Located on the second floor of The Landmark in Central, Hong Kong, Mak Mak is the newest edition to hospitality group JIA’s stable of restaurants throughout the city. Wong appointed NCDA to give the interior a modern vibe, with elements reminiscent of a Wes Anderson film.
Guests at Mak Mak are greeted by a façade resembling an elegant, 1960's Thai grocery shop which includes Thai staples such as canned coconut milk, chilis and bottles of red sala syrup. The entrance also works as a full-service bar and takeaway counter for diners on the go. A service bell that rests on top of the host stand is really a secret button that needs to be puched to gain entry to the 60-seat restaurant through the hidden door.
Inside, NCDA has created backlit shutters on an interior, rattan-covered wall to create the subtle illusion of sunlight, being that the space is devoid of windows. The rattan-covered wall features framed artwork in various sizes, each a unique collage of Thai newspaper and cardboard packaging. Across the green- and white-tiled walls, Mak Mak is spelled out, a Thai term that actually means ‘lots’.
Modern timber chairs and benches contrast the coloured surroundings, while wooden tables are adorned with earth-toned plates. "To gather inspiration for Mak Mak, we spent countless hours researching shop houses and wooden villas in Thailand," said NCDA director Nelson Chow. "We knew we wanted to give the space a uniquely cinematic environment, so we re-watched our favourite Wes Anderson and Wong Ka Wei movies.”