Project Study: B’Stilla Restaurant, Melbourne

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Morocco is a diverse African country that boasts beautiful landscapes and an enriched culture that most travellers find hard to resist. Many people travel here to see the sights and sounds that are found nowhere else on this Earth. However you needn’t travel all the way to Morocco to be able to experience a slice of this beautiful culture.

In Melbourne’s South Yarra, you’ll find B’Stilla, a Moroccan restaurant that delivers authentic Moroccan food. Utilising fresh local produce, B’Stilla gives customers the essential flavours and tastes of Morocco. This restaurant showcases the country’s exotic flavours and caters for a variety of dietary requirements. Many people visit B’Stilla not only for its food but for its atmosphere.

Interior design

B’Stilla has a stunning interior. The detailed patterns of the wall screens are reminiscent of the intricate designs found on the buildings of Morocco, and the use of deep red tones make you feel as though you’re in the heart of the desert. The deep, earthy colours provide a feeling of having just stepped off a plane into a distant landscape, ready to have a delicious dining experience of new and exotic flavours. With matching patterned screening used throughout, including the bar siding and windows, this beautiful restaurant is pleasantly designed, right down to its colour palette.

The timber tables, chairs and bar stools with their pared-back simplicity, make quite an impact statement on this establishment. The timber textures create a warm, earthy feel while simultaneously reminding customers of the sweeping deserts of Morocco. Paired with the creative wall art, the furniture not only blends in with the rest of the interior but accentuates the scheme at the same time.

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Product: Aloe bar stools by Billiani supplied by Cafe Culture + Insitu

Lighting

The ‘slat-like’ design on some of the windows is reminiscent of labyrinthine souqs (covered market bazaars). These souqs often have filtered natural light shining through slats in the ceiling, which is what has inspired the lines seen in B’Stilla. These slat designs offer customers a way to get a glimpse of the outside from within the restaurant, as well as allowing passers-by the opportunity to see what’s happening inside. Even the smallest details of lighting fixtures within the establishment are a reminder of Morocco in the heart of Melbourne. The pendant lights are reminiscent of lanterns, and the lighting reflecting on the walls to provide archway effects, are all features that add to the atmosphere of being far from home. Archways are a common sight in Morocco with many building entrances designed with grand archways. The simplicity of the light reflections to create lit up archways is a pleasant touch that adds to the creativity and atmosphere of B’Stilla.

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Product: Aloe bar stools by Billiani supplied by Cafe Culture + Insitu

Islamic art

The restaurant also incorporates artistic Islamic design styles on the walls. Moroccan architecture is heavily influenced by Islamic art and the design has been included in this restaurant to reflect that. By using neutral tones for the seating and tables, the emphasis is placed on the colours and textures of the walls. Yet the seating arrangements, while neutral, complement the rest of the space marvellously. Even the high ceilings and glass entranceways are evocative of the open spaces found in Morocco.

Food

And then, of course, there’s the food. B’Stilla provides all the exotic foods you could find in Morocco, and the flavours are sensational. From fresh tagines, rfissa, or a Moroccan banquet, they have it all. The banquet option is great if you can’t pick dishes yourself but are happy for the chef to design the perfect menu on your behalf. And you can’t go to B’Stilla without experiencing an actual b’stilla. This traditional Moroccan pie is usually reserved for special occasions and weddings, so it’s well worth trying one of these delicacies. All this food, with its sweet and spicy aromas, just adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant. The interior design enhances your surroundings and the smells just solidify the sense of being in a distant land.

Moroccan architecture adds to the beauty of the country and induces feelings of mystery and allure. B’Stilla restaurant manages to seamlessly infuse all these feelings and inspiration through its interior design, furnishings and food.

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Product: Aloe bar stools and chairs by Billiani supplied by Cafe Culture + Insitu