Located on the very top floor of the Conrad Seoul, the 37 Grill and Bar and adjacent Executive Lounge enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the Han River and city skyline. As a long, rectangular floor sharing the same kitchen and back-of-house areas, the challenge was how to transport food and drink between the spaces, without reducing room width. The solution was to create two transparent, open-plan show kitchens in the 37 Grill and Bar and place the service corridor immediately behind them. Now, the activity around the kitchen is celebrated, rather than hidden, and adds buzz to the restaurant, while disguising the service traffic to the Executive Lounge.
To whet the appetites of guests, Remedios has placed a glass case by the restaurant entrance, displaying dry-aged meat. Meanwhile, to add a sense of excitement to their arrival, he has installed an open exhibition bar at the entrance, where signature cocktails are crafted before being presented on glass spotlights, like stars in a stage show.
To the left of the entrance is a lounge bar featuring a DJ booth and a variety of seating options catering to guests’ differing predilections. Intimate sofas overlook the Seoul skyline; bar stools at a high table offer views of both Seoul and the mixologists; open sofas in the centre of the lounge appeal to the see-and-be-seen crowd; while semi-shielded seating evokes a VIP feel. A range of dining experiences is also available in the 90-seater dining space, offering open dining; cosy tables by the windows; two private rooms; or an elevated chef’s table between the show kitchens. Wooden shelving housing red wine forms the backdrop, while white wine and champagne have their own temperature-controlled, transparent display room.
Remedios has used darker materials, such as polished metals, dark wooden finishes and roughly hewn stone accentuated by raked lighting to create a moody, seductive and exclusive ambience, reminiscent of a New York supper club or jazz bar. Next door, the Executive Lounge has a similar exclusive ambience, but is more subdued and residential in feel. On arrival, a hostess checks guests in from a bar-style high table—more interactive and less of a barrier than the usual desk set-up. In the lounge itself, with wraparound views, a variety of lounge and dining-height seating is arranged around an inviting central fireplace.