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Friday, 12 May 2017

PINTOH - A Celebration Of Laos!

If the Japanese have Bento and then the Laotians have Pintoh! Tiffin Carriers or lunch boxes or Pintoh as they called in Laos are stacked containers of food used primarily by the locals to transport cheap workday or midday meals.

Pintoh is also the name of a contemporary restaurant in the heart of Melbourne central business district serving up delicious dishes from Laos and Isan.

A finalist in this year’s Dulux Colour Awards, Pintoh boasts a contemporary interior space that celebrates style and colour. Ethnic tiffin carriers turned into show stopping light pendants and fixtures, bold use of colour and heaps of layered texture is at the very centre of the restaurant's design! The comfortable seating is a mix of formal banquette seats, individual tables with rustic provincial stools and separate longer tables with farmhouse style chairs. The unique interiors of Pintoh have been planned and designed by bespoke interior design agency Studio Y.

I had the opportunity to chat with Yaron Kanor from Studio Y on Pintoh's design concept. Here is what he had to say about the overall direction for Pintoh's creative inspiration and interior design.
Can you describe the project - PINTOH?

Pintoh, named after the Laos version of a tiffin or lunch box, is a glimpse into, and a celebration of, the food culture of Laos and Isan.What was the client brief?

Melbourne's CBD already had plenty of south­east Asian eateries but it didn’t have much in the way of Laos cuisine, which is distinct from other Asian cuisines.

Our clients wanted to establish an authentic Laos restaurant that celebrated the spicy, colourful food of Laos.What was the overall vision for the cafe design?

We quickly identified the pintoh itself as central to our design inspiration. As well as paying tribute to this humble item we wanted to incorporate natural, organic materials in a colour-drenched setting.What was your main inspiration for the design and how did you go about establishing a concept and an overall direction for PINTOH? 

The colour palette drew its inspiration from the food itself. The hues used throughout the interior are representative of the muted versions of the spice palate used in traditional Laotian food.

But the pintoh was the central item in this concept and there are elements of it throughout the interior. We really let our imaginations run wild and everything from the custom lighting, to the colour palette to the steel frames around the seating banquettes embraces this simple item and puts the spotlight on it.What design related challenges did you face?

As the site is very long and narrow it was necessary to break it up with a variation of seating. So we implemented banquette seating with steel frames that mimic the shape of the pintoh as well as wooden stools and farmhouse-style chairs that connect to the colour palette on the timber-cladded walls.If you had to describe the aesthetics and design of PINTOH in 3 words, what would they be?

Colourful, contemporary and relaxed.What is your favourite part of the design?

The lights that were custom-designed by Ambience Lighting using re-purposed pintohs are the beating heart of this project and concept.Where do you see Studio Y in five years?

Everywhere.A quick look at the before and after of the restaurant space really shows how good interior planning and design can transform a simple shell into an unforgettable interior!
Not much has been said or done about Laotian cuisine before this and it is the one Asian cuisine that was missing from Melbourne. The food is authentic yet contemporary with heaps of spicy flavour to tempt and tantalise your taste buds.

Pintoh is a true celebration of design, style, food and culture that fills the gap and transports you to the bustling streets of colourful Laos from the moment you step through the doors. 

Pintoh: 165 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 03 9650 8452, pintoh.com.au

Till next time... pop on over to Pintoh and check it out for the full Laotian experience!

ALL IMAGES PROVIDED BY STUDIO Y

About Studio Y
Studio Y is an agency dedicated to interior design and commercial aesthetics that defy gravity. Melding the big business idea with unique traits of each project, Studio Y gives birth to unique spatial experiences that work.

Each Studio Y project is a powerful extension of vision and purpose, the union of spirit and aspiration. With a track record that lends itself to projects as diverse as hospitality venues, accommodations and large-scale events, they’ve taken many clients to audacious new heights and new frontiers that excite. 
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