Plum Blossom – only the name remains the same

Singaporean Hot Design Folks transforms a casual Chinese eatery concept into a high-end experiential dining destination atop Moscow's tallest skyscraper

Designed by Hot Design Folks

From the designers:

The name Mei Hua –  meaning 'plum blossom' in Chinese – was the only thing we inherited from our owner's original venue which closed in the early 2000s. 

Our mission was to revive the concept, transforming it from a well-loved casual eatery to a high-end experiential dining destination atop Moscow's tallest skyscraper.

 Prunus mume is the scientific name for the Chinese plum tree species, hence the name Mume for the new restaurant.

Taking inspiration from its floral name, the restaurant's design captures the plum's journey from bud to fruit. 

Mume's interior design blends contemporary organic elements with an Oriental flair, harmoniously interweaving artistic aspects of Chinese aesthetics. 

Futuristic contours 

The marriage of futuristic contours with traditional materials like lacquer and hutong tiles seamlessly melds the modern and the ancient. 

The colour palette transitions from tender peaches to velvety purples and deep reds, mirroring the evolution from blossom to succulent fruit. 

Organic, sinuous lines represent the flower's natural form, while touches of traditional colours and materials pay homage to enduring family heritage.

Diverse Chinese artistic and traditional aesthetics converge, interweaving celestial and natural motifs to create a mesmerising ambience. 

Bespoke artwork

At the bar, a bespoke brass artwork inspired by the graceful moon takes centre stage, evoking the allure of moonlit nights. 

A metal screen reminiscent of traditional calligraphy art unveils panoramic city vistas. 

In the main dining, glossy red lacquered panels and custom-cut clay tiles resembling dragon scales grace imposing columns, while towering shelves proudly exhibit the founder's cherished family antiques.

Nestled on the 90th floor with unobstructed cityscape views, Mume offers an unparalleled experience. 

Arriving at the reception area reminiscent of a blossoming flower bud, visitors gradually uncover the breathtaking views as they proceed to the bar for a welcome drink. 

From there, options range from the main dining area and chef's table to two private dining rooms.

Project challenges

Mume is more than just a restaurant; it's a revival of a cherished family-owned Chinese eatery lost to time. 

Presented with our owners' very high expectations for the future of their family restaurant, its new incarnation was destined to surpass its predecessor. 

Embracing the challenge, our team took on more than just the usual brand and interior design scope. 

We delved into every detail, from crafting the visual identity to curating the ultimate customer journey, and designing the tableware, uniforms, furniture, artwork, custom ceramics, and wooden parquet tiles.

There were numerous issues along the way, from factory closures through COVID-19, shipping delays and production hurdles.

Counter measures

One of the most formidable challenges revolved around the curved counters which used a unique technology to bend stone veneer. 

Seemingly seamless, they were conceived as intricate hollow Lego components. 

Produced in Indonesia, they were meticulously shaped and sized using a distinctive technique that not only minimised stone wastage, unlike traditional block carving, but also resulted in a remarkably lightweight design. 

This attribute proved crucial, as the counters needed to be shipped across continents, and be placed on the 90th floor of a building which had very strict load-bearing constraints.

Accidents will happen

Unfortunately, not all components reached their destination intact. 

Enduring a train journey in subzero conditions of minus 40 degrees, some items, including custom pedestal vanities from Indonesia, succumbed to the extreme climate, crumbling to pieces. 

Responding to the mishap, local artisans diligently recreated replacements on site, guided by our project manager.

Explore MUME.

Credit list

Mume restaurant, Moscow
Interior Design Confederation Singapore, Design Excellence Awards – Gold
Interior designer
Evgeniya Lazareva, Hot Design Folks

Designed by: Hot Design Folks

Story by: Trendsideas

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