This sleek yet serene interior design for a Vietnamese tapas bar pays homage to the chef’s roots while, at the same time, establishing a connection with the local South Australian culture. Genesin Studio designed a warm and welcoming space for Viet Next Door, the latest restaurant of second-generation Vietnamese chef Ben Phan. The concept connects traditional artisan craft with seasonal modern food: a space where secret family recipes are served upon locally-made, bespoke tables.

Inspiration was drawn from the humble beginning of Phan’s family in Vietnam, where simple materials were used in practical details. Granite stone-clad floors, oak-strapped walls with inlaid woven grass wallpaper and mosaic tables make it a very textural space. ‘The tactile details of the space have customers looking around enjoying the craft,’ says the design team. Consistent imperfections – the thatched quality of the grass wallpaper, and the melting of the floor and wall into the split-face bar top – create an atmosphere of rustic minimalism.

The booth tables were a collaboration between the design team, friends, and staff. Locally made table tops (made with eggshell mosaic – a local artisan craft) were laid out in a labour-intensive process: it took the collaborative work of six people over a period of five hours to lay half a square meter of the material. ‘It was crucial to create mood and have a hand-made quality in the intimate space,’ the designers say.

This project was featured in the latest volume of our hospitalty-design series, Night Fever 6. Get your copy here.