Design for Dinner

by Desi Creswell, Tastemaker in Residence

Moti Mahal - London

Moti Mahal - London

Even if the food is appealing, I have a hard time eating at those “hole-in-the-wall” establishments. As an interior designer I can’t help but take into account a restaurant’s design as part of the overall dining experience. I’m a firm believer that memorable dining experiences are as much about the environment as they are about the food. A restaurant’s design is your first hint at what you are about to sip and sample. One of my favorite dining memories is of a meal my husband and I shared a year or so ago in London at an Indian restaurant, Moti Mahal.  

The food was amazing, but even more so, the experience was incredible. Attentive service, beautiful vessels and platters with which the food was presented, and a design that allowed the chefs and tandoor ovens to act as theater for the guests. My husband and I were fortunate enough to be seated directly in front of this display. As we made our way through the tasting menu it was fascinating to watch the techniques that resulted in the delicious food. This culinary journey was equal parts atmosphere and flavor – the perfect combination in my option. 

The next time you are in a restaurant take note of the details – the type of seating, the graphics and typeface used for the menu, the nature of the lighting – and remember that these are all a part of a composed experience that is meant to appeal to all of the senses.