A World View: Mean Noodles, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Mean Noodles — a play on the idea of “a mean bowl of noodles” and on the fact that “mean” sounds like the word for “noodles” in Chinese — is a marriage of food and design from openUU, a Hong Kong-based design firm. 

The duo behind the 715-square-foot casual noodle shop, Designer Caroline Chou and Chef Kevin Lim, worked together to create a cohesive experience from the secret alley entrance to the menu, the overall concept, the interior design and even the plating.

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The two own and operate the restaurant as well. Lim is both a professionally trained architect and chef from Boston’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

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Chou and Lim took a cue for the interior from Malaysian Batik, a popular textile art with leaves and floral motifs.

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Customer comfort was also a major consideration in the design process: Diners can utilize USB outlets to charge their electronics when dining, while bags and purses can be hung below the marble tabletops to allow customers to sit comfortably.

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Hanging cabinets above the bar are fronted with a custom lighting installation with the restaurant’s name spelled out in lights. A standing bar across from the dining area allows customers to grab a quick bite or an informal happy hour drink. The choice of marble tabletops and marble mosaic tiles complements the green tile found throughout the space. Green is contrasted with mustard-colored seat fabric. Mean Noodles maintained the space’s high ceiling to provide a comfortable and airy atmosphere.

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