The gastronomic community in Bahrain is rejoicing: Nikkei cuisine is making a foray into the country and it offers more than just the usual dining experience. In January 2020, Clay, the newest restaurant concept by Food Fund International (FFI) opened its doors at the funky The Terminal building in Adliya, Manama’s bohemian neighbourhood.

Havelock One Interiors was responsible for creating this new Japanese- Peruvian hotspot, completing the turnkey fit-out and in-house manufacturing of the restaurant’s select pieces of furniture and design features.

The restaurant does not only satisfy the appetite but also provides an escape, albeit momentarily, from the trappings of modern life. Inviting guests into a cosy environment at the crossroads of nature and ethno-pluralism, the restaurant’s warm and distinctively earthy colour scheme offers the right setting for a relaxed evening.

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with FFI’s in-house design team. Their restaurants boast of interior designs and décor that enliven the senses and prepare the palate for the exquisite cuisine they serve,” says Jihad Raad, division director, Bespoke Hospitality Manufacturing and Fit-Out in Bahrain at Havelock One.

Covering 7,500sqft on the fifth floor of The Terminal building, Clay certainly lives up to similar brand qualities. The restaurant features natural materials, wooden furniture, and the combination of parquet flooring and marble lets guests feel at ease and be grounded in the moment.

“Our joinery and upholstery department in Bahrain produced the intricate wood carvings and the tufted banquettes that allow guests to talk comfortably while dining,” adds Raad.

The craftsmanship of Havelock One’s glazier and metalworking teams can also be seen in the kitchen and bar countertops, and the doors and windows in textured and tinted glass, offering hypnotic views of the city.

A standout feature of the restaurant is a hand-painted ceramic mural depicting traditional Japanese art and a mesmerising ceiling art with hanging clay balls and paper lanterns at the bar area. Havelock One also installed waterproof layers, new steel structure, thermal insulation, sun reflective solar coat paint, complete MEP, foot rail, antique mirror, and the aluminium façade.