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Not Only Meatballs in Central

Martine Beale visited the recently opened Italian restaurant NOM (Not Only Meatballs) and discovered a classy, airy interior that on a sunny afternoon sparkles with natural light.

Not Only Meatballs in Central

The new, modern-styled restaurant NOM opened in June this year and is located just off of Hollywood Road, on Elgin Street in Central.

The generous space is set out into distinct zones that are tied together by a black and white checkered floor, warm walnut wood furniture and cool brass details.

Entrance from street level is made via a black and brass staircase that opens up into a high white, glass enclosed atrium that welcomes you with clear views of the interior.

Pushing open the glass door, you step in to face a brass-fronted bar, several tall, round tables, a large communal table, and custom-made stools, all crafted from walnut wood with exquisite brass detailing that forms one of four zones.

“Our clients had a precise idea of how they wanted the space to flow, and the four zones were a part of the initial design brief,” says Candace Campos of ID Hong Kong, the design firm responsible for the project. “Each area is conducive to a different time in the dining experience. The bar area is designed for after work drinks, and is more casual and social than the other areas.”


A second zone comprises a large walnut table accompanied by a mix of high-back chairs and low stools set against a wall fitted with black, vertical wood panelling. A strip of brass delineates this from the upper half of the wall, which is finished in intricate blue and white wallpaper.

“To highlight this zone, and the communal table which accommodates larger groups of people, we created a bold damask print that also plays on the blue of the pendant lights above the table”.

Facing this space, a third, compact zone offers an intimate feel ideal for quiet conversations and/or pre-dinner drinks.


Here, low black and brass tables are grouped with cream-coloured leather and walnut chairs and stools. These are positioned along a low black wood panelled wall and a raw concrete column that is partly wrapped in brass. “I love the look of raw concrete and felt it paired well with the other materials,” says Campos.

From here, the black and white checkered floor transitions into wood to define the dining area proper. Walnut wood has been employed again on tables and chairs. “Walnut adds richness and history to the space, and I like the way it will age on the tabletops,” Campos points out.

The restaurant is graced with a row of large windows that run along its front. In the dining area, Campos had semi-circular banquettes custom-made and placed them in front of the windows, so that weather permitting, lunchtime meals can be a light-filled affair.


One wall near the window is decorated with stuffed pheasants, the iridescent feathers of which shimmer in sunlight.

The clear glass balloon pendant light shades that are utilised throughout the restaurant reflect daytime light, too. “We got these from a lighting designer in Portland, Orgeon,” Campos explains. “I like the lightness they provide. Our ceilings are quite low and I believe the airiness of these globes help detract from that.”


Campos designed a lighting scheme that combines incandescent, halogen and LED lights that are controlled by a dimmer system so as to create various moods in each of the four areas.

“We wanted a warm and rich interior, and walnut wood and brass made that easy to achieve,” says the designer. “The end result is a clean and modern design with old-school Italian references that I would define as ‘modernised-rustic’.”

Elegant, spacious and inviting, one thing’s for certain: NOM has a lot more than just meatballs going on.

ID Hong Kong

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