K-Kaiseki Restaurant - Castellanza (VA)

Sumptuous contemporary hospitality for an age-old ritual

When food becomes an artistic presentation and engages all five senses
Santino Limonta
Luciano Busani
Andrea Langhi
Year of completion
Architect Andrea Langhi specialises in bars, restaurants, lounges and nightclubs, businesses that - as he himself explains on his website - "must be capable of ?selling' a product to a target clientele. I envision my design work not just in terms of aesthetics, but as a powerful marketing and communication tool. My goal is to design venues that are not just attractive but above all are successful". Without question, Langhi fully achieved this goal in the case of the K-Kaiseki restaurant in Castellanza, housed in an old industrial building that he successfully transformed into a dreamlike, theatrical space. Every day the restaurant stages the preparation of the most traditional and at the same time most sophisticated of all Japanese meals: kaiseki. The ceremony focuses on the large central counter (representing the stage) where the cooks (the actors) forego the protection of a theatre backdrop and wings, instead preparing their creations in full view for the benefit of the audience of diners. All around, a series of artificial islands consisting of large circular velvet sofas and a central table designed for families and large groups alternate on different levels. Other tables are positioned freely wherever there is sufficient space between the islands to avoid invading the privacy of other guests and along the walls to create the sensation of private dining areas. The chairs and armchairs have a brass finished structure and a blue velvet upholstered seat and backrest. Black marble, mosaic columns, ceiling mirrors, gold counters, green walls, original lamps, elegant luminous decorations and conical flowerpots containing evergreens from the palm tree family are all elements that create a sense of opulence and set the tone for the theatre-like setting. A major contribution is made by the large format slabs and mosaics from Serenissima's Gemme collection chosen in the Black Mirror colour. "A far cry from the stereotype of ethnic restaurants, the design is vibrant, eclectