The Pawn restaurant and Wanchai redevelopment


From the same owners as The Press Room comes The Pawn – a new restaurant in a semi-historic setting. Occupying one of the few old buildings left in Wanchai at 62 Johnston Road, the Pawn is located near the former site of “Wedding Card Street,” one of the casualties of this round of Wanchai’s redevelopment.

The owners seem to have a thing for Hong Kong history. The Press Room restaurant was built on the land of a defunct newspaper office (hence the name). In keeping with this naming convention, the Pawn is located in a building that housed a pawn shop in its last incarnation. The place is set to open in Spring 2008 according to the large sign on the building’s facade.

Hong Kong has very few modern offerings in old settings, which makes The Pawn unique.

Whole blocks of Wanchai have been taken down over the last year to make room for new building complexes. Hong Kong’s long march to being the world’s most vertical city continues, as the low-rise buildings that formerly occupied the land are razed.


The Pawn is housed in one of the few token old buildings left standing. It’s actually a well preserved Colonial compared to the other buildings in the neighborhood.

I’ve been taking photos of Wanchai’s transformation over the last two years. Here are a few images below. Most of the buildings in the photos are actually gone already!

[photopress:Wanchai_Hong_Kong_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Wanchai_Urban_renewal_devel.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Deconstructing_Wanchai_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Hong_Kong_Wanchai_street_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Old_Wanchai_building_Hong.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Urban_renewal_wanchai_Hong.jpg,full,pp_image]

The Pawn restaurant address:
62 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
For reservations call: 2866-3444


  • we visited the Pawn Restaurant last night. I thought the concept and menu were very good but the food and service levels were particularly poor. It started with the two uninvited bottled waters, the mix up in the orders , the orders forgotten, the wine topped up in the glass whether you were drinking or not , the size of the servings , finishing with poor value for money. My view is there is a mismatch between service/food/price. Overall experience 3 out of 10. recommend to stay away until they learn the right formula. my fellow guests thought the same.

  • Just getting through the dinner reservation process was patience trying. The person on the phone, while courteous, might have a slight case of ADD. We shall see how the rest stack up!

  • Great Venue, outrageously poor slap dash service with outlandish prices to match. “You pays for what you gets”, well not at the Pawn. After waiting 15 minutes to be served on the balcony bar area, first order was a bottle of wine, 3 G&T’s and a cheese platter. Knowing the place is offspring of the press room, the platter was disappointing to say the least. The cheese selection was below average and had seeping oil beads, obviously it had been sitting out for a while. Ordered a Cohiba at well above restaurant/bar market price, was soft and obviously wet. Needed to re-light at least 5 times before I was a quarter through. Sent back for a Monte Cristo – same deal. A few more beers later, total bill now nearing $2500. Moved upstairs to the restaurant for lunch, table was booked for outside balcony, we were informed our table had been taken (we where early for the booking). Tried the marrow to start. Should be served on toast (we where lucky to get bread after asking 3 times) – suggested to the waiter he should let the chef know about this he told us to go speak to him ourselves. Soup also came to the table cold and had to be sent back to be re-heated. Wine was filled to the brim of the glass continuously making it uncomfortable to drink with no nose whatsoever. By this point the conversation has gone from friends catching up to moaning about the restaurant. Main course was good but for the price paid other HK restaurants offer far FAR better, Tuscany by H, Ruth’s spring to mind. Waiters have water fetish opening new bottles without being requested. Total bill for 4 people about over $5600. Never rant about poor restaurants but I feel other people should be warned about this one. Words could not describe the disappointment. I would have felt better throwing my money into the harbor.

  • well food was great what a treat in hong kong,ham hoccck salad and bone marro, calves liver to tender for words .
    will go back for sure

  • Unbeleivable. I used to steal my mothers jewelry and hock it at that pawn shop. Then go across the road and get a bag from the stadium. Those days are long gone, and its very cool to see that the building has’nt been torn down or radically altered.

  • Worst restaurant ever! After complaining via email about a terrible meal over a month ago, I have not even had so much as an acknowledgement.

    So much for customer service!

    Do yourself a favour and save your money (it is very overpriced!) and head elsewhere.

  • Great meal, great service, very enjoyable. Food was excellent – beef incredible, Mash potatoes a bit average, but service was very attentive and they grabbed us right away and took the wine up to be decanted while we had a drink at the bar. Awesome everythng … loved it.

  • My birthday 28Oct08, accompanied by wife and daughter. The Irish oysters and Lamb along with wine selection top notch. Service attentive though the wine waiter must have thought we were on a drinking contest…..all in all, coz my daughter paid, it was a memorable experience!
    I will return batman!

  • I have my birthday dinner at The Pawn, it was great. Food and service are not bad as some comments are described……….

  • Hi there, love BOTH the Pawn and the Press Group – great concepts, yummy food but yes, a tad expensive. If only we could eat like that cheaply in Hong Kong *siigh* Just wondering though, do you know what group manages these two? Would love to get in touch with them.
    Any help appreciated – thanks!

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