Vancouver-based firm Studio Roselyn has designed Superbaba, a fast-casual Lebanese restaurant in Victoria, Canada, that mixes the authentic and familiar flavors of the Middle East with the laidback feel and fare of the West Coast.
Superbaba derives its name both from the kitschy ‘super’ monikers common to shawarma and falafel shops found throughout the Middle East as well as a familial nod to ‘baba’, which means ‘dad’ in a number of languages.
“Superbaba was born out of a common desire to not just serve Middle Eastern food but to create the closest version that works for the palate of the Western world,” says El Chami, who spent months in Lebanon tracing his roots and learning the time-honoured traditions and techniques of his ancestors before launching the new Victoria venture. “We have created a menu that is inspired, packed with flavor and will leave our guests thinking about it long after their last bite.”
Décor-wise, Superbaba showcases a ‘casual-meets-quirky’ esthetic where arch motifs common to traditional Middle Eastern architecture unite with neon signage and bold, contemporary colours as well as warm wood tones, textured walls, oversized globe lighting and blue speckled quartz countertops.
The designers wanted to strongly tie into the aesthetic typically found in Middle Easter eateries but give it a fresh, exciting twist, hence, elements such as the over-saturated food photography usually on show in donair shops have been updated and given a “surrealist” twist by humorously incorporating people engaging with the food.
“We feel that one success of this project is that it elevates and pushes the expectations of quick-service, fast-casual restaurants,” the studio said.“This excites us! We feel our job is to push people’s expectations of a space and push our client’s businesses to a place they thought not possible.”
all images © Lauren D Zbarsky