The Brief included a Robatayaki grill, a sushi bar and a lounge with stand-alone bar/cocktail facility. The outlet is an energetic restaurant/bar lounge venue for evening service only and required a significant outdoor dining component. The Architect’s drawings showed a dramatic double height volume, from which we discussed a split-level theatre concept. The upper level of the outlet became the bar/DJ Lounge looking down onto a central show kitchen under within the restaurant. Silverfox Studios’s ideas related to Japanese traditional Kabuki theatre triggered the subsequent train of concept thought and planning.
The FOH Kitchen location, size and circulation pathways reflect this Kabuki design philosophy which places the stage in the center of the room, away from the main BOH kitchen. Silverfox Studios overcome staff circulation issues to and from the kitchen by designing a raised path from the BOH to the central kitchen reflecting the traditional Kabuki performer stage arrival, along a bridge. They play with split levels to separate this path/bridge from the dining areas, raising a level adjacent allowing for the sushi bar to have its own sense of place and for high sushi barstool seating to oversee the main kitchen, a few steps lower.
In collaboration with Chef Ross Shonhan (Previously Head Chef Nobu and Zuma London), Silverfox Studios refined the kitchen equipment to allow for Robata at one end with raw ingredient display (ala-Robatayaki), and a Warayaki component at the opposite end. Warayaki being the finishing of grilled product in flames from a straw stack. This fire act takes place center stage and is visible from the lower and the higher (bar lounge) levels of the outlet.
The wall detail with recessed light is horizontal, representing lines of seating within the upper levels of the Kabuki theatre, gantries, lighting rigging, speakers and exposed services add to this modern representation of the narrative.