Wok This Way by Studio Mestry is a novel take on the traditional Indian-Chinese restaurant, with a thoughtfully curated oriental theme. Circumventing the banality of traditional asian motifs, the Studio has employed an eclectic palette of woven cane, arches in the interior architecture and laser cut metal artwork. The vibrant orange backdrop (an integration of the brand colour) is offset by grey terrazzo floor tiles and a generous interspersion of greenery. Apart from the abundance of sunlight, the endearing 350 sq ft Mumbai eatery is brimming with truly distinct details, such as planters suspended from dim-sum boxes! Scroll down to read the Studio’s description of the space.
Wok This Way is a quick service cafe serving traditional Asian cuisines with innovative combinations of locally sourced vegetables. The client brief given to us was simple, they wanted to create a cafe that would have an oriental look and feel and would also have an overall strong sense of identity as a space that would stand out in a neighbourhood which is overly crowded with restaurants and cafes.
Our idea was to create a space that would reflect with the food Wok this Way offers – simple, clean, organic, while also creating a bright and inviting interior that adds a whimsical pop of orange to the street, as orange is their brand colour. Since it was a tiny space of roughly 350 sq ft with a high ceiling, we wanted to create a more intimate experience while bringing out the oriental theme in as understated a manner as possible.
A combination of pale wooden seating and table tops along with white walls and black ceiling, set against an orange wall, make the space appear bigger and brighter. To add the informality of a street-like ambience, we used grey terrazzo floor tiles throughout the space, along with lantern-like lighting. To ensure maximum visibility, the entire cafe facade comprises clear glass panels with a combination of orange powder coated aluminium sections and solid paneling at the top and bottom.
We worked closely with the client to come up with all of the restaurant’s graphic applications, adapting the existing identity with new iconography for signage, menus, partition wall art to shop front etched graphics with all pattern work inspired by and adapted from traditional Asian print designs. We wanted to avoid clichéd references to Chinese culture in India, and thus refrained from using obvious traditional patterns or symbols anywhere in the space. Instead we used contemporary elements to redefine the Asian design, like the use of cane as back rests and within the kitchen wall partition and wall art using different patterns and line graphics.
Traditional woven cane is used in the space through a series of arches for the kitchen partition and high back rest for the seating. Laser cut metal artwork is fixed on top of the cane backrest, which is inspired by oriental cuisine. Along with cane, inspiration was also drawn from the traditional Asian window design with mullion grids for the backrest. Wall art with a contemporary take on the Oriental patterns and graphics is installed on one of the walls along with planters suspended from dim-sum boxes. On the opposite wall, four wooden shelves are placed to display artefacts and more greens. These are supported by circular orange metal rings of different sizes.
Thus the material palette used in the space consists of neutral colours of ash wood laminate, grey terrazzo floor, white walls with hints of orange throughout. Overall the design is kept simple by using geometrical shapes, clean graphics and arches set against a vibrant orange backdrop and lots of plants throughout the space.