Assembly
Dubai
BACK TO PROJECTS
Assembly
Dubai

Assembly – Mezze & Skewers is a concept that unites people, embraces diverse flavours, and celebrates the art of flame cooking.   

Encompassing a social approach to dining alongside traditional Hellenic warmth and contemporary Levantine cuisine, Assembly welcomes guests into a world of exceptional mezze plates and standout hero dishes, made for sharing. 

Building on its success in Dubai and Riyadh, Assembly has now opened its third venue at the prestigious Harrods Dining Hall in London, showcasing the concept’s versatility across continents, as well as its calibre as a dining establishment.  

THE BRIEF 

Tommy Profile_4-1

Working closely with famed Chef Athanasios (AKA ‘Chef Tommy’), we were incredibly excited to develop a fresh new concept for the man responsible for launching Baron of Beirut—a true dining destination crowned Best Restaurant in Lebanon 2023, according to Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants. 

TGP International was commissioned to bring Chef Athanasios’ vision to life through our advisory, design, and operational management services, resulting in a compelling restaurant concept and franchise brand that would enhance an already esteemed portfolio.  

Known for his ‘fusion cooking’ approach, Athanasios has long championed diversity, holding rich flavours and enticing textures in the highest regard. As well as accommodating his inherent style and flair, our goal was also to develop an experience-driven space centred on social engagement, where the venue's ambiance, culinary offerings, and brand identity converge to offer diners a welcoming and inclusive setting to indulge in exceptional dishes together. 

THE CONCEPT

image (2)-2

Assembly – Mezze & Skewers is a concept that celebrates the age-old art of flame cooking and the diversity of flavours originating from across the Mediterranean, Europe and North Africa.  

Harnessing the theatre and excitement of raw flame grilling and the unique way it influences flavour and texture, this concept is built for bringing people together around exceptional quality meat, fish and vegetable dishes that are made to share.  

Rooted in traditional Hellenic hospitality and drawing from the rich world of Levantine food culture, Assembly strips back formality to establish a direct connection to the food and the rewarding experience of social dining.  

Core elements of this concept include the standout quality and freshness of ingredients, and, taking centre stage on the menu and in the physical space of the restaurant itself, the charcoal grill.  

In addition to witnessing the skill of flame grilling first-hand with an open view of the kitchen, diners can select from an eclectic range of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, each to be personalised with a range of complementary mezze platters of their choosing. 

With its distinctive service approach, where mezze platters and freshly baked bread are casually placed in the centre of the table to signify the start of each meal, Assembly highlights the importance of communal dining through laid-back sharing and collaboration.  

Featuring a diverse menu of small plates, kebabs, salads, and more, diners are urged to engage with one another, blending and discovering each other's choices. 

image (3)-2

Perfect for any time of day, this interactive and communal dining style is complemented by a knowledgeable team that generously help guests navigate through the concept and menu.  

Providing valuable guidance on the array of meats available and recommending complementary mezze options, servers are always on-hand to encourage guests to delve into the full range of the menu. Straying from the formality, questions and exploration are encouraged!  

From succulent ox cheek paired with fregola, confit shallots, and parsley sumac to tantalizing monkfish skewers infused with olive, anchovy, and lemon, each dish is crafted to invite attention and intrigue, inspiring diners to share, sample, and savour their meal collectively—combining individual menu selections into a luxurious array of shared dishes. 

BRAND IDENTITY AND PERSONALITY

image (4)-1

Assembly – Mezze and Skewers embraces its Eastern Mediterranean roots and traditions originating from a unique location on the global stage, where influences from Europe and North Africa converge.  

With fusion at its heart, many of our core brand strategies stem from an appreciation of the distinct yet overlapping food traditions that have shaped the region.  

With this in mind—and building on a clear concept narrative that explores the timeless relevance of shared plates, flame grilling and community dining—we were heavily inspired by the original Bedouin travellers and mariners who traversed the region, evoking imagery of moving communities bringing ideas and flavours from different parts of the world and gathering around open fires to share food and exchange stories. 

image (5)-1

As such, we explored Bedouin symbology as a powerful way to tie Assembly’s core concept with its brand identity. Drawing inspiration from intricate patterns reminiscent of ancient Greek pottery and North African ceramics, as well as the classic motifs of Persian rugs, we were able to craft a bespoke pattern for Assembly that pays homage to many of its core influences.  

By creating re-imagined symbols such as the 'fetter'—signifying the act of joining together or uniting—and 'ensemble'—signifying connection or linkage—we believe we’ve not only honoured the past, but also given the brand a unique identity that reflects the joining of flavours and cultures. 

This embodies not only Assembly’s brand values but also serves as our raison d’etre: to unite flavours and cultural nuances through the assembly of skewers, using locally-sourced ingredients cooked over an open flame, and fostering gatherings where people come together to share food and experiences in beautiful surroundings, guided by friendly and knowledgeable staff. 

As a social hub for sharing and socialising, inclusivity and accessibility are also key elements in Assembly’s brand world. In addition to showcasing this through interior design and service style within the venue, these values are also brought forward in all of Assembly’s brand communications.  

DESIGNING THE SPACE 

image (7)-2

Assembly – Mezze and Skewers’ interior design style is characterised by its stripped-back, contemporary aesthetic, ensuring that the focus remains on the food, impeccable service and enjoyment of fellow company.  

The restaurant aims to forge lasting memories by seamlessly blending the familiar charm of a neighbourhood kebab shop with a layer of sophistication and class, resulting in a relaxed yet refined atmosphere that elevates the dining experience. 

A key differentiator at all Assembly venues is its open kitchen flame cooking grill, enhancing the vibrant energy of the space. The grill serves as the focal point, not only visually anchoring the restaurant but also infusing the air with tantalising aromas, enticing diners from the moment they enter. 

Similarly, the concept’s key pillar of sharing and collaborating is encouraged through the placement of long tables that cater to family-style dining, providing a space for all to share a meal together in an open and easy-going way. 

8H5A8749-1

Assembly was first launched at Expo City Dubai where we developed our design plans to cater to the blank canvas of a modern industrial shell, which provided clean lines, complemented by polished concrete floors, neutral cool tones, and natural wooden furnishings.  

As such, tactile elements such as tiles, woven light shades, and wooden grid ceiling panels were employed to add warmth and texture to the space. Key elements were also inspired by the light fabrics found in the Levantine, as well as throughout Arabic souks of the region—celebrating the overlap of Eastern and Western cultures.  

Importantly, we chose to feature accents of colour purple within the venue’s palette, signifying Phoenician heritage which the concept draws from. Playing a significant role in creating unity and culture across the Levant, Europe, and North Africa through their maritime trade networks and cultural exchanges, we believed it was fitting to incorporate this colour, known as Tyrian purple by the Phoenician’s and which symbolised prosperity and prestige across the region.  

IMPACT

Assembly’s global presence speaks for itself, showing the relevance and impact of the concept’s food and approach to dining.  

Whether as a social hub in the thriving urban landscape of Expo City Dubai; as a cornerstone of the acclaimed Al Mamlaka Social Dining food hall in Riyadh; or, within the historic Harrods Dining Hall, Assembly stands out for its bold approach to food and its ability to bring people together over incredible shared plates and the wonder of flame cooking. 

TEAM RECOGNITION  

A special thanks to the team who worked on this project: Maddy McLeary, Jemina Adewole, Raquel Camino and Gabriel Murray.

Speak to our team

Have a question about franchising or licensing? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the TGP team. We can outline the franchising process and offer insight into your specific plans and goals.

MAKE AN ENQUIRY