FROM POP-UP TO PERMANENT WITH OUR NEW DESIGN

Energy, colour and innovation complete the transition from street-stall to vibrant debut restaurant in Chit Chaat Chai’s new brand and interior. 

Following rave reviews at supper clubs and food markets, the masters of the Indian street eat  - Chit Chaat Chai - recently opened the doors to their first permanent site in South London. With a stand-out interior and branding, created with Avocado Sweets Design Studio, the two-floor restaurant has already enjoyed queues of eager diners. 

The menu sees Indian street eats, or 'chaat', paired with mouth-watering chai-based cocktails and mocktails. Cooked at street stalls, chaat is an essential part of eating out in South Asia. High in flavour and light on the stomach, chaat are small dishes eaten as treat food for family days out or weekends with friends. Craving this ‘best of foods’ and with little on offer in the UK, founders Tania Rahman and Dhruv Haria have produced a flavour-fest of a menu for Chit Chaat Chai. 

To capture the energy and enthusiasm of the brand, Avocado Sweets worked with them to replicate the innovation of the recipes in the look and feel of the restaurant. Taking cues from Indian typography and the colour and vibrancy of Indian daily life, the design is a feast for the eyes and includes some trademark Avocado Sweets innovations. 

 Varnished vintage Indian newspapers create a unique floor in the upstairs dining room while the stunning mural of Indian cinema legend Madhubala designed and created by  Paintshop Studio Ltd  keeps a watchful eye. 

Varnished vintage Indian newspapers create a unique floor in the upstairs dining room while the stunning mural of Indian cinema legend Madhubala designed and created by Paintshop Studio Ltd keeps a watchful eye. 

As Evros Agathou, Creative Director of Avocado Sweets explains: “Taking a concept from street-stall to restaurant needs a carefully thought-out transition. The look has to convey the new permanence of the brand without losing the youthful energy of the pop-up scene. 

“Tania and Dhruv’s passion for the food was clear from the outset so it was a fun challenge for us to translate that into a winning logo and interior. Just like the twists in the chaat recipes, we’ve kept an overall Indian feel and injected a unique mix of colour and innovation to create a visual feast to rival the food.”

The brand

As the tongue in cheek name would suggest, Chit Chaat Chai cook seriously good food but definitely don't take themselves too seriously. To capture the sense of fun, vibrancy and innovation in the brand, we created a colourful, bold logo that was rooted in Indian typography tradition but with a modern urban feel fit for their debut restaurant site and beyond. 

The design

 The back dining area has a colourful, intimate vibe. 

The back dining area has a colourful, intimate vibe. 

Three distinct zones cater to the informal lunch and dinner crowd in the front restaurant with the vibrant tiled cocktail bar setting the scene for the intimate back area. 

The upstairs dining room, available for party hire, boasts a stunning graffiti art mural of Indian cinema legend Madhubala designed and created by Paintshop Studio Ltd. Look down, and you’ll read all about life in India in the 19th Century on the bespoke flooring made up of copies of the Bombay Courier and Bengal Herald. 

 The upstairs dining room: texture, colour, art and innovation. 

The upstairs dining room: texture, colour, art and innovation. 

Up-cycled vintage Indian bucket lamp-shades maintain the street scene vibe, while vintage tin tile wallpaper adds a sense of depth and texture to the space. Not forgetting the toilets with bespoke colourful Indian magazine articles covering the walls to ensure you won’t be bored for even a second. 

The painted red peg-board cladding adds to the range of textures, while colourful hand-painted murals add a playful edge. With the word ‘chaat’ spelled out in neon Seletti lettering on the back wall, customers won’t forget the star of the show in a hurry. 

 Time for a chit chaat. 

Time for a chit chaat. 

 Light and welcoming - the front dining area. 

Light and welcoming - the front dining area. 

 No area is overlooked when it come to colour and fun and that includes the toilets!

No area is overlooked when it come to colour and fun and that includes the toilets!

See more of the project on our portfolio page.

Chit Chaat Chai is at 356 Old York Road, London, SW18 1SS

Follow: @chitchaatchai

Avocado Sweets are multi-award-winning designers and communicators. We've helped launch and develop a number of successful hospitality brands, from well-known names, such as Poppies Fish and Chips and Barrio East to brand new start-ups like the award-nominated Little Saigon. Our innovative home designs have caught the attention of the media world-wide. We treat every design with the care and attention we would if it was our own. Please get in touch to discuss your design needs: susie@avocadosweets.com, 020 7043 0712. 

Photography credit: Andrew Beasley