DesignLSM, have recently completed the interior design for Chai Ki in Canary Wharf. This is the second restaurant for owner Rohit Chugh – the first being Roti Chai located on Portman Mews South, London.
Chai Ki is seen as a development from the original restaurant, creating striking new interiors with influences from Roti Chai. Other inspiration were drawn from New York and the space itself – which consists of high ceilings and dramatic areas; ideal for our designers to create a visual arresting interior. The design style is urban, with raw finishes and detailed design features. Each area within the space has its own character and personality; yet has been designed to ensure visual harmony across the whole scheme. Subtle features nod to the Indian heritage; such as the waiter stations that are reminiscent of Chai stands on the streets of India and the headlight feature on the walls that are seen on motorcycles in Indian cities.
Customers enter the space through a series of structural steels with an exposed timber joisted ceiling. Situated by this entrance is a take away ‘Fast Bar’ area where customers are able to get coffees, Chai and takeaway food. Within the lounge area a patch work, blackened steel and brass bar stretches the full width of the space with a mezzanine level above lowering the ceiling height and providing a home for a feature beer store. The main visual element within this area is the beer infuser, mixing beer with unique flavours created specifically for Chai Ki. High level seating, long tables and bespoke lighting features create a moody atmosphere which defines this area.
The mezzanine level is reserved for dining. It is enclosed with blackened steel and expanded metal balustrade and looks out on to the front boardwalk and into the bar. This can be sectioned to use as a private area or an extension of the bar. The large kitchen has been treated as an architectural intervention. A concrete rendered block houses the kitchen in the centre of the restaurant. A bespoke hot rolled steel, brass and oak staircase wraps around the kitchen block and takes customers up to the WC’s.
The rear of the restaurant is flooded with natural light during the day and overlooks the River Thames. A section of the dining room is surrounded by a vivid orange curtain which can be utilised to create a private dining space. At night, the lights that adorn the ceiling make the space atmospheric. An open pass into the kitchen gives diners a view of their cooking through an orange window which adds to the ambience, creating a sense of drama and heightening the customer’s culinary experience.