Bentley Restaurant, Abu Dhabi, UAE

When visiting the Galleria Mall on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, no one would expect to find a cosy European bistro and bar with French-inspired cuisine between all the glamorous shopping outlets.

The Bentley Bistro & Bar identifies itself with a prominent sign at the entrance and the obscured glass front just leaves you with a suggestion of what awaits behind it. Through the double doors you enter a extended space with heritage-driven interior scheme, designed by the Interior Designer and name giver Jon Bentley of Harrisons, Realising Creative Environments.

During the design development dpa worked closely together with the operator Food Fund and the interior designer to achieve a unique and remarkable interior. The lighting is visual dominated by the various custom-selected decorative pendants, wall lights and table lamps. It still was of importance to provide sufficient functional lighting to the tables and bar area, without affecting the moody ambience of the bistro and minimise the view of lighting equipment. At the slatted ceiling, suspended spotlights, hidden between the beams, provide focal glow to the tables underneath.

Concealed linear lighting compliments the carefully selected materials at the low partitions and seating furniture, where at the raised level lounge linear uplighting enhances the texture of the red brick wall.

Bentley’s opens its doors from the morning to the evening. The beautiful day lit terrace invites the guests to have a cup of coffee in the sunshine, where in the evening they can enjoy a delicious cocktail at the feature bar. Without disrespect to the cultural sensitivity to alcohol, discreet lighting has been integrated to the bottle display at the back bar to provide a focal point within the scheme. The lighting has been concealed within the display to highlight the bottle labels, when the louvers are open and to create a subtle glow, when louvers are closed.

Client, Operator and Project Manager: Food Fund International
Interior Designer: Harrison