Like a pairing wine, an interior fitout to match a restaurant’s menu is an art and can affect the dining experience dramatically.
On this note, there could be no greater task than matching a menu planned by British chef Heston Blumenthal with an interior design, but Bates Smart took on that challenge with a completed fitout for the Michelin Star chef’s new ‘Fat Duck’ restaurant at Crown Melbourne.
Designed around the idea of chiaroscuro—the use of strong contrasts between light and dark—the Fat Duck’s 50-seat dining area features deep upholsteries, dark lacquered panelling and rich carpets, all juxtaposed by a clever lighting design delivered by Electrolight architectural lighting firm.
And like the menu, Bates Smart have contributed a few quirks and eclectic additions to the interior of their own including a host of weird terrarium jars on bench ledges, an eight metre by two metre “interactive jigsaw” featuring a caped Blumenthal, and a Fat Duck fob watch that counts down to the last service on August 15.
Each diner is given a piece of the jigsaw puzzle that will be completed with the last piece going in on the last dinner service.
Blumenthal told the Herald Sun that he was pleased with the design:
You wouldn’t know it’s a temporary restaurant, it’s kind of grand, but it’s relaxed,” he said.
“And the lighting at night, it’s the best lighting I’ve ever seen in a restaurant.”
The restaurant is situated on the third floor of the Crown Melbourne with views overlooking the Yarra River and the CBD. The Fat Duck launched in February 2015 and will remain open until late July when it will close and the space will be re-designed to host “Dinner”, another of Blumenthal’s restaurants.