Big appetite: Restaurants/Cafes/Bars

An increase in cultural food experiences in recent years has led to a host of dining experiences, adding theatre to eating out.

London will soon welcome its first avocado bar on Henrietta Street in Covent Garden – just one of a host of new dining experiences opening. Designed around a relaxed Californian vibe, avocado lovers can expect living plant walls, natural materials and high quality fresh ingredients. As restaurateurs think of new niche dining experiences, quirky concepts are popping up all over the place.

Opening this month, YEN will specialise in soba overlooking the Thames at 190 Strand in London.

Sybarite has revealed images of YEN, a restaurant specialising in soba overlooking the Thames at 190 Strand in London. YEN will follow in the footsteps of its sister restaurant in Paris and will offer traditional Japanese cuisine. Guests will be able to enjoy the art and theatre of the twice-daily noodle preparation thanks to a bespoke glass space on show to all the restaurant.

Chinatown has welcomed ICHIBUNS, boasting an eclectic Tokyo rock 'n' roll interior designed by Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo’s Studio Glitt and inspired by 50s and 60s Japanese subcultures and the all-American diner. A wall is lined with working Japanese pachinko machines and another with Japanese craft beer cans. Displays include Japanese Manga comics, vintage newspapers and traditional fishing flags, whilst a DJ takes the stage within a converted Daihatsu micro van.

ICHIBUNS in Chinatown boasts an eclectic Tokyo rock 'n' roll interior.

'We are currently in discussions with a number of exciting home-grown and international brands with the aim to transport the very best experiences to Chinatown London and across the Shaftesbury villages,' says Julia Wilkinson, group restaurant and strategy executive at Shaftesbury.

Central Cross, a new 48,000 sq ft mixed-use development, is a key space currently being curated in Chinatown. It will include three large restaurants fronting Newport Place, all with external seating, which will be a first for Chinatown London, as well as four smaller café units.

This year, Seven Dials has welcomed independent coffee shop, Boki; a new English café concept from Barbary and Palomar founders Layo and Zoe Paskin named Jacob the Angel; and the iconic American burger concept, Shake Shack, recently opened at Cambridge Circus. 'The cafés, Boki and Jacob the Angel, are both beautifully designed spaces that people can pick something up from whilst on the go or use as a place to work from with an all-day menu. Shake Shack will boast a similar fast casual offer to grab a bite either side of a theatre trip or during a day out shopping. In addition, it is one of only a handful of standalone sites in the UK for the brand, creating a unique appeal, and driving footfall through to Seven Dials via Earlham Street,' continues Wilkinson.

'In recent years, we have witnessed an increase in cultural food experiences, driven by London’s inherent cultural diversity as well as its growing status as one of the restaurant capitals of the world.  Shaftesbury’s villages are great examples of this and cater to a vast range of tastes. Each area places a greater focus on experience and creative dining that take you beyond other restaurant offers in the capital. Popular dining experiences at these locations include enjoying a Whole Fry Sunday roast at Chick ‘n’ Sours in Seven Dials, barbequing fresh cuts of meat at the table at Olle in Chinatown, or watching a traditional Taiwanese tea brewing ceremony at XU on Rupert Street, all offering customers a unique dining experience, which is now almost as important as the food,' says Wilkinson.

London has welcomed Bloomberg Arcade, a new food hub at Bloomberg's new headquarters in the Square Mile, designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners. The new food hub features 10 eateries and spans across two buildings.

The mixed-use Shoreditch Village development will include a host of restaurants.

Shoreditch Village is a 13,935 sq m mixed-use and public realm scheme, which when complete will provide approximately 4,645 sq m of warehouse-style office space, 20,000 sq ft of flexible retail space, and a street market, all surrounded by an open and inviting, south-facing public realm. Mamarosa has signed up for the development, following its location beneath the W Hotel in Barcelona.

Further afield in Oslo, dockside dining, dim sum and DJs are all on the menu at Hakkasan’s new Nordic venture called Ling Ling. Nulty Lighting designed a lighting scheme that sits within the unique space and interior finishes that has layers of light integrated within the architecture.

Dockside dining, dim sum and DJs are on the menu at Ling Ling in Oslo.

'Long-drop pendants hang over tables for intimacy, and a prominent preserved tree is brought to life by a backlit coffer above that accentuates its height and creates dappled shadows through the leaves. Outside, lighting has been integrated into the planting and the pergolas to create a cosy atmosphere,' says Emilio Hernandez, associate lighting designer at Nulty Lighting. 'Back indoors, a galvanised metal conduit installation is a real eye-catcher. Punctuated with light it forms a framework and feature throughout the dining space.'

