TKI wins Wasabi contract


KUWAIT: Thomas Klein International (TKI), the Dubai-based restaurant and hospitality consultant, has been awarded the contract to develop the new image and positioning of the Wasabi chain of restaurants in Kuwait for The Sultan Group.

TKI will create the interiors of the new outlet, to open later this year, which will be located in Wattiya — currently under renovation by the government of Kuwait.

The total investment for the fit out is approximately US$2 million.

“The Sultan Group already has four other Wasabi outlets as part of their portfolio, but they want to launch a totally new, fresh image, so the newest addition to the group of restaurants, will have a new look and feel,” said Daniel During, principal and managing director, TKI.

“Once opened, the Wasabi restaurant will set the benchmark in design for any additional Wasabi outlets they open, and all the existing Wasabi outlets will be transformed to match the new brand image and positioning.”

TKI said it wants to deliver a unique, contemporary and thought-provoking design.

“We don’t want to give too much away at this stage, but we have thoroughly studied the concept, researched the wasabi root, its cultivation and farming methods, and this, along with the two most traditional and sophisticated Japanese arts of paper manipulation, has served us as inspiration of what is to come,” added During.

The Wasabi chain of restaurants is owned and managed by the Epicure Group, the food and beverage division of The Sultan Group.

Ahmed El Bader, founder and culinary director, Epicure, said it had been working with TKI for the past few years and the new Wasabi design will be unveiled soon.

The restaurant will be housed in a stand-alone historical building, approximately 480m2 in size.

The current building is an old traditional Kuwaiti house, built with materials available in sea rock, mud, limestone and gypsum. It is a protected building and therefore a challenging environment, as neither the original shape of the building nor any of the exterior facades can be touched.

TKI has worked with the Epicure Group to produce the region’s first vertical farming restaurant concept in Prime and Toast, and also conceptualised and developed the soon to open Butcher’s Den and Bistro 86 restaurants in Kuwait.

The F&B consultant celebrated its 10th anniversary this year by unveiling a new logo and brand image, as well as re-launching its website.

“Our business has grown considerably over the past few years, and we are also in the process of merging with a Madrid-based hotel representation and sales consultancy, which will allow us to become de-facto hotel operators.

With the 2022 World Cup on our doorstep, Qatar is next on the list, and we are currently negotiating the opening of an office there later this year,” said During.

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