We are beautiful and we know it!

It’s always nice to be publicy congratulated for something you do with an award. It gives us a lift and makes us all feel fabulous!

Usually in the food industry we get awards for our food, or our contribution to the industry, so it’s great to be recognised for something new.

This week we received an award for the best designed restaurant in Ireland. The McKennas were kind enough to name us as one of the best rooms last year, so it’s great to have the love for our home reinforced.

There are so many beautiful places in Ireland that we love to eat, all special for their own reason. From rural retreats to urban diners, buildings vary between natural and designer, new and old!

It seems so long since we were preparing to open the doors for the first time!

When we set about creating Kai we were blessed with being offered this beautiful building on Sea Road with so many raw original features. When we saw the space it immediately told a story, the story of Kai – a place where our food and home could happily co-exist, and compliment each other.

The building was sympathetically restored by owner Frank Heneghan who also restored the Bridge Mills. Our beautiful roof beams were taken from the Bridge Mills and fit so well they look like they were a part from the building from its original build.

The flagstone floors and unique glass roof at Kai also told us that this was somewhere special, this was somewhere that Kai could grow, love, live, and be apart of something equally as special.

We had the venue, we had the vision, all we needed then was someone who could put it all together.

This is when Stephen Walton came along. Stephen appreciated our philosophy, and understood our passion for food. He loved the building as much as we did and knew that the only way to create an amazing dining experience in such a natural building was to keep it all minimal, natural, and unobtrusive.

Stephen took on the project as if it were his own, his love and passion for his work is inspiring. His eye to detail and understanding of space, concepts and the materials he works with are second to none.

Everything flowed with Stephens build, everything fitted, and felt right. He was always busy salvaging wood, and industrial items into lampshades, tables, seats and shelves, and making them look awesome!

The process was simple, sympathetic and reflected everything we wanted to communicate about Kai. It was the perfect space for our food, and to begin our journey

This week the awards ceremony, dubbed the ‘food oscars’, Kai Café and Restaurant picked up an award for Best Restaurant Design in Ireland.

According to Pádraic Óg Gallagher, president of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, this year’s awards were the biggest and most competitive to date.

“They are the awards everyone wants to be associated with, and everyone wants to be a winner,” Mr Gallagher said. “We’ve seen a huge increase in nominations and votes since last year, with 30,000 votes cast across 10,000 nominations for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro pubs, hotel restaurants, and local food heroes throughout the country. The Irish Restaurant Awards are all about celebrating those who have brought acclaim to the Irish food scene from abroad and who keep the restaurant industry thriving at home.”

We have to say a special thank you to Steve and all his boys for their work on the build. And of course a thank you to all our customers from coming and enjoying the experience with us! What a ride!

Filled Under : Award