Quebec food counter gets southeast Asian facelift

The renovation of a Vietnamese food counter on Saint-Jean Street in Quebec City aimed to update the image and general atmosphere of a dining room, while respecting the welcoming climate and family traditions of the owners—a hallmark of the restaurant.

Conceptualized by interior design firm Perron, the refurbished eatery—renamed from La Campagne to GAO—incorporates colours which reflect a neutral palette reminiscent of rice and noodles. The earthy materials exude a similar sort of refinedness as the palette. The space is equipped with a sophisticated and comfortable character.

Additionally, it reflects the spirit of the establishment, which includes cooking with simple foods to create extraordinary recipes that stand the test of time. The large counter, extending from the reception to the rear dining room, accentuates the atmosphere of conviviality, while connecting the two spaces together and defining the customer journey with its rice-patterned wallpaper.

Perron collaborated closely with the owners, the Phan family, to accurately deliver their culinary vision within a functional and pleasant workspace.

During the pandemic, the GAO team also reinvented itself with a new takeout menu offering, which Perron supported through its design of the main counter.

“The use of an arch pays tribute to the traditional architecture of Vietnamese temples, and an associated abundance of greenery and local vegetation,” says Nathalie Perron, Perron’s designer, and founder.

The curved furniture—custom-made by the general contractor, Le Saint Construction—the coloured stitching, and the wooden geometry on the wall all contribute to the customer journey and offer different types of dining spaces.

In selecting lighting, the objective was to provide ideal luminosity to the counter to assist with quick and subdued service in the evenings. The process took the form of a monumental suspension, custom-designed and installed directly above the counter. These design elements, combined with the friendly cuisine of the Phans, invite patrons to take a journey to Southeast Asia for a meal.

This project won multiple Grands Prix du Design awards, including gold in the renovation category, silver in the restaurant of less than 148.6 m2 (1,600 sf) category, and bronze in the small budget category.

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