“Ever been to Vietnam? Whether you’re nodding or shaking your head right now, doesn’t really matter. Can Tho is bringing it to you. Or at least the vibrant food side of it all,” say the designers from the Antwerp-based studio WeWantMore who designed this restaurant of Vietnamese food in the center of Brussels, Belgium.
Inspired by Vietnam’s buzzing street food culture, Can Tho restaurant strives to create a similar eating experience as you would walking around in Hanoi itself. Fresh, lean, and damn tasty, but with just the right amount of Western freshness.
The interesting fact — the designers used Google Street View to explore the streets of Hanoi and feel the atmosphere of the city. As a result, they decided to pull the typical Vietnamese street food vibe indoors. Terracotta walls, low but colorful seating, and a fumy Ha Long Bay mural covering almost all the walls make the guests feel like they are eating outdoors.
The basic ingredients of a typical Vietnamese street food stand — fast ordering, agile dining, eating in or takeaway — all had to be included. These factors defined the entire layout of the space — an open kitchen in the front, ordering kiosks and a pick-up area in the middle, and a casual food court-like space in the back.
The airy wooden ceiling structure allows natural light and shadows to ease in, while the dark wooden shutters and authentic table tiles refer to Vietnam’s colonial history. The designers left the raw brick finishing unprocessed on purpose to contrast with the feminine colors, warm custom-made wooden lighting, and tropical greenery.