top of page
  • Writer's pictureSasha Huang

How The Aubrey Become The Highest-Ranking Japanese Bar in Hong Kong on Asia 50 Best


Devender Sehgal Matt Reid

Experience The Aubrey, hailed among Asia’s 50 Best Bars, a partnership between Maximal Concepts that beckons all guests to indulge in an eclectic Japanese izakaya unparalleled to others. Situated on the 25th floor of the iconic Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, The Aubrey boasts a breathtaking view of the city skyline. The signature experience takes inspiration from Japan's 'omakase' tradition, flavours and spirits for a two-hour journey through the vibrant Japanese beverage landscape. Here, we ask the Co-Founder & Group Managing Director of Maximal Concepts, Matt Reid, and the Assistant General Manager of The Aubrey, Devender Sehgal, for their top 5 tips for the proud establishment's great recognition.

1. The Right Talent & Support Team

The right talent and the right support team is crucial to the success of any business, especially in the food and beverage industry. It defines both the brand and the space. The right team elevates the guest experience, ensuring the guests feel welcome, and well looked after, whilst being able to inject their own unique style and personality into each interaction. Guests will come back again and again if they have felt connected to, and well served, by our team.

-Matt Reid, Co-Founder & Group Managing Director of Maximal Concepts

2. Create an Identity & Commit to It

Creating an identity and committing to it is one of the key secrets to our success. We are not the first Japanese focused bar in Hong Kong, but it is our visual identity and the customised guest experience we create that makes us unique. Typically Japanese Izakaya is more like street food, at The Aubrey we elevated it to a new level from both a food, drink and a design perspective. The Aubrey is designed to make you feel like you are in an obsessive art collectors home, with over 200 hand-picked items of Japonism art, centred around Aubrey Beardsley – the collectors muse. It’s warm and inviting, intricate and eccentric.

-Matt Reid, Co-Founder & Group Managing Director of Maximal Concepts

3. Offer Something New & Unique

Offering something new and unique, keeps guests coming back for more. We are one of the first bars to specialise in Shochu and Awamori outside of Japan. By presenting these spirits in new and unique ways to a fresh audience, we have been able to set ourselves apart, celebrate the spirit of Japan and take our guests along for the journey.

-Devender Sehgal, Assistant General Manager of The Aubrey

4. Consistency is Key

Consistency is key. When it comes to quality, whether it’s food or drinks a bar has to be great in today’s world in order to sustain the business otherwise you will not survive. This greatness needs to be delivered every time as it’s a luxury purchase and with that comes an expectation that you must always over deliver on.

-Devender Sehgal, Assistant General Manager of The Aubrey

5. You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup

You can’t pour from an empty cup. This one is the most important and without it, nothing else is possible. Opening a bar from scratch is daunting. It can feel unachievable, overwhelming and impossible. Everyone in the team needs to have a role that supports each other, ensuring equal workload with time to rest so that you don’t end up feeling burnt out by the place you passionately love. Work should be enjoyable, it is your energy that you transmit to people when they walk through the door and if you are not looking after yourself and getting the rest you need, the guests feel it. I started running a few years ago and it has really been a lifesaver, finding something outside of work whether its sports, a hobby or any sort of entertainment is good for your health but ultimately it also helps you to connect with your consumers. I deeply believe it!

-Devender Sehgal, Assistant General Manager of The Aubrey


All imagery is provided by The Aubrey and Maximal Concepts.

Address: 25/F 5 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong | Website: | Phone: +852 2825 4001 | Email: | Instagram: @theaubreyhk | Facebook: @theaubreyhk


bottom of page