Banana Tree – the popular Indochinese restaurant chain – has kitted out its Soho branch with some classic Factorylux lighting – including the long filament bulbs.
The business was started by William Chow with a modest cafe – ‘Street Hawker’ – in Maida Vale in 1991 and has grown to eight restaurants in and around London. William remains passionately involved in the kitchen and plays a significant part in the progressive menu.
The Soho restaurant is on Wardour Street, 150 yards north of Shaftesbury Avenue. There’s plenty of competition – from both Asian and other cuisines – but you would not know it. Come lunchtime, there’s usually a queue to get in to Banana Tree and you can see why: the food is fresh, colourful and arrives steaming hot in a matter of minutes.
With large windows, it’s easy for passers-by to see what they’re missing in terms of food, decor and atmosphere. The dishes are simply presented authentic dishes from around Indochina. And the interior is clean and functional – steel and concrete with exposed wiring and ducting – and smaller tables in dark wood and longer tables in concrete. Seating is wooden chairs and benches, both with cushions as a concession to comfort.
Although Soho is 5,000 miles away from the street cafes of south-east Asia, Banana Tree retains the feel with some Factorylux lighting – fabric cable, bronze lamp holders and the classic long tube filament light bulbs. There’s something about the bare bulbs – and their size and shape – which is evocative of the roadside cafes and street food of south-east Asia.
When it came to fitting out, Banana Tree’s designers chose components from the Factorylux Modular collection for assembly by contractors on-site. Since then, huge progress has been made in ensuring Factorylux lighting is easy to design, specify and install. The Factorylux ‘Made For You’ bespoke service uses online configurators to a design complete pendant and a simple plug and light sets. The configurators allow you to choose from hundreds of components and skilled Factorylux technicians look after assembly, testing and certification to BS EN 60598. Orders made by 11am are dispatched for next day delivery.