The look of a restaurant can be as important as the food. And the most in-demand dining design firm around these days is Munge Leung , the Toronto company responsible for some of downtown's hottest boîtes. Ultra or Lux ring a bell?
After graduating from Ryerson, Alessandro Munge and Sai Leung learned the resto ropes at Yabu Pushelburg, the style gurus known for swellegant Monsoon , Bymark , Brasserie Aix and Canoe .
"We were absolutely blessed to be part of their team," says Munge. "I see them as our parents."
While their restaurant designs are often as lavish as their mentors', Munge and Leung haven't forgotten their roots. One of their first projects was the makeover of Salad King , a transformation that turned the former grungy cafeteria near Yonge and Dundas into a glamorous trat.
"After being students at Ryerson, going back and redoing a place where we'd eaten so many times was pretty amazing," says Munge. "We gave them a full package: the rebranding, the graphics, the second-floor concept. Salad King's a huge success story, and we're obviously very proud."
Their next big undertaking is Dragonfly , a monster nightclub in Niagara Falls that's about to be launched by Ultra's Charles Khabouth next month. After that, they're creating a lounge over Mistura on Davenport.
"The theme is high-end and mature," says Munge about the still unnamed Yorkville venture. "But it's really going to kick ass."