Among the latest of these iconic restaurants to open in the region are located at the Ajdan Walk in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi. The new redesign for Asha’s outlets was carried out by the creative studio LW Design Group.
Havelock One – which since 2007 has manufactured the interiors for 17 Asha’s restaurants across the GCC and implemented the fit-out for six of these - was responsible for the full turnkey works on the Asha’s at The Galleria Al Maryah Island, which has a seating capacity of 127.
Inspired by Bombay Deco, LW’s design reflected the spirit of the food served – unmistakably Indian with a modern twist. The magic of the restaurant’s ambiance lies in the details … patterns, symmetry, artwork, wood-look porcelain tiles, leather, velvet, and above all, the rattan screens offsetting the signature orange that pervades the interiors.
In line with the brief of the client which was seeking a cultural yet modern twist to its restaurant, the design has elements heavily inspired by Bombay Deco, making it an inviting yet sophisticated space for a pre-movie dinner or a reprieve for shoppers.
“The client had a signature orange colour that they wanted us to keep for the interior while adding a unique blend of art deco and contemporary modernism to the mix. The combination of these elements created a wholly unique sight for visitors, who would be awestruck by the changes to this iconic restaurant,” says a spokesperson for LW.
Commenting on some of the challenges of the project, he says: “One of these challenges was to create a bar that would reflect the expressive art deco interiors within a restrictive space. The bar was a necessary part of the overall aesthetic, mainly because of the brasserie atmosphere that our team was going for. The design team curated a smaller yet expressive bar to complete the aesthetic. The bar is right at the entrance, which sets the visitors’ expectations and allows them to take in the ambiance of the restaurant as they enter.
“Another major challenge was to find décor and furnishings comprising the vibrant touch of India, along with the sophisticated nature of art deco. Dedicated furnishings and décor were essential for an immersive ambiance. The team was able to overcome this hurdle by turning to local markets instead of major chains. Surprisingly, they found thematic furniture that was as expressive as art deco, yet displayed a slight touch of Indian culture.”
Havelock One was appointed to translate LW Design Group’s vision for Asha’s at The Galleria Al Maryah Island into reality.
“From start to finish, it took our UAE-based fit-out team 15 weeks to deliver the 4,500-sq-ft F&B (food and beverage) project. We were responsible for the manufacture and fit-out of FF&E (furniture, fittings and equipment), joinery and metal works for Al Maryah,” Jihad Raad, Division Director Hospitality Manufacturing, at Havelock One, tells Gulf Construction.
Havelock One’s factory also supplied FF&E joinery and metal works for Asha’s at Ajdan Walk, which opened in late 2019 as well as the outlet at Waterfront, Kuwait. Asha’s at Ajdan Walk offers 143 covers while the one in Kuwait boasts 145.
Outlining the scope of works on these projects, he says: “We manufactured all the bespoke tables and chairs, bar counter, waiter stations, and decorative metal shelving. We also installed custom chandeliers, unique dining lights and decorative brass fixtures.”
Huda Lighting provided bespoke pendant metal lights that add depth to the ambiance.
The reception and bar counter tables are set on Corian surfacing solutions with a steel skeleton, covered with wooden sheets and aluminium decorative metals.
Havelock One also supplied several vanity brass products, including the washbasin to match the design theme. Planter boxes and outdoor furniture recommended by LW Design Group were also supplied. The concrete planters throughout the space are from La Veranda furnishings.
Wood-grained full-bodied porcelain tiles give a very natural look to the restaurant, without the hard clacking heard when walking across on a regular wooden floor. Vintage Indian accessories came through local markets, adding a charm to the explosive personality of the restaurant with their cultural motifs. The feature rattan screen, which is one of the highlights of the restaurant adding intimacy to wherever the visitor is sitting, came from the Tribe Dubai furnishings store.
“LW designs top-notch spaces and we went the extra mile to match our raw materials to the selections as seen in the design intent. Our team members travelled extensively to make sure the company implemented the designs to perfection. We made sure the site drawings and measurements match with our production line,” Raad says.