Parwana Kutchi Deli is a story of migration and new beginnings: Kutchi means nomad or gypsy in Farsi. Designed by Studio -Gram, frequenters of the first restaurant Parwana, the deli reflects a traditional sense of Afghanistan while embracing a chapter of change.
Run by the Ayubi family, owners of the Parwana main restaurant, it shares an authentic piece of Afghanistan, a country rich in culture, spirit and history. Kutchi Deli is the younger sister of Parwana, a celebration of the Afghan back streets with recycled or found glass and silver lamps, and metal for the cerulean door.
Infused with colour, craft, and murals, the tight space includes internal seating with intricate lace-topped tables designed by Studio -Gram, for those cold wintry days in Adelaide; a kitchen, prep area and space for patrons to order and pick up. The result is almost a shop inside a shop with trinkets, tiles and truck art from both India and Afghanistan to delight the senses.
The first time you taste the flavours of Afghanistan, you long for more, trying to discover the depth of flavour. The food created within the café is seasoned with an intricate and unique blend of spices, serving as inspiration to the design of the space. The approach to the spatial design had to meet the same rigour, creating a true reflection of the food being served, and the places being celebrated.
The studio created an internal façade, to avoid alterations to the frontage, masking the kitchen and separating patron from chef. Feature tiles around the front of bar were sourced from India, and the rest of the tiles were recycled or found. Graham Charbonneau, the Director of Studio-Gram says this “created the façade we dreamed of, the façade that belonged in the back streets of Afghanistan.”
The designers worked closely with a team of individually commissioned artists including site artist, Nigel Parsons, to create the layers of age, art and detail. Many of the trinkets were purchased in Afghanistan, along with some of the tiles, and all of the sticker ‘truck art’ – they were then shipped to Adelaide for the project. The motifs and patterns were all inspired by Afghanistan, many of these from the clients’ own photographs, books and art works.
This project wasn’t about obsessing over every detail, but about embracing some of the things that don’t belong; staying true to the place that inspired the project. Researching and understanding spaces created out of need, and out of desire. It is a space that celebrates everything about the Afghanistan that the Ayubi family once knew.
Images © David Sievers