On a recent weekend wander, I came across British Michelin starred chef, Tom Aikens’ homey restaurant on the waterfront of Dubai’s “The Beach” at JBR. Its like stumbling into a rambling old farmhouse packed full of genuine rustic charm, within a brand new, slick precinct.
Aikens manages four restaurants in London and two others in Hong Kong and Istanbul, yet found time to be heavily involved in creating a space that evokes childhood memories of your Nan’s, Nonna’s or Mamie’s kitchen, mixed with a good smack of Grandpa’s or Abuelo’s shed. And yes the cuisine is Mediterranean, designed to share with family and friends, served up in rustic pots, pans or on timber chopping boards. No big shock there!
Aikens’ old-fashioned home kitchen concept, was executed by Michaelis Boyd Associates. Aikens styled it with used pots and pans, chopping boards, old knives and jars of food, which he collected in his travels. The floors and communal tables are made from beautifully weathered reclaimed wood, and there is a good dose of hand made tiled walls and timber parquetry columns. The expanded metal grid ceiling, gives an industrial edge and allows the furniture and accessories to float theatrically in the space.
The light filters in from three sides of the space, helping it feel more like a big ol farm house, and its beachfront location enhances the casual unpretentious vibe. The open kitchens add drama and the comfort of being in a vibrant family kitchen.
Photos by the author
Project info from Arabian Business