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Playing with fire

Let’s take a journey back to the way things used to be. To heritage Indian comfort food expertly prepared with fire and smoke…

Khai Khai was slowly cooked over a year and half. Not helped by Covid 19. A great project for us, with both our creative teams working hand in hand, creating the brand and the interiors simultaneously.

Khai Khai’s innovative offering is centred around ‘Smoke play’ reflecting the expertise of highly skilful chefs cooking over coals, bringing to mind the shifting interaction of darkness, fire and transparency. The kitchen team is presided over by celebrated Michelin-starred chef Alfred Prasad and his exquisitely curated menu charts India’s extraordinary culinary evolution with its melting pot of distinctive regional food traditions and cultural heritage, a journey back to the way things used to be. These elemental cooking techniques inform the food and also helped shape the concept for the brand world. Quirky illustrations of village scenes, fiery, smokey painted textures and ornate lattice work patterns are central to Khai Khai’s brand DNA, and we weaved them through every brand touch point, from the in venue graphics and art, to the menus on the tables and the website.

Our gorgeously dark and moody bar design for Khai Khai, crafted from antiqued mesh and metal, decorated with burnished studded details. Softly lit from within. With a deep, dark green marble top counter, flanked by leather and antique brass bar stools, finished with a stylish strap detail. The bar is presided over by two of our favourite light features, the Smoke Play tube light and blackened steel light box in the window.

Magic and memories

Using some of the illustrations, patterns and textures we created for the brand, we designed a series of artworks to be displayed throughout Khai Khai’s two floors. A body of work, full of charcoal and smoke, that compliments the cuisine – legendary dishes prepared over hot stones, coals, wood fires in the revolutionary josper or the age-old tandoor oven.

We wanted to add some magic and drama to the interiors, including a corridor flanked with an enormous framed artwork that sits on a bespoke wallpaper opposite some circus style convex and concave mirrors. And a red neon sign with Khai Khai’s ‘Smoke Play’ tagline sits in a theatrical village scene from which coloured smoke is periodically flooded. To make sure that every guest’s visit to Khai Khai is full of memories.