We recently dined at our latest designed restaurant Nutshell, which opened at the end of July in the heart of London’s West End. We sat, ate to our hearts content and naturally ruminated over our work.
After a successful pop-up venture, Mohammad Paknejad and Marwa Alkhalf approached B3 Designers to help them create their first restaurant. We began by taking inspiration from the restaurant’s Iranian-with-a-modern-twist cuisine concept, sourcing influence from the geometry in Iranian architecture and the colours of the landscape.
We brought Mohammad’s family’s history -that is steeped in the farming of pistachios- into our design, drawing on the greens and pinks visible in the fields and the nut itself.
It was important, to both the owners and us, that the interiors complemented the modernity of the menu and architecture of the space, inducing us to use clean lines and simple detailing to create a refined space.
The build of the project itself was a busy 8-week programme, with our dedicated contractors working above and beyond to meet the opening date for the 3-storey site. We loved our weekly site progress visits, where we watched our drawings come to life.
We are especially proud of our design for the entrance to the restaurant, which we believe manages to capture the essence of Nutshell’s offer.
The menu is created around Iranian specialities and underpinned by Nutshell’s open charcoal cooking element, where some of the best dishes are flavoured by the resulting smoke.
For us, the octopus is our stand-out dish that is cooked over the open flame, producing crispy charred and tender flesh, which is amazingly balanced by its accompanying salsa salad.
We also loved the Bazaar Bread, the passion project of the team, a version of traditional Iranian bread; we ordered this one twice, once with the Panir Sabzi -a whipped feta style spread- and again to help us soak up all the incredible sauces from our meal.
The desserts are fantastic. To solve our crisis on what to order we ordered three, with the Persian Sundae rising victorious is our favourite - a refreshing ice-cream dish, topped with cherries and a praline-esque nutty topping.
We have loved working with such passionate people and wish the best of luck to Mohammad and Marwa with this venture and their future.