Designed by Bali-based studio Ushers By Design, MAURI is a minimalist palace that belies an intimate dining experience downstairs and Apertivo hour on the upstairs balcony.
19 June, 2019
A friendship between two Italian chefs who separately came to (and met in) Bali, Indonesia, has evolved into a culinary partnership with the recently opened MAURI restaurant in Seminyak. Happily remaining in the kitchen, they have engaged Bali-based design studio Ushers By Design, led by Caroline Usher and renowned for their work in the hospitality sector, to take the lead on the architecture and interior design.
In doing so, Caroline has drawn strongly from the Italian heritage of the chefs, finding inspiration specifically from the iconic coastal town of Puglia. A neutral palette reinforces the minimalist interiors.
Soft white stucco, natural beiges and marble create a calming setting: the team carefully avoiding using white in a tone or material too stark or jarring. “We didn’t want just any white – bright white or a cold white – so we had to find the right pigment to match the ambiance, giving texture to the walls and stairway.”
The stucco was an important reference to the Pugliese coast: “The interiors are very light with just the perfect shade of white stucco, which is so iconic to Puglia, with the rows of white houses along the coast bathed in the warm sunlight,” says Caroline.
She adds, “It’s a very comforting space, with beiges throughout keeping it all very neutral, with little pops in the details, such as the small purple flowers on the tables, or our art installation, created by Michaela at Gaya, of green ceramic cactus leaves that are hung on the back wall.”
The ground floor comprises the main dining area, seating up to 40, and a live kitchen enclosed in glass. This allows patrons to witness chefs at work yet protect them from the heat and noise of an industrial kitchen, maintaining the calm ambience created by the rest of the interior.
Upstairs a separate bar and lounge area with an outdoor balcony serves small bites and cocktails: Aperitivo-style. “There is a landing in the middle [of the staircase], where guests have a wonderful vantage point into the kitchen and over the main dining area,” says Caroline. “The stairs are a focal design point of the restaurant.”
MAURI offers an intimate dining experience that weaves in design cues inspired by the iconic coastal town of Puglia, Italy, in amongst the South East Asian setting. Mauri is also the nickname of one of the chefs, and by using it to name the restaurant he hopes it will help express a desire to be close to his patrons.
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