A South Pacific-inspired wallpaper was the hero of the fit-out when Tanya Zealey, interiors associate director of Ellivo Architects, designed this vibrant South Brisbane eatery
“When a new apartment block was completed in South Brisbane, the operator was keen to get a restaurant up and running to service the patrons. It was a blank shell—a dark concrete volume. It was a canvas to work on, which was awesome.
“We wanted the 400-square-metre space to be fresh and clean, operating through breakfast, lunch, dinner and into cocktail time. When we met the chef/owners, Angelo and Angela Velante, they described their style of food. This fitted in perfectly with our thinking.
“The husband-and-wife couple are Filipino and Polynesian so their heritage is really important. We developed detail to reflect this. Another influences was the kitchen’s slogan, ‘Eat clean, drink cool’.
“The space comprises a back-of-house kitchen, dining area, bar and lounge, private function room, small outdoor zone and amenities. Some of the design elements include practical timber flooring which brings warmth to the space, and a lighting selection, such as Moooi’s ‘Emperor’ suspension lights from Space which adds texture.
“But it’s the wallpaper in the main dining area that’s definitely the hero. It’s called ‘Original Martinique’ and was designed by Don Loper for the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1942. We imported it from America for this project.
“In the bar area, there are two large murals of Ang and Ang’s mothers. The couple both attribute their cooking skills and passion for food—and the drive to get out there and start their own restaurant—to their mothers. The murals were designed by graffiti artist Gus Eagleton. For inspiration, Ang and Ang gave him some tiny photos of their mums, and it was incredible to watch him paint.
“The laser-cut screens designed by Lisa Schiffermuller drew inspiration from tropical leaves and creates privacy and intimacy in the large space. We also added feature drop ceilings, custom designed banquette seating and warm furnishings to make the space feel more domestic and welcoming.
“When we worked on the fit-out, the kitchen needed to be near the service cartel, so it was positioned on one side of the restaurant. It meant that the bar would be quite prominent while the restaurant worked around the kitchen.
“We designed an open kitchen so diners could see what the cooks and chefs are actually doing. Ang and Ang wanted people to actually see the preparation and all the action in the kitchen. It also shows off the freshness of the food, while patrons can even smell the flavours.
“We also designed a small bar area out on the street with oversized pot plants and outdoor furniture. It’s actually on the footpath so we had to add some softness to the zone. We also added some fast-growing creepers for privacy.
“During the design and fit-out, we had a really good relationship with the operator and the owners, and it was a pretty seamless project. It definitely has the impact that we had planned. The eatery is fresh and inviting—a real contrast to the urban surroundings of bitumen and concrete.”
6A/108 Wickham Street
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Tel: 07 3831 5055