Thailand | 2020
The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s also the ‘hero’ of this stunning shophouse- to-restaurant conversion, completed by Grey Matters in 2019 in close collaboration with award-winning Singapore-based Michelin Starred chef, Rishi Naleendra. Naleendra wanted his new restaurant to feel enticing; like diners had been personally invited to dine at the chef’s own home-it is the heart of the house; the centre of everything, and he wanted to make sure there were no secrets –that everything was out on display. Grey Matters designed the kitchen to become the theatre and the stage where there is a back kitchen for storage, dish washing and a little bit of prep, but everything is done out in front . In consultation with Naleendra, Grey Matters made sure to maintain a personal, “homely” feel for the restaurant. Though it was to showcase the chef’s award-winning fine-dining, Naleendra still wanted his space to feel accessable and inviting – and to reflect his own personality and the building’s humble history. Designed in sumptuous golds, greys and greens, with foliage accents, it’s dressed with custom-made and repurposed furniture. Large-scale commissioned art by Australian painter, Steve Cross, adorn the walls in the restaurant’s main dining area, and a stunning custom- made fabric chandelier hangs pride of place from the centre of the room. Antique and second-hand stores were scoured for found objects, and an old yellow espresso machine was bought and sent to Australia for reconditioning – it now sits pride of place on the bar. Most importantly, Naleendra’s own art also adorns the hall. Everything else, from the front to the first half of the corridor, is all new artwork, artwork we found, and artwork we had commissioned, but then there’s the second half of the corridor filled with artwork that the chef painted himself two nights before they opened, in the dark of night! The overall effect is both striking, architectural, and deeply personal, allowing diners to gain a real insight into the man painstakingly crafting their meals centre-stage in the restaurant’s kitchen.
International Designers by Rita Chraibi