Great Restaurant Design: Zest

Sarah Micallef – 16th August 2016

The local restaurant scene has really come into its own over the last decade or so, not just in terms of variety and quality, but also when it comes to décor and ambience. Zest, in St Julian’s, was of the first modern eateries to put décor on centre stage.

One of the first modern eateries to put décor on centre stage, right alongside the food, is Zest in St Julian’s. Opening its doors in 2002, Malta’s first Asian fusion restaurant, according to director Erika Cassar Rouvelas, is “where East Meets West in both dining and décor, effortlessly blending the best of Asian taste with European refinement.”

The concept was clear from the outset, she says, and was interpreted to perfection by designer Pippa Toledo. “A design element that is unique to Zest is its location within a converted townhouse on the first floor of the boutique Hotel Juliani in Spinola Bay. The history of this unique setting is preserved and appreciated in original architectural details found throughout the restaurant, particularly in its façade, lounge and bar.”

Describing the restaurant’s overall design as modern, fresh and elegant, Erika adds that the chosen colour palette reflects the colourful Asian cuisine that inspires the menu, “and the signature pink found in our logo repeats throughout the restaurant in unexpected places such as custom lighting and bold statement walls.” Speaking of the importance of aesthetics within a restaurant, she continues, “we eat with all of our senses – most importantly taste, but also sight, smell and touch. Ambience is no less important than any other aspect of a meal. We have always put aesthetics first at Zest, and we are encouraged to see that new restaurants are following suit.”

This is a snippet. Read the full feature on the latest issue of Business Agenda.

Sarah Micallef – 19th August 2016

The second instalment in our restaurant design series celebrating local eateries with an eye for décor looks at restaurant and farm shop Diar il-Bniet in Dingli, which subscribes to that old Maltese proverb, ‘l-ewwel ma tiekol, l-għajn’.

24th July 2016

The final instalment of our summer courtyard series looks into Martin Azzopardi and Simon Walker’s townhouse in Gharghur, which blends the modern with the traditional – a feat that is the result of decades’ worth of work and dedication. Their courtyard was a crucial part of their project, and is now the central focus of their beautiful home.