy; it’s why we always have red roses and Champagne in our stores. Experiences start with the senses.”

The menu is equally flamboyant. British-born head chef Arron Rhodes has built a menu of classic fare with a modern twist: British, but with global influences. Signature dishes include beef pop shot and slow-cooked Hungarian chicken with sautéed peas, confit asparagus and a raw mushroom carpaccio. A bespoke artisan cocktail list features nods to British heritage. Rhodes has worked for restaurants such as Restaurant André in Singapore; two-Michelin-starred restaurant The Vineyard at Stockcross in the UK; three-Michelin-starred Hof van Cleve in Belgium; and Central Restaurante in Peru, not to mention masterminding the world’s first underwater restaurant in the Maldives.

Oulton has been present on Gough Street since 2012, followed by Rare by Oulton, featuring his personal antiques collection, which launched in 2015. Oulton plans to launch another restaurant in the coming months in Chelsea, London.

Read our interview with Oulton on hosting the perfect party.

Recommended For You

Related Articles

Timothy Oulton

Table seating

Table seating

View Less
Timothy Oulton

Staircase

Staircase

View Less
Timothy Oulton

Moonstone bar

Moonstone bar

View Less
Timothy Oulton

Moonstone bar

Moonstone bar

View Less
Timothy Oulton

First floor

First floor

View Less
Timothy Oulton

Gough’s on Gough Entrance

Gough’s on Gough Entrance

View Less
Timothy Oulton

Bar seating

Bar seating

View Less