Paramount Lebanese Kitchen is the first UK venture for Middle Eastern restaurant and grocery chain, Paramount Fine Foods. Having expanded its presence rapidly in the USA and Canada, the brand was keen to translate its branding for a new audience.
London-based design studio, Temza, was selected to take on the restaurant’s interior design. The Temza team felt that the intial brief – entailing a dark, moody feel, with theming around London landmarks – wouldn’t be a good fit for the London market, and proposed a revised concept with a casual, yet elegant feel.
The new vision was to create an authentic Lebanese environment, setting it apart from other conventionally bright, loudly colourful Lebanese restaurants in the city. Traditional techniques, materials and styles would be employed, with a light and airy green colour palette and complementary brass and wood veneer elements.
“One of the things we really respected was Temza’s commitment to their design,” explains Greg Smith, executive vice president of Paramount Fine Foods. “There were a few occasions when we pushed back because we didn’t quite see the vision, but senior designer Julia and the team really stood their ground and believed in their concepts. In the end it all came together as they said it would.”
The interior sees a careful balance between high end and cost-effective materials, with spending focused on feature elements that would make the most impact.
The walls, for example, feature an artisan Tadelakt finish. This specialist plaster technique, used traditionally in Lebanese houses, involves applying and polishing by hand. Temza’s in-house construction team completed the finish, having undertaken specialist training in the technique.
The tactile finish to the walls complements the traditional patterns on the floor and natural wooden dining furniture to create a warm, inviting and authentic atmosphere within the space.
Other highlights include an open kitchen, which offers a visual spectacle for the discerning clientele, and a mirrored reception unit which helps to reflect natural light around the restaurant.
The colour palette within the restaurant is predominantly green, complemented by on-trend brass and wood veneer elements such as the full length brass cladding on the open kitchen front. Low lighting, with backdrops of black and white photos of Lebanon, helps to place the cultural element of the restaurant.
Strong branding was an integral part of the concept, and has been artfully incorporated within the design. From a custom-made fascia sign on the restaurant’s exterior, through to a bespoke brass totem, complete with an illuminated logo, and custom-designed menu boards – every detail fits with the brand’s image.
“We were extremely pleased the finished project and are now using concepts from the new design on our other locations around the world,” concludes Greg. “The team at Temza are professional, easy to work with and we are truly excited about working together again on our next project.”