Madam Datin 拿汀太太

Brief
Restaurant branding in Shanghai, China.

The client wanted to celebrate the cuisine of their Malaysian Chinese heritage with a new restaurant in Shanghai. They faced challenges of a very competitive commercial space and a market with limited appetite for South-East Asian food.

Scope

Branding & Strategy 
Creative Direction 
Illustration 
Naming
Photography Art Direction
Signage Design
Packaging Design
Copy Writing
Our approach was to shape a brand and restaurant experience that would generate a sense of intrigue and nostalgia that could connect with modern Shanghainese customers. To do this, we drew from the identity of Peranakan Malays– a Malaysian ethnic group of Chinese origin, and the culture from which the restaurant’s menu is based. 

The brand is centred on our character of Madam Datin. In Malaysia, a “Datin” is the title for the wife of a Datuk, and it carries prestige and honour. She is a modern woman who connects with tradition and femininity– she is fashionable, educated, capable and empowered, but takes pride in establishing a sense of home, and the central role of food and cooking.
The restaurant’s brand and design play on these themes with a sense of grand nostalgia. Bold colours and images reflect the rich culture and liveliness of the cuisine; foliage and flowers present a fresh, attractive backdrop of Malaysia’s tropical setting; and a sense of cultured but authentic warmth and humanity comes through Madam Datin and her family. 3 custom illustrated crests of Madam Datin’s life were featured to bring the story and narrative of Madam Datin to life.

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