The owners of Tokyo Bay were clear in their brief to Ignite. They wanted diners to experience traditional Japanese fare in a stunning, contemporary setting. Getting the balance right would be imperative, as the restaurant is located in the same precinct as some of Auckland’s most popular bars and eateries.
With the tagline Japanese on the Beach, Tokyo Bay restaurant is heavily influenced by the ocean, both in its menu and its design. Part of the Ignite-designed Main Beach development, it is right at home in the high-end beachfront dining precinct.
The connection between the ocean and the restaurant is cleverly woven into the design via many subtle references throughout the space. Clean lines, quality materials and bespoke design create a dining experience that is ingenious because of its simplicity.
The use of levels maximises the space and allows patrons to enjoy different experiences depending on where they sit. Diners on the raised platform enjoy views over the restaurant, to the ocean beyond. Lower level dining gives patrons the option to enjoy private booth seating or soak up the atmosphere of the bar. A large skylight brings in plenty of natural light and large bi-fold doors allow the scent of the sea to filter in.
The result is a dining space that seamlessly blends sophistication with a relaxed beachside vibe. High-quality, handcrafted elements create a venue that diners are compelled to come back to again and again.
The use of texture and natural elements provides a link between the restaurant and its beachside setting. Hanging above diners, a stunning sculpture of a school of mackerel beautifully captures the energy of movement. The electrifying piece sets the scene for diners about to embark on an incredible dining experience.
Guests are welcomed into the restaurant by an illuminated glass floor which, in a nod to traditional Japanese gardens, is embedded with pebbles and quartzite stepping stones. A faux stone wall runs the length of the restaurant, bringing natural warmth to the space, while red lights reference the glow of Japanese washi paper lanterns which traditionally hang in izikaya restaurants.
Fundamental to the client’s brief was a desire that the restaurant’s design demonstrate an exceptional level of quality. Ignite commissioned a stunning hand crafted natural timber bar as the restaurant’s feature design piece. Made from Ashanti Oil on Oak veneer, the bar features a multi-layered bulkhead and mitred joints that create a seamless wrapped box effect.