Glamorous Co. brings a Japanese aesthetic to a restaurant in Hong Kong
Abby Bussel -- Interior Design, 1/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
Candlelight sets the mood at Daidaiya, designed by Glamorous Co. The Japanese restaurant, whose name means "house of orange," occupies nearly 6,500 square feet at the Empire Hotel Kowloon in the Tsim Sha Shui district, where a tourist ghetto loaded with shops and entertainment enterprises rubs shoulders with the Museum of History and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Daidaiya boasts a large dining room, a smaller sushi bar and dining area, a wine bar, and three private dining rooms in addition to the kitchen and ancillary spaces. While each room has its own character and purpose, all share common ground in materials and lighting. Candles are found throughout the interior, and light is used in striking ways, from the elevator lobby's Western-influenced chandeliers, veiled in sparkling chrome chains, to the candle-lined corridors and backlit wine bar.
All chairs and booth benches are covered in white leather, and a traditional Japanese residential wall material, beige mud mixed with straw, is found almost everywhere, starting with the lobby, whose walls' rustic appearance is offset by a framelike dark wood border. Flooring, however, changes from area to area. There's tile in the lobby and the corridor that connects the sushi bar to the main dining room, ebony-finished wood in the dining room, teak in the sushi bar, and carpeting in the wine bar and the private rooms.
The design drama reaches its height in the large dining room, which is organized around a black granite communal table, measuring 10 feet by 15 feet and surrounding a pool of water. Around the table and pool, teak shelving in a multilevel, irregular grid forms a partition as well as supporting myriad Japanese antiques and lamps made from frosted-glass vases. Within the pool, a 5 by 10–foot platform supports an antique Japanese bell. Orange flames, flickering atop black wax candles held in custom-designed Japanese steel brackets, are reflected in the pool's dark water—an echo of the Hong Kong skyline's glimmering reflection on the waters of Victoria Harbour by night.