29 August 2009

Mooli aesthetics: "I always listen to what I can leave out"

On a recent extended visit to London, S&M invited me into their daily lives and it was, I can confirm, what we all feared: that yes, all our professional pursuits are unlikely to compare to the exhilarating life of an entrepreneur almost moments away from seeing their ideas being realised. From Mr Yau's love of the beef to the long meeting and discussions on design, I enjoyed it all. The design and its evolution was very interesting, not least because, guided by S&M, I was able to see, feel, eat and capture what the current competition and the fast food market is about. How much should we speak? Should we plaster pictures everywhere? Is our design too simple? Is tab really sexy? To what extent should we sacrifice our design/aesthetic ideal for commercial reasons, if at all? These are difficult questions, because the impulse is to shout and scream about all the wonderful things in the store and so many brands seem to achieve success by constantly speaking to their consumers.

It struck me that against this strong impulse, which will pull again and again pre and post mooli's launch, it is important to have a counter-impulse, one which increasingly seems to represent the S&M vision: there is no need to scream or place pictures everywhere. We will let the customers do the screaming; our story will be there if they wish to look - it will be conveyed but not in a jarring way.

Perhaps the best description of this kind of impulse is be found in the words uttered by Miles Davis, which pithily also sums up his greatness: "I always listen to what I can leave out". Taking the conventional fast-food concept as a base, this is what S&M are doing.


sameer said...

quite aptly, no one has left a comment.

TaB said...

Nothing escapes you my friend.

keefab said...


I met a friend of yours yesterday: Blake. He told ne about your idea.

I have a food blog called PoshFodder and would love to put a piece on there about what you are doing.

Please have a look at our site and get in touch if you'd like us to get involved.

We have a small but discerning readership of about 3-4000 a month and we would be really keen to give you some free publicity.

We have an article on there about a guy who has invented a roti machine. My partner Merlin met him recently at the Up Market.

I'm looking forward to seeing you get this off the ground, it's a great concept.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Keith Posh
Merlin Poshtaff


mathew said...

Hi Keith & Merlin - that would be great! We'd love to have a piece about Mooli's on your blog ( I remember coming across interesting pieces on the Sunday Upmarket and the Indian Rasoi a few weeks ago). I will write you an email separately...