For several generations now, Porto’s artisans and handymen have headed to Rua do Almada, a street away from City Hall, for all their supplies – whether brass finishes, textile cables, or tools. No surprises then that Mondo’s immediate neighbours are a motorcycle shop and a metal wholesaler.
As it turns out, the premises are also the home of designer Christian Haas and his partner Marcus Zietz. ‘We bought the entire building with its great garden and renovated it completely. We tried to keep as much as possible, especially the extraordinary 1920s façade,’ Haas says.
The deli and its terrace take up the ground floor, whilst the second floor houses Haas’s studio and a retail space smartly lined with home accessories designed by Haas alongside Koichiro Kimura lacquerware, Kirstie van Noort porcelain, Klong cutlery and Stefanie Hering tableware.
Meanwhile, the mood of the dining room is calm, courtesy of a soothing, minimalist palette of blonde wood, concrete, light greys, leather, powder-coated metal and furnishings and lighting designed by Haas’s studio.
Two huge communal tables set the scene for Zietz’s Middle-Eastern and Asian menu of Syrian fish balls, fried tofu, Thai chicken salad, roasted aubergine, and quinoa salad cut through with cucumber and mint.
For Haas, Mondo is an apt expression of Porto’s changing fortunes. ‘For a long time, the city centre was kind of abandoned, but over the past two years, we’ve seen an incredible boom in renovation and investment. It’s like Berlin in the 90s.’