At Lan Kwai Fong’s newest dining establishment, Sal Curioso, diners can share space with a curious mind while enjoying authentic Spanish cuisine, thanks to an intriguing design by Hong Kong-based Italian interior design and architecture firm Stefano Tordiglione Design.
The concept of the design is based on the life personality of the imaginary food inventor and traveller Sal Curioso. Following the chef’s footsteps when creating the concept for the restaurant, Stefano Tordiglione Design sliced the space through the middle to create a distinctive split effect centred around a construct and deconstruct concept. Using cement, a neutral material at the bottom and top, the middle section of the room is accentuated with sophisticated and elegant blue molding panels to create a floating sensation for diners. The bottom and top reflect the imagination and ideas of the Spanish adventurer Sal Curioso, around who the restaurant is designed and named, while the middle zone in which people sit is where his creations become a reality as diners consume Spanish fare. The contrast of gritty, contemporary concrete with classic panelling gives the eating zone a luxurious feel.
Divided into distinct areas, each of the space has unique design. The lounge is a welcoming cozy space, inspired by clubs of the 70s with optical wallpaper, sofas covered in colourful fabric and stand-out black and red stools. Quirky and bright design themes continue throughout. From the bold, cut Spanish tiles of the mosaic bar, in keeping with the overriding construct and deconstruct concept and inspired by Spanish architect Gaudi’s decoration, to the mixed-era furniture including ‘50s chairs and ‘60s banquettes designed by Stefano Tordiglione Design and ‘70s vintage lamps in the chef’s table, the restaurant is a delightful gallimaufry of eras and worlds that come together under one roof. Details are expressive of an imagined journey. Wave-like sand-blasted mirrors surround the sleek stainless steel open kitchen, also reminiscent of grand ocean to reflect the importance of seafood in Mediterranean cuisine. Large central columns in the dining area are decorated with patterns and prints inspired by the Islamic palace and fortress complex Alhambra, in Granada, Spain. Opposites attract in the bathrooms, where an inverted theme is apparent with the bottom and top of the space finished in simple black and white tiles, while a striking strip of stark cement runs around the middle. Like Sal Curioso’s extraordinary mind, his restaurant is full of surprises.