At SOY, Surat – When Asian delicacy meets minimalistic aesthetics crafted by NEOGENESIS+STUDI0261

SEP 19, 2022 | By Shrimohi Shah
At Soy in Surat; Photographs by Ishita Sitwala

When ‘Soft tofu, satay sauce, spring onions, cucumbers, and purple cabbage’, along with minimalistic traditional interiors, make up a restaurant’s canvas, one might immediately think of a cuisine that hints at Pan-Asian flavours. Designed by NEOGENESIS+STUDI0261, restaurant SOY in Surat, Pal, embodies interiors that are the outcome of precisely researched social, historical, and cultural contexts, offering Asian cuisine inspired by the diverse but flavour-rich lands of Japan, Korea, China, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

With reference to Japanese family culture, a private 8-seater dining space was designed; Photograph by Ishita Sitwala

It’s all in the minimalism

This 2,470 sq ft space took three months to retransform into a fine-dining restaurant with a composition of minimal materials and  muted colour palette.

Based on Zen Buddhism, the concept of Japanese minimalism focuses on needs more than wants, keeping life uncluttered. This inspiration moulded the very idea of a space away from the distraction of excess items beyond the requirements. Hence, SOY becomes synonymous with all that minimalism encompasses in it.

The striking red fire sprinklers beautifully contrast the Grey and brown interior; Photograph by Ishita Sitwala


A series of linen sheer curtains on the facade frame controls the direct S-W light; Photograph by Ishita Sitwala

Homage to Japanese traditions

Beyond the scrumptious Pan-Asian food, an onlooker’s attention would move to what’s truly magical at SOY, creating a space with the most minimalistic colours and themes and yet casting an impression with meaning and substance. 

The kitchen platform, made of black granite, is the appropriate monochrome fit for the subtle background, tactfully designed to give the food a spotlight. Grey and brown tones, textural walls, and bold, curvilinear forms cohesively blend and transcend visual fluency, thereby creating a refreshing aesthetic. 

The cement plaster tones of the dining area subtly change colour as the light peaks through the front glass facade. Photograph by Ishita Sitwala


The subtle chandelier and minimalistic furniture were key to removing the distraction of excess possessions; Photograph by Ishita Sitwala


The beaming sunlight entering from the front glass facade breaks the grey and black tones of the space, making it look lively and welcoming; Photograph by Ishita Sitwala

In addition to these subtle aesthetics, NEOGENESIS+STUDI0261 brought out references to Hanswagner’s chairs. As a case study for the design, it was redesigned according to the anthropocentric requirements and context with a teak wood modification. What is unique about their furniture is a combination of wood and metal with traditional Japanese joineries to add to the whole distinctive canvas of the restaurant.

Food meets interiors! 

SOY intends to become a trademark for its aesthetics and relaxed luxury, offering a sense of earthy rawness fused with a memorable Asian dining experience. 

What comes down to making a restaurant extraordinary is pairing its interiors with its offerings: food and drinks.

The cutlery is matched with the one-tone table tops to ensure that the food is the protagonist; Photograph by Ishita Sitwala


In contrast to the monotone decor, plants have been added to soften the minimalistic aesthetic; Photograph by Ishita Sitwala


Customised lighting fixtures create a warm ambience for the perfect Asian dining experience; Photograph by Ishita Sitwala

Starting with a traditional twist to the classics, from Hibiscus Iced Tea to Vietnamese Iced Coffee, SOY is one to impress. The Avo Crispy Rice, Kwispy Tofu Bao’s, Mango Sticky Rice, Not a Bounty, and Gianduja Black Forest on the menu fit a food lover’s palette, too.

Overall, if something marinates with the phrase opposites attract, it’s the minimalist interiors at SOY, which are the appropriate backdrop to the seasonal, unique Asian food and beverages at SOY inviting the patrons to soak in the design delight that spills an understated charm of a kind.

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