Premium Yakiniku Nikunotoriko Roppongi
Premium yakiniku restaurant located in the Roppongi district of Tokyo on the first and second floors of a newly constructed building. The first floor features a long table in a cave-like setting. The second floor features semi-private floor seating with steel pipes mimicking trees acting as unobtrusive partitions. Completely different from conventional yakiniku restaurants, it’s as if you’re enjoying your meal in the middle of a quiet forest.
The goal of this design project was to completely change customers’ images of what a yakiniku restaurant should be.
A truly enjoyable meal satisfies both the mind and body and takes the entire dining experience into consideration.
A perfect example of this would be enjoying a barbeque with friends under the bright blue sky surrounded by nature while drinking an ice-cold beer on a summer day.
Ryoji Iedokoro believes that the memory of a taste is actually the memory of that entire experience. For this particular project, in addition to the visual aspect, the design places an important emphasis on the sense of touch and texture as well. As a result, the design for this yakiniku restaurant recreates the open yet comfortable feeling of a natural environment.
The interior of the restaurant consists of two contrasting floors.
The first floor takes its inspiration from a “cave-like” setting. The stucco-like texture of the walls creates a rough uneven surface resembling an actual cave wall. The floor features a special glass material that resembles both the appearance and texture of stone. Additionally, a specially constructed 6.5-meter glass table has a unique look that makes it appear as if smoke has been captured in the glass. The atmosphere itself almost resembles what you’d expect the dining environment of the earliest humans to have looked like.
Conversely, the second floor has the earth and greenery as its theme. The multilayered levels of the floor, made from laminated OSB panels, resemble contour lines. Climbing the different levels of this unusual and asymmetric landscape is definitely a unique experience that excites the senses. If one were to lean against the slope, it would feel almost like being at a hillside picnic.
Through the atmosphere created by the design the dining experience stimulates not only the sense of taste but all the senses of the customers resulting in a much more memorable experience. A memory you can keep with you like that barbeque with friends on a pleasant summer day.
From an operational perspective, although some owners might see the difference in height of the floor as something that should be avoided for safety reasons, in Roppongi, an area known to be highly competitive for dining establishments, restaurants with no personality are soon forgotten.
It was our goal to use the design to create an experience you wouldn’t expect from a typical yakiniku restaurant. When customers fall in love with both the concept of the restaurant as well as the unique dining experience itself, there’s a greater chance of them coming back. Focusing on details such as the materials and layout for a more holistic dining experience was a fundamental part of achieving a unique and unconventional design for this premium yakiniku restaurant.
The “cave” and “earth” motifs of the first and second floors were selected with the privacy of the customers in mind. Whereas you can share the large table on the first floor, the steel pipes mimicking trees on the second floor serve not only as a place to hang coats and bags but can also be used as partitions to create a sense of privacy.
Traditionally, in Japan, emphasis is placed on the presentation of a meal with special care taken when selecting the bowls, plates and utensils to match not only the content of the meal but also things such as the seasons.
The design of this yakiniku restaurant is an extension of this concept with the atmosphere itself being used to contribute to the dining experience.
Surrounded by friends and family in this unique environment, the memories of your experiences here are definitely the kind that will stay with you for a lifetime.
text by salta