creative direction / brand strategy / naming / visual identity / messaging / art direction / illustration / copywriting / web design & development

alkove bistro

Your everyday retreat



Executive chef of 1-Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant Alma by Juan Amador, Haikal Johari, partnered with leading restaurateur Passion For Food to bring simple but decadent Michelin-standard food to the humble heartlands. This venture would bring focus to easy, classic French cuisine that is grounded by a local flavour.

However, within the competitive F&B landscape, it was important to showcase their differentiation amongst industry players in order to build longevity and establish their own unique experience that would keep diners coming back for more.

Photography: Matthew

Making French cuisine accessible

Through research, we realised that French cuisine is viewed as intimidating, pretentious and expensive. Strong resistance was presented when faced with a menu featuring foreign items that locals could not adequately pronounce.

The competition around Kovan was also perceived as being too noisy and crowded with long waiting times and no parking available.

Embracing the every day

With this in mind, we carved a spot for the F&B concept within its existing landscape. Inspired by the French art of living – where one appreciates not just the finer things in life but also the everyday, the bistro acts as a retreat, similar to birds flocking into their daily alcoves.

Behind the name

The letter 'k' in Alkove is a nod towards the beloved neighbourhood that it is located in, Kovan. It promises a quiet, calming ambience that is idea for meaningful connections every day.

Warmth, playfulness and class

The brand identity balances warmth and playfulness, while maintaining a level of class. Its iconic bright yellow draws people in as a cosy respite. Illustrations inspired by the works of painter and printmaker Henri Matisse are paired with French and English scribbles, almost like a private exchange of messages amongst close friends. The classic bistro transforms into a laid-back meeting spot for breakfast, brunch and tea, without taking itself too seriously.


Built on Elementor for WordPress, the site featured the same identity, with animation that enhanced the brand story.



We took an outdated family-style café with an industrial theme and transformed it into a cosy, everyday retreat where simple, classic French-inspired food take centre stage.

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