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Conquering Asia– One Restaurant at a Time

Will Meyrick Takes the Mama San Brand from Bali to Hong Kong

(4/27/2014) Bali celebrity chef Will Meyrick continues to spreads his culinary wings far and wide.

With three successful restaurants under his belt – the award-winning fine dining flagship Sarong, its younger sibling Mama San – both in Bali, and the more recently added E&O Jakarta in the Indonesian capital – Will is now commuting regularly to the "fragrant harbor" to open his fourth venture Mama San Hong Kong.

The glamorous sister to the famous Mama San Bali, the Mama San kitchen and bar is located in the heart of Hong Kong’s dining precinct at 46 Wyndham Street, Central.

Mama San Hong Kong opens in May 2014.

A self-proclaimed street food enthusiast, Will Meyrick has undertaken in-depth research of traditional recipes and culinary heritage during countless travels throughout Asia, collecting the spices, flavors and textures of the local food and cooking styles. Among the cooking persuasion absorbed and admired by Meyrick include Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Malay, Singaporean, Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese.

He has taken these culinary traditions and amalgamated them into his personal style that is now synonymous with his reputation as a street food chef. “Mama San illustrates a story of a madam of authority in an Asian gentlemen’s club, who takes care of her girls with affection,” Meyrick said.

“That’s pretty much how I see myself in keeping the authenticity of the cuisine culture in the restaurants I manage by learning from women all over the region, who are willing to pass on their knowledge,” he continued.

The new restaurant plans to adapt to Hong Kong and an adopt an ambiance reminiscent of edgy colonial times in Shanghai during the 1920s – all located in a purpose-designed industrial ceiling warehouse. Diners can gaze up to Mama San in all her glory or stare down at patrons dining and pondering over a travelogue of old photographs. Textile designer Justine Missen created the retro-inspired wall mural wallpaper at Mama San.

During his endeavors, the restaurateur, writer, entrepreneur, and judge on Top Chef Indonesia allies with his long term Thai “partner in crime” Palm Amatawet. "We've both fallen in love with travelling, finding authentic recipes and the story within a dish." Will explained. The two chefs actively scour the villages and street food stalls from India to Indonesia, Myanmar to Malaysia, Vietnam to Thailand. They are currently developing a further restaurant location in Bali that is due to open at the end of the year.

Not afraid to head into unchartered territory and learn "on the fly" as he goes, Will’s career has led him from London to Sydney and then throughout South East Asia. After successful periods with two of Sydney’s leading restaurants (Longrain and Jimmy Liks), Will succumbed to the charms of the small island of Bali.

Will Meyrick continues to explore the culinary landscape of Asia, taking inspiration from the unique food culture of each destination. You’ll find him at street stalls, in neighbourhood kitchens and backyards, at markets, getting off the beaten track to get to the heart of the dishes that move and shake him, tracking down the original recipes that are handed down through generations or reigning supreme at one of his popular eateries in Bali, Jakarta and, now, Hong Kong.

Shown on Balidiscovery.com are Palm Amatawet and Will Meyrick.