‘Take each encounter as the only one in your lifetime.’ – Sen No Rikyu
There’s a line that connects fine dining with theatre. That line is the hidden formal structure that guides each experience, the menu or script within which improvisation is celebrated. At their best, both performances capture seasonality and locality – and engage with their guests in unique ways.
We collaborated with Ste Marie Design to create Hana, a venue suitable for kaiseki, perhaps the finest form of Japanese dining. This multi-course cuisine features premium seasonal ingredients, and numerous dishes expressive of time and place. Showcasing the chef’s art in planning, cooking and plating, these are spectacular meals served with theatrical flourish.
It was agreed that the experience would be anchored in understated hospitality. The tone is set at the front entry. A mix of hand-rendered surfaces and highly refined materials.
A tiny floral arrangement. A zen oasis of simplicity and restraint.
Arriving guests pass a series of narrow openings in the corridor wall. These provide a teasing preview of the chef’s counter. Seated there, dishes are assembled and explained while you watch.
Materials and surfaces for this space were selected for their authenticity, utility and of course, for their beauty. Lighting and ventilation are deceptively unobtrusive.
Alternatively, guests may dine in one of several private rooms where dishes are finished and served in a more conventional manner. These elegant spaces are also calm, designed to avoid distracting from the chef’s ingenuity and craftsmanship.
Within the chef’s domain or the quiet of one’s private chamber, our design is calibrated to elevate the multi-sensory appreciation of each dish – its appearance, sound, texture and aroma. No two encounters are the same.
“Engrave in one’s heart the events of the day as if there is no tomorrow.” – Sen No Rikyu