Saigon Street

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Saigon Street, Bali Interior

Saigon Street was a fantastic project to work on, and the food is out of this world! After the restaurant opened in mid-2015, we were thrilled with the response from customers and the glowing reviews…and then came the Gold Award for International Retail Design at the 2015 London Design Awards. Blown away! We were beyond thrilled to be recognised for this unique design, and it just goes to show that when you have passion and inspiration and a great team (and that includes our clients), there’s nothing you can’t do.

The space is an amazingly layered, detailed design that brings casual Vietnamese dining into the future. The challenge was working with an existing structure, which needed substantial building work. A lush laneway space and an enclosed pergola wrapped with vines gave the restaurant the atmosphere of a local street market, without the overwhelming heat and humidity.

Inspired by our beach surroundings and the lively atmosphere of downtown Saigon, we avoided the clichés. It was important for the restaurant to stand on its own: helmed by well-known Melbourne chef Geoff Lindsay, with the owner, Aki Kotz of Ku De Ta; there were some big reputations to live up to! Recent inspiration trips fed into the mix: underground Tokyo neon, vibrant Barcelona, the passion of Buenos Aires, a little David Bowie circa 1980 (R.I.P Legend)… then we took our colour palette from classic Vietnamese graphic design and travel posters of the 1950’s, with that lovely soft green so often seen on doors and woodwork in the French Quarters of Hanoi and Saigon.

Mostly everything was custom made for the space, including all furniture, bar and bulkhead, light fixtures and the neon signs were designed to wash the walls in beautiful pastel colours, creating a cinematic atmosphere. We worked with Bali’s amazing local artisans to create the perfect fit-out. Put all those elements together, and you get a space that is at once authentic and modern, exciting and laid-back.