SUBSTANCE, Sheung Wan / ELITE GRACE INTERNATIONAL / 2013
Hong Kong's dining scene is notoriously tough and local diners are choosy; restaurants open and shut all the time, scathing reviews are posted on popular websites and if the restaurant doesn't satisfy it is quickly out of business. Sal Curioso had to cut through the clutter of new restaurant openings and leave diners with not just a satisfied palate but with a strong impression about where the cuisines’ influences came from. The client was also the chef, and is an experimental traveler who fused ingredients from around the world with technical prowess, and we needed to demonstrate that.
The Chef has a voice through ‘Sal’, and the applications were developed as a form of visual education so they communicate directly with the customer. We maintained Madam Sixty Ate’s language informally and with a twist to portray Sal’s quirky personality, experimental yet technical, which also is indicative of the cuisine. Sal being an inventor, all the communications materials are his tools; Patent applications are menus, annotations are on the wall, labels for devices are business cards and cooking contraptions are displayed as installation pieces. Even the coasters are not immune to Sal’s touch, being type 1 prototypes.
Sal Curioso was recently voted Most Popular Restaurant by Dining City and, without any digital PR, has been featured in numerous high profile design blogs such as Yatzer and Formfiftyfive. Over 20 publications in the last four months have approached Sal Curioso to feature the food, cocktails and chef and almost all asked detailed questions about the world of Sal Curioso. Sal’s charisma is unintentional, conveyed through his genius, fastidiously built machines and unintended humour, all of which have proven to engage guests who ask for more details about the machines, the dishes and indeed about our client, the chef himself.