This week You! takes a look at the interiors of ‘Seven Kitchen’ in Karachi which is done on nautical, Scandinavian and urban modern lines...
They say we eat with our eyes; this statement totally holds true. One look and you can decide whether you want to go inside the cafe or a restaurant to enjoy a scrumptious snack or meal. A great interior design for a restaurant is as important as the quality of food or beverages they serve. However, to create a stylish space, one needs to bring together all the elements of design such as furniture, luxurious finishes, and alluring lighting. These days restaurants across the country try hard to stand out from the rest and go for designs that are not just stunning, but apt.
A restaurant is a space with a distinct concept and cuisine philosophy; and food enthusiasts are always on a look out for an eatery that can please all their five senses. And, the recently opened ‘Seven Kitchens’ offers all the elements to make your dining experience a memorable one. The restaurant is the brainchild of nutritionist Dr Asif Amjad Ali, who did his PhD in Nutrition from Harvard University. “‘Seven Kitchens’ is a spinoff of my previous business, called ‘Wellness 360’, a programme we started seven years ago where we provided the patients all the meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - so that they won’t make any mistakes and the results would be much better than giving them a diet plan or prescription and asking them to follow it,” Dr Asif Amjad told You! on how the concept of opening a restaurant came about.
“For that programme, we started a kitchen where we cooked for almost 100 people every month. The idea popped up when people who left the programme demanded our food because it was healthy and delicious at the same time. So, I thought that why not open an eatery where people can eat healthy and have whatever they desire - whether it is continental or just simply desi - we offer quite an extensive and diverse menu,” he says.
As for how he came up with the name, ‘Seven Kitchens’, Dr Asif reveals, “We were confused of what should be the identity of the restaurant. Our specialty is diversity - starting from continental cuisine to desi dastarkhawan, to steak house and then the healthy lifestyle menu, to street food, to sweet and sinful dessert section and the bar where we serve over 150 drinks. We provide the most diverse menu in Pakistan and we didn’t want people to be confused while coming in here and thinking that they have come to a desi or a continental eatery. We have seven different options to choose from and that’s how the name came up.”
Coming to the interior design, it is interesting, extremely vibrant and welcoming. The minute you enter the joint you feel revitalised. “We initially hired many designers but then I realised that I had conflicted aesthetics and I wanted certain things done my way. So my son, Awais Asif Ali and I have designed the entire space. The whole idea was to create balance harmony and take care of the elements of space, light, colour, texture and patterns, and I think we have achieved that,” states Dr Asif.
Talking about the theme of the eatery, he informs that it is done on nautical, Scandinavian and urban modern lines and is pleasing to all the five senses. “It is a mix of the three. We wanted a warm and relaxing ambiance and we have tried to achieve that by catering to the musical needs of the customers. And then there is always a great sense of smell in the restaurant with aromatic candles all around. Moreover the sense of touch has been well taken care of with the kind of upholstery and furniture pieces that we have picked out. And finally the sense of taste; we make sure to provide you with the best quality food that is nutritious and delectable at the same time.”
As far as the colour combination is concerned, it has been inspired by the Mediterranean architecture. The two colours that dominate the space are Mediterranean blue and white, which gives a refreshing vibe to the space.
One look at the restaurant and you can tell that the owner has incorporated a bit of everything in the design to achieve the desired look. “There is a whole space that is dedicated to art, the kind of art that I love, i.e. the abstract form. It is quite a challenging form of art as when you look at it you try to decipher what the artist is trying to say. Every time it looks different and that creates a lot of mystery. There are three paintings - the series is called ‘The Circle Of Life’ - and all of them are large scale abstracts with phenomenal strokes. The colours are exceptionally bright and each one of it tells a story.”
According to Dr Asif, the entire place is made of modern tiles that are not too slippery and have the right texture. “We went with large Italian tiles for the flooring. Also, to make the entire space user friendly we went for a cork wall. It’s made out of cork tiles and they have multiple functions. Not only does it provide echo management, it also brings the temperature down by 3 to 4 Celsius. Besides that there is a special glass wall, which filters the sun light pouring in. This glass wall filters almost 70 per cent of the heat so cooling is much easier,” he informs.
Lighting is a highly specialized area of design; it can captivate one’s mood. “Lighting is designed it in a way where you can really change it whenever you want to. There are spot trails and adjustable lights that can be moved around creating customers want. It can create spots, dark areas and can also create a candle light effect.”
On a parting note, Dr Asif shares that they definitely have plans to expand. “In order to expand, I want to open up a culinary school because we don’t want to compromise of taste and quality of the food being served here. Replicating the same chef in every restaurant is just not possible so as soon as we can do that we will surely open more restaurants around the country.”