Designer EVGENIYA LAZAREVA creates an exciting and eclectic Singapore restaurant now open in the centre of Yekaterinburg
Founder and Lead Designer of Singapore-based interior design and concept studio HOT DESIGN FOLKS, Evgeniya Lazareva, has been working and living in Singapore for more than six years so she is well qualified to unleash Singapore Style on Russia.
She understands the steamy heat, the vibrant greenery, the pong of durian, the intricacies of laksa, Peranakan colours – and she translated all these typical Singapore things to the design concept of Soyka Rest.
Lead Designer Evgeniya Lazareva, on bringing Singapore Style to the Russia-based restautrant:
Soyka Rest is inspired by Singapore for its interiors and story concept. Key elements include classical colonial details, Peranakan art and craft, and lots of tropical greenery. The original idea for the restaurant’s food came from Singapore’s hawker centres where you can try a wide mix of different Asian dishes.”
As you enter the restaurant, you sense the elegant yet eclectic colonial setting with its Peranakan ceramic art and motifs. The fun begins as the stunning sculptural island bar with three tiers in brass shows off colourful bottles of liquor, a pink Singapore Sling waiting on the counter of black stone.
Beneath the dome of the exposed brick vaulted ceiling, vintage globe pendant lights anchor the dining area, as high and low banquette sofas combine with loose furniture groups to offer a variety of dining scenarios. The warmth of wood enriches woven rattan and wall features, parquet floors, and old-school Singapore coffeeshop chairs.
Soft silhouette murals of jungle creatures across the walls juxtapose large mirrors that open up the space, inspired by contrasting hues of Peranakan greens and tangerine orange.
In the open plan kitchen with wood fired oven, chefs hustle out laksa, pillowy bao, steaming bak kut teh – and, yes, durian ice cream. When they need herbs and exotic salad leaves they climb up to the mezzanine micro-herb garden, which is inspired by Victorian glasshouse architecture.
Eclectic and stylish, the rich vernacular elements and playful contemporary details of Soyka Rest create a fun dining experience infused with the atmosphere of Singapore.
A Chat with Evgeniya Lazareva, founder and lead designer at HOT DESIGN FOLKS
1 What feeling and experience did you want to capture with your design of Soyka Rest?
Sweltering, drowned in greenery, urban jungle Singapore is probably one of the most technologically advanced megapolises of our times. Yet, there are probably few other places where you’d find such a strong bond with tradition. Nostalgic reminders of the olden days – Peranakan shophouses and colonial mansions stand cloaked with old tales and beliefs. Whilst working on Soyka I wanted to capture this sentimental and peculiar character, where every element of the interior is a chapter in a storybook.
2 What are some of Singapore’s Peranakan elements that you used in the restaurant interiors, and why did you use them?
Peranakan ceramic art played a big role in shaping the look of Soyka Rest. A heady blend of contrasting colours, floral and geometric motives all at once, which I streamlined and expressed through the large blocks of hexagon tiles and tropical murals. Choice of interior scheme fell onto the traditional combination of peacock green and tangerine orange hues. Another subtle touch is the dining tables – they follow the shape of an octagon also known as an auspicious Pa Kua in Feng Shui.
3 Do you have a favourite part of the restaurant in terms of its design?
My favourite piece and also one of the most challenging elements is the island bar. One of the key inspirations for the design was a Tiffin Carrier, the traditional lunch box concept, a layered cake of containers each filled with flavoursome ingredients. This idea led me to a three-tier structure. Multiple shop drawings, prototypes and phone calls later we overcame engineering challenges, and a slender freestanding cantilever back bar became reality.