Shiraz sidesteps traditional Middle Eastern templates, surprising diners with it's modern, simplified take on Persian Decor.
Fans of the Orientalist's woven rugs might experience a sense of deja vu when they dine at Shiraz, for amongst the sumptuous decor, they might catch a glimpse of the Baghera family, owners of the famed carpet business as wellas founders of this restaurant. Opened three months ago, the restaurant leverages on the escalating hip quotient of the newly refurbished Clark Quay and has been steadily attracting a clientele of fashionable PMEBs with a taste for exotic cuisine.
Authentic Persian food with a chic modern presentation is the order of the day and the interior design adheres closely to the menu. Instead of playing the Persian theme to the hilt, interior designer, Deirdre Renniers chose to tone down the traditional theme by opting for clean minimalist lines as a canvas for the rich Middle Eastern elements. Having worked on projects for the Shangri-La in Bangkok as well as boutique hotels in Sri Lanka, Bali and Dubai, Deirdre demonstrates a knack for simple contemporary design with impeccable cultural sensitivity.
Past the casual alfresco dining area, guests will be greeted in the entrance atrium by an elaborate Persian chandelier composed of an assortment of colourful Middle Eastern glass lanterns. Emulating a courtyard layout, the space thereafter splinters into three distinctive area, punctuated by archways reminiscent of Islamic architecture. To the right, an open kitchen entices diners and passers- by with it's rich aromas while on the left, an intimate bar area offers a snug chill-out space for drinks and finger foods. Further into the restaurant, the main dining area distances itself form the effervescent activities in the front, doubling as an intimate showcase for Middle Eastern artifacts displayed neatly in recessed niches.
Viewed from the outside, the ingenuity of the design is even more apparent, it takes full advantage of the existing glass panelling and hides just as much as it reveals. An intriguing contradiction of sorts, the restaurant is a clever interplay of public and private spaces, and an alluring mix of modern and ethnic themes.