The Survey: Gabriel Abi-Saab

The Survey: Gabriel Abi-Saab

The Survey: Gabriel Abi-Saab

Welcome to The Survey, a series where our favourite people share their focuses, pursuits, and recommendations.

First up, Gabriel Abi-Saab, our Co-Founder and Creative Director, shares his favourite piece of furniture and the best Lebanese bakery in Sydney.

1. Restaurant you're really into right now.

Nothing beats my favourite Lebanese bakery, Hilltop Oven in Merrylands. Just does the best manoush in Sydney. Everything's made fresh, family-owned business. Try the kishk pie. Try the sucuk and cheese. Oh, everything is just good! I can’t get over the za'atar.

2. Where to go for a drink.


I love a good cocktail from PS40, I think they're great, especially their house sodas. The guys aren’t pretentious or judgmental. They don’t care how you’re dressed or anything like that. And I think that's what I appreciate.

3. The most precious thing you own.

Possibly my parents’ engagement rings. After my father passed, my mum gifted me their respective engagement rings. They’re just simple gold bands with a beautiful ribbed motif. They were something that helped push me to propose to my now-wife, something that we and my parents could share.

4. A movie to recommend.

A film from 1985 called Ran, Kurosawa’s adaptation of King Lear. I watched it years ago and rewatched it recently. Great movie.

5. A record you couldn't live without.

The Ecstatic by Yasiin Bey is just incredible. I think it's underrated… I listen to it on repeat.

I’m also a big fan of a Lebanese composer called Ziad Rahbani, an icon in the Middle East. Any one of his records is just awesome – forget it!

6. Favourite piece of design.

That’s a tough one. One of my favourite pieces of design is the PK22 chair. It’s just so simple and elegant. In a cotton canvas back it's stunning. It has presence but also doesn't overwhelm everything else around it. Huge fan.

I also love Japanese logos. Sony has an awesome cache of logos, just wacky stuff. Like if you sat down and looked at how good the original PlayStation logo is, that graphic design? It's fantastic.

7. The last great exhibition you saw.

At the beginning of 2023, my wife and I were really lucky to visit the UK, where she's originally from, and we made a point of going to the Cezanne exhibition at the Tate Modern. Cezanne is probably my favourite 20th-century painter because he was subtly political but also an incredibly beautiful painter who pushed the boundaries of art. One thing I learnt from the exhibition was that he was the artist’s artist. Other famous painters, who never became famous during their lifetimes, scrimped and saved to buy his paintings. Picasso collected Cezanne’s paintings - that’s how much he loved the guy.

8. Rules to live by.

You know, with rules to live by there’s so many. But one that comes to mind is don't overthink things - because we all tend to do it. I know that seems very cliched, but it works.

9. Your heroes

Creatively, I’ve always been inspired by the Lebanese musician Fairuz who refused to perform in her homeland during a devastating civil war. She stood fast in the belief that the war was wrong and shouldn’t happen. And she stood by that even when she could have otherwise kept going and made a lot of money.

Personally, I've been lucky to be surrounded by some really inspirational people. One of my heroes is my mum. She went through a really tough time towards the later years of her life and was a trooper. She never complained - never let anybody think that something was wrong. And she always worked hard to provide for the family. So, my personal hero? Definitely my mum.

Gabriel wears the Ito Penny Loafer in Brown Suede

Photography by Jeffrey Zhou