He notes the increase in contemporary versions of classic or retro designs as a design trend. 'This involves darker palettes with the occasional colour to “pop” and a lot of brass, bronze and stone finishes being used. Whilst these may be passing trends, the use of classical materials means that they are likely to have longevity,' says Hernandez.

Fancy Crab seafood restaurant in Marylebone encapsulates the provenance of the Red King Crab into the interior and branding of the scheme. DesignLSM worked on the scheme, injecting the brand’s playful persona into the scheme. An arresting wall graphic captures diners as soon as they walked through the door.

'The F&B industry has evolved rapidly over the last few years. Dining has become much more social and the traditional rules and times of day associated with eating no longer apply,' says Jennifer Burns, lead designer on the Fancy Crab project by DesignLSM. 'Recently we have seen an increase in the number of ‘experience-led’ concepts or pop-ups, tie-ins with brands or media “institutions” – Game of Thrones banquets or theatrical dining pieces such as Dinner with The Twits.'

'People are looking for dining experiences that engage all of their senses, enhance their knowledge and satiate their curiosity and sense of adventure,' concludes Burns.

Best Overall Restaurant – The Penny Drop, Melbourne, Australia by Golden

Restaurant and Bar Design Awards
Highlights from the 2017 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards in October.

Best Overall winners
Best Overall Bar – Westlight, New York, United States by Studio Munge
Best Overall Restaurant – The Penny Drop, Melbourne, Australia by Golden

Best Overall UK winners
Best Overall UK Restaurant – Fucina, London by Andy Martin Architecture
Best Overall UK Bar – The Escapologist, London by Finch Interiors

UK Category Winners
Standalone Restaurant - Clerkenwell Grind, London by Biasol Design Studio
Restaurant or Bar in a hotel – Eneko, London by Casson Mann
London Restaurant – Fucina, London by Andy Martin Architecture
Restaurant or Bar in a heritage building - Lost & Found, Knutsford by Concorde BGW
Restaurant or Bar in another space - Nando's Putney Kitchen, London by Fusion DNA
Fast/Casual - Nelson's Diner, Newbury by Prosper
Pub - No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, Chiswick by Red Deer Architects & Box 9 Design
Multiple Restaurant – Obica, St Paul's, London by Superfutures
Bar or Club - The Escapologist, London by Finch Interiors
London Bar - The Kitty Hawk, London by Russell Sage Studio
Restaurant or Bar in a retail space - Wallpaper* Bar + Kitchen, London by Virgile + Partners

UK & International Category Winners
Leisure – Björk, Hemavan, Sweden by Murman Architects
Outside – Colicci, London by Mizzi Studio
Luxury - Collins Room, London by Robert Angell Design International
Pop-Up - Coppa Club, London by Inhouse Design
Ceiling - Gold on 27, Dubai, United Arab Emirates by Keane
Nightclub – LEXY, Zürich, Switzerland by Dyer-Smith Frey
Murals & Graffiti - Mi Chola, Aspen, United States by Davis Ink
Colour – Nanan, Wrocław, Poland by Buck Studio
Lighting – Piccolino, Mount Waverley, Australia by Hachem
Identity - The Penny Drop, Melbourne, Australia by Pop & Pac
Surface Interiors - The Penny Drop, Melbourne, Australia by Design by Golden
Café - Vyta Santa Margherita, Florence, Italy by COLLIDANIELARCHITETTO

Westlight, New York, United States by Studio Munge

International Category Winners

Europe bar – ADAM&Co, Amsterdam, Netherlands by TANK
Australia & Pacific bar - Beta Bar, Sydney, Australia by DS17
The Americas restaurant - Duck Duck Goat, Chicago, United States by AvroKO
Asia bar – JIS, Sapporo, Japan by The Wholedesign
Middle East & Africa bar - Lock Stock & Barrel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates by Broadway Interiors
Australia & Pacific restaurant – Piccolino, Mount Waverley, Australia by Hachem
Asia restaurant – Rhoda, Hong Kong, by Joyce Wang Studio
Europe restaurant - Shade Burger, Poltava, Ukraine by YOD Design Lab
Middle East & Africa restaurant – Urbanologi, Johannesburg, South Africa by Haldane Martin
The Americas bar – Westlight, New York, United States by Studio Munge



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