When design meets fusion cuisine

by Mavis Wong on Apr 13, 2011 in Interiors , Lifestyle
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At Mist, a fusion cuisine restaurant, East meets West not only in terms of the innovative menu, but also in Clifton Leung Design Workshop’s conceptualisation of the interior design, melding modern Japanese aesthetics with French elegance

How did the design concept evolve?
After I was commissioned to design the interior, the first thing came to mind is that the design must be a blend of Japanese classic and French elegance, demonstrating both the affinity of Japanese ramen and the formality of Western cuisine. My challenge was to find a way to harmoniously merge all these together.

How would you describe your design?
As the restaurant offers Japanese cuisine, for the interior I intended to create a vibe of French modernism complemented by Japanese design elements. For example, while the frame of the entrance and the bar – both made of stainless steel – reflects a chic, modern style; the central glass pillar adorned with gold fibre cloth resembles the glamorous kimono fabric. And with red and black as dominant colour inside the restaurant, the wooden wall and table evokes a warmer feeling.
Describe for us one striking design feature…
The stone feature wall adorning the right side of the entrance is custom-made. Stones, one of the elements of traditional Japanese design, were used to create such tactile wall and, under soft lighting, the wall imbues the interior with a casual sense of natural beauty.
What can you tell us about the kitchen design?
In Japanese ramen restaurants, diners are seated very close to the cooks. In this case, I opted for a modern semi-open kitchen, which is suitable for contemporary home kitchens as well. Open or semi-open kitchens visually link different spaces, activating the interaction between the ‘chef’ and the family members or the guests. Watching a ‘chef’ preparing a meal is definitely a feast for the eyes.
How did you merge Japanese with French design elements?
Take for example the tables in the restaurant. Neatness and meticulousness is one of the key elements of Japanese culture; that’s why I opted for tables with independent drawers to store tableware and the menu, so as to keep the tabletop neat and clean. And with Western tableware – knifes, forks, bowls and plates – the guests feel like they are dining in a French restaurant.