The three proud owners of one of Karachi’s most coveted eateries, Loco; give us a tour of the restaurant. They talk aesthetics and share with us their inspiration behind the innovative design
T here’s nothing Karachi loves more than a new eatery opening up in its already bustling food scene. But from the moment you walk into one of Karachi’s newest eateries, Loco, you know it’s going to be a truly unique experience. Owners of Loco, Talal Malik, Mohammed Raza and Rayyan Durrani, give us a tour of the restaurant located right in the heart of Karachi.
As we walk in, attention is immediately drawn to the floor-to-ceiling art work by Naveen Shakil on a brick wall, which is the focal point of the small, cosy space. With only eight tables to seat diners, the restaurant instantly gives you a homely feel. “While travelling in the US we dined at Gracias Madre, which is where we drew inspiration from,” Malik tells us as we are warmly welcomed inside. Upbeat and energetic Latin American music instantly fills our ears and almost immediately we feel like we’ve been transported to a lively tapas bar in the heart of Spain.
As a variety of aromas fill the space, we are distracted by the beautifully tiled floor which appears to be inspired by 19th Century European architecture. “Majority of the interiors and décor are imported, save for the hanging ceiling lights,” Durrani says, cheerfully adding that “Even the tapas bowls are imported from Spain!” With Loco’s offerings of Neapolitan pizza to tapas, from Argentinian dishes to Mexican quesadillas, it’s only fair to eat from Spanish crockery! “We wanted it to be a fusion of Latin food from across the Spanish-speaking world,” Raza says of their inspiration behind the menu.
The use of large mirrors around the restaurant is a prominent feature of Loco. Through one of the mirrors, we catch glimpse of a Frida Khalo portrait which adds heaps of character to that specific corner of the restaurant. The bold and vivid colour palette of the painting lifts the otherwise plain grey wall on which it hangs. With the space being a small one, each corner has been utilised by Studio Subtractive to utmost perfection. A wrought iron structure is built into the corner on which rest a variety of plants; adding a touch of greenery to the space.
It appears that attention to detail is the forte of the three minds behind Loco, which is evident in the perfectly placed table mats and floral centre pieces. Customers begin to walk in hoping to get a table at the much-coveted restaurant which foodies have been raving about since its opening. Whether it’s the simplicity of the black blinds or the elaborate art work, Loco is more than just a restaurant. It’s visually appealing aesthetics and innovative design are among the many reasons we’ll be back again!