And you will find yourself in the largest Japanese restaurant in Ukraine, designed by the Sergey Makhno Architects studio on request of the chef Fujiwara Yoshihiro. Fujiwara Yoshi restaurant is an 800 square meter maze designed to get lost in the greatness of Japanese culture and not even try to find a way out. Your glances will be captivated by details, — try to notice every single one.
“This project is special to me. Japan is my place of power. I fall in love with this country every time I go there. And I always want more. Therefore, I was happy to put a piece of my love in the heart of Ukraine. Our main task was to communicate Japanese philosophy, not to shout it with some clichés. The design of the restaurant is coziness dictated by Japan, but read with the Ukrainian soul”, — says Sergey Makhno, the founder of the Sergey Makhno Architects studio.
The labyrinth stretches past the terrace-garden. Panoramic windows fill it with a flood of daylight. Author’s lighting by Makhno floats underneath the black ceiling: the minimalist Gemini, the laconic ceramic Runa, and if you look into the Lakuna lamps, you will see Japan itself. Floor lamps, made in the form of the chasen (a whisk for matcha tea), sow tender light directly to the guests’ plates.
The garden throws the shadows at the sitting area. Catch one or two, when you are around. The alley of bonsai trees brought from a small town near Tokyo leads to sea-life and freshwater aquariums with a shamelessly bulky table for tuna processing behind.
The sushi bar is already making instant rolls under large Fuji-lamps. Sergey Makhno personally designed them, contemplating that snow-white Japanese mountain. Instead of the ordinary lighting, there are chimneys in one tatami-room, and a plump copper flower in another. They can tell you about the sun hiding behind the roofs in the Japanese gardens.
Under the bamboo chasen sprouts, soft-cream seats and chairs embosom the tables. Everything is made specifically for this restaurant. Next to them, the tempura and robata grill zones are located. In the tatami-room #3, the sky stretches out on the wall and the chairs, while ikebana tickle guests with flowers-branches. The ceramic barrels of sake and a mob of the wine refrigerator prompt what will go farther. Farther, will be something winy — under a light graded cloth, in the arms of the travertine, the bar is ringing with glasses. Just in time, because the stone slabs on the wall begin to tell “One hundred poems of one hundred poets”.
“Most Japanese restaurants are low-key, small and definitely cozy. Therefore, we paid a lot of attention to the layout in order to host 250 guests at the same time. And yet, there is an atmosphere of coziness and peace of mind”, — says Illia Tovstonog, the chief architect of Sergey Makhno Architects.
Fujiwara Yoshi is a Japanese restaurant with Ukrainian soul. It is a maze you don’t want to leave. Here, aesthetics waltzes with functionality, pipes become lamps, flowers grow from the ceiling, and moss — from the plates. It is a place to rest your eyes, hold your breath and savor Japan.