Sometimes restaurant brands make such specific references to pop culture that it goes over unintended audiences (such as myself) heads, but when done well, the experience can still be enjoyable by those not ‘in-the-know’. Clay is one such restaurant in Penang, Malaysia. According to the case study by designers Magdalene Wong and Hee Hee Tang, “Clay is an imagined sequel to the story of the on-film couple in ‘In the Mood for Love’ – Mr. Chow and Ms. Su. What would their future look like had they been together? Our happy ending finds them running a claypot restaurant in Penang, with 1970’s Hong Kong in mind.” Now, I’ve never seen this movie but I get hints of what it was about through the wonderful illustration work across the visual system. Mr. Chow and Ms. Su dance across murals and printed pieces, lending a whimsical and friendly feel to each piece they grace. The use of a soothing blue contrasts this playfulness and gives the visual identity and upscale, slightly dated feel. I love the small details that are waiting to surprise guests in unexpected ways; take, for example, the menu design. A simple, placemat-style printed piece at first glance is unassuming, but looking closer, smaller delightful notes appear. Ridiculously long noodles suspended over a bowl act as a divider, and a suite of small icons add little moments of joy while reading.