I discovered this restaurant a couple of years ago, and what a discovery!
The Interior, newly refurbished since last year, is beautiful. It is very minimalist, a modern Japanese style i would say, with an attention to every detail, in regards to lighting, use of materials and how everything comes together. The lighting has been cleverly thought out as there are no windows at the back of the restaurant and it is like a long corridor. Yet, one does not feel claustrophobic, quite the contrary, as the space feels light, airy and comfortable.
The large counter, where in my opinion, is the best seating in the restaurant, is inviting and welcoming. When sitting there, we can admire the chef Toyomitsu Nakayama, (previously Kenzo’s personal chef), work his magic with wonderful precision and perfection, turning cooking into an art, through the alchemy of flavours and sensations.
The presentation of his dishes are beautiful, reminiscent of a painting, or a design, with every detail thought through: the colours, the textures and the superimposing of the ingredients. You barely dare to spoil it, but curiosity takes over… At this point, your tastebuds are awakened by the subtle chemistry of the flavours which blend together perfectly.
Each time I go to this restaurant, I am always inspired by Toyo. Both in the quality of his dishes, presentations and overall experience, as well as his precision, perfection and ever changing menu. He truly masters the ability of bringing out the best in all his ingredients, which are always of top quality, mixing and layering them to produce new flavours and interesting twists.
As a designer, i am fascinated with this, being a beautiful example of creation and beauty, in search of perfection. This to me, embodies much of what Japanese culture is about, one i am very fond of:
Never settle for average or good, but always reach for perfection.
To me, Toyo has definitely mastered that.