“It is a theater of cuisine,” says designer Celia Chu of JP Teres restaurant inside the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, which showcases three cuisines each with its own show kitchen. “The richness of the complex Malay culture is captured in the color and materials. [The kitchens] let the food take the stage.”
One kitchenâ ¯â ¯serving Indian and Malay cuisineâ ¯â ¯works over a curry-toned marble counter. Featuring Chinese cuisine, another serves its dishes over subdued black granite with a split surface finish. A dessert kitchen completes the dining options. “All the materials are natural, and combined create a sophisticated and calming backdrop for clientele to relax but also conduct business in,” explains Chu, founder of Taipei, Taiwan-based Celia Chu Design.
To create an oasis-like space, Chu tried to evoke an urban forest. “[The owners] required the design to embrace the highest level of sophistication but also be a calming, stress-free environment and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy international city,” says Chu.
Made of bronze and toned gold, hanging tree sculptures are scattered throughout the space. “They become an artistic installation themselves, but the lighting and shadow effect created in the evening adds a visual aesthetic as well,” explains Chu. The leaves are shaped to accentuate the high ceilings and the restaurant’s expansive space.
At 12,000 square feet, JP Teres seats 184 guests in an L-shaped layout, with the kitchens aligned across the back wall and facing the dining area. An outdoor terrace offers al fresco dining with a bar and three glass pavilions, while enclosed with a curving stonewall, the terrace remains secluded by running water and tropical plants. “Due to the hot climate, fabric-embedded glass screens are designed to act as a sun-shield during the day, and guests can relax and enjoy the breezy outdoors at the evenings,” says Chu. “The emphasis is on the spatial connectivity between the indoor and the outdoor.”
Teak, oak, and wenge wood as well as a selection of marble, limestone, and granite make up the interior space. “I chose to keep the rich color palette at eye level and below to keep the space relaxing and used more neutral shades and experimental forms to accent the full volume of the space,” says Chu. “This was to keep the space reserved and not overwhelming.”
Despite the neutral palette found on wallcoverings, leather tiles, and painted metals, Chu also took her inspiration from the colorful Nyonya cakea layered Malay specialty. “The rich colors and horizontal lines of the cake are echoed throughout the space, from the fabrics to the tone-on-tone wall treatments.”
“The concept successfully integrates a mosaic of cultural textures, colors, and forms from the Malay people,” adds Chu. “[JP Teres] pays homage to the intricacies of the country’s history but creates a design that is unapologetically modern.”