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Modern, Regional Indian Food

Client: Clay's Kitchen & Bar

What we did: Interior Design / Furniture specification / Bespoke joinery & metalwork drawings / Graphic design & packaging

Clay’s approached us at the start of 2022 to help them move from their 35 cover restaurant in Reading into a new, larger venue across town in Caversham. They had secured an old pub that they wanted to convert into a family-run, independent restaurant which gave them the chance to expand and explore new menus with over 120 covers.

We created a formal dining area in one half of the restaurant, with a section for private dining seating group bookings up to 20 people. We also created a large bar area and theatre kitchen for tapas style smaller plates – allowing customers to enjoy a drink, lunch or a light bite.

The concept (and the name!) was created from their Hyderabadi style of cooking curry in clay pots – we’re using lots of natural materials such as timber, linens, terracotta tiles ...along with some of their brand personality including splashes of yellow and orange. We’ve also included a few nods to their previous restaurant for nostalgia and brand recognition, including a yellow metalwork cage above the bar, housing delicious wines and some of their take-home products.

Clay pots and greenery surround a huge skylight void, which floods the venue with natural daylight during the day; and glows with warm LED lights as the light fades in the early evening.

In 2023 the venue will increase capacity again with further seating planned for outdoor, which will be surrounded by greenery and festoon lighting, and hanging fabrics.

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A feature within the venue includes a donor wall, honouring more than 620 people who purchased gift vouchers to support the project, as the owners Nandana & Sharat crowd-funded part of the project build costs. Other features include hand-painted signage and a large mural wall with silhouettes of key landmarks across the Indian skyline.

The food will reflect Nandana & Sharat's twist on modern Indian food from various regions around India, including their hometown of Hyderabad. The bar offers an extensive selection of drinks, as well as regular pairing events with local breweries.

The venue boasts three kitchens – one for the main dining experience; a theatre kitchen front of house for the tapas plates served in the bar; and a prep kitchen purposefully designed to create their home delivery kits. Continuing their success during lockdown, Clay's food will still be available to enjoy at well as some new products they intend to launch to market in 2023. 

© Images by Matt Inwood 

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