When you think of the locations of fancy ramen bars, Eastern Russia may not be the first place you think of. That’s the location of Mary Wong, a noodle bar located in Rostov-on-Don that was designed by the team at Fork, a studio based in Moscow. They did an incredible job with the branding and the build out, opting to do stay away from the tropes of “Asian” design and instead focus on the materials to evoke a certain feeling.
I feel like the vibe of the space is contemporary with a touch of cyberpunk, thanks to all the concrete and neon. It doesn’t lean too far into the sci-fi aesthetic though thanks to the copious amounts of wood in the floors, stools, and main table. Overall it’s a really fun space that would be welcomed in any city.
If I asked you to recreate the idea of bread, would you have any idea of what you’d try to create? If you asked Omer Polak, Michal Evyatar, and Erez Komorovsky, they’d tell you that they’d blow it up. Or at least that’s what they’ve done with their project Blow Dough which utilizes an industrial blower that bakes dough into bread balloons.
Each of the doughs is made with herbs as well juices like beet, carrot, and spinach, which gives each balloon a distinct color. What you can’t sense is that it also makes each room smell incredible, fully activating your sense of smell as well.
Their process in making the dough is rather interesting as well.
The process included many experiments in the workshops kitchen. It was a great challenge to succeed in creating dough that is very flexible and can also come thin for baking and the eating experience. We worked almost like scientists, we wrote time, quantities, and temperature that we could produce the exact dough.
I find this whole project to be so entertaining. It’s such a great intersection between art, food, and science. Projects like this make the old adage “Don’t play with your food” completely obsolete.
Read and see more about this project on designboom.
Really into these monochromatic photo series by Isabella Vacchi, featuring different kinds of foods and meal related objects artfully organized together. Isabella deserves a round of applause for being able to light these so well and creating a moody yet unique color palette for each arrangement.
You can see more of her food photography work by clicking here.
I love a good re-use project and the Terminal Restaurant & Bar is a prime example. Designed by István Nyir and built in 1949, The Mávaut Station was one of the largest and busiest bus stations in downtown Budapest. The simple, well-proportioned building was built for long-distance transport requirements with a spacious, bright waiting hall. Thankfully it was preserved as a monument in the 80s, and then in 2004 refurbished as the Design Terminal, the first design center of Budapest.
The interiors design was conceived by the 81font architecture in a tight cooperation with the graphic identity. We were eager to preserve, recall and highlight the original features of the building. This attitude resulted in the emblematic logo, the minimalist copper clock which has served the building from the very beginning. This sign appears on the furnitures as well: the linoleum coatings wear the same clock as a copper marquetry. The iconic Hungarian Ikarus bus is a leading element in the graphic identity as well: the technical drawings of the famous vehicle are part of the menu card. We used a rubber stamp to indicate the subtle changes around the opening period and put a test drive caption (“Próbajárat”) on the paper cards.
The rich history of the space mixed with the subtle design elements is well-considered. The use of the copper clock as a mark was created by Eszter Laki, graphic designer on the project. The warm copper mixed with the whites and navy blues is an attractive, timeless combination. If you find yourself in Budapest be sure to stop by.
It’s a matter of fact that my favorite meal is the hamburger. There’s something so perfect about the combination of beef, cheese, and produce all wrapped up in a pair of fresh buns. Thankfully the folks at Fat & Furious Burger feels the same way, turning hamburgers into these fantastic works of food art. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many different kinds of burgers ever, and you’ve probably seen nothing quite like these. These burgers are themed around all sorts of pop culture topics like soccer, outer space, birthdays, James Bond, all sorts of crazy stuff.
A lot of the time they even include the ingredients to their burgers, like the Burger Blanc sur Fond Blanc below, which includes a chicken breast filet, roasted camembert, honey, white onions marinated in vinegar, endive, and mushrooms. It might be a little intimidating looking but I’d certainly be up for the challenge.
As our climate starts to change so to must our eating habits. We’re currently faced with challenges like antibiotic resistance, drought, food insecurity, and obesity, so where can we turn? Funny enough, it’s the ocean, and this Scientific American article raises a lot of interesting ideas.
“I’m growing more food in 20 acres of ocean now than I was in 100 acres a few years ago,” he said. Oyster cages mark the sea floor, and curtains of kelp sprout along lines suspended by surface buoys. Mesh containers housing scallops, clams and mussels hang among the long kelp leaves. All of these species extract nutrients that leech into the water from land-based agricultural runoff (a significant contributor to ocean dead zones), and that’s central to Smith’s approach. His work with Greenwave is aimed at jump-starting a “blue-green” economy: identifying restorative species in any given ecosystem that make the oceans healthier, that are nutritious, delicious, and economically viable. This is an “elegant solution,” to some of the problems inherent in our current food system, Smith said.
The article focuses particularly on kelp which it dubs as the next “super-food”. What kind of foods do you make with kelp? There’s a surprising number of dishes though the most enticing for me personally is the kelp butter.
Kelp leaves cut into strips make a perfect al dente noodle; pickled kelp stems are crisp, flavorful and refreshing; kelp butter makes a unique but mild and rich spread; and a simple plate of kelp with a bit of sweet sesame dressing gives any fancy kale salad a run for its money.
When it comes to sharply designed branding and identity one of the first names that comes to mind is Brent Couchman and his San Francisco design studio Moniker. One of my recent favorite projects they completed was the branding and identity for Teddy’s Nacho Royale, a Mexican restaurant on the Menlo Park campus of Facebook.
I think what they’ve done is a perfect mix of playful type and symbols, all presented in a clean, contemporary fashion. They specifically “developed the visual identity, signage and interior graphics with a nod to local burrito joints, while incorporating their internal culture throughout the restaurant.” Overall it’s really well done, and a place personally I would love to frequent.
You can see more of Moniker’s work by clicking here.
Coffee making instruments have a long history of being “sexy”. You’ve got the Chemex, the French press, and for the professional, the La Marzocco espresso machine. Added to the list is the brand new Ratio Eight coffee maker which, to use a totally clichéd descriptor, looks as if Apple designed a Mr. Coffee.
We designed the Eight with the ideal balance of form to function. The clear blown-glass and warm black walnut flush-up against machine-sculpted aluminum for a staunch juxtaposition. Every angle and alignment is measured down to the tenth of a millimeter, all for a singular, refined efficiency.
I have no idea if this actually makes decent coffee or not but you’ve got to give it to them for styling along. The combination of aluminum, glass, wood, and cork is a designers wet dream. This is coffee porn taken to the extreme. You can take a look at the video below to get a sense of what the machine is capable of, but be warned, it comes with a hefty $480 price tag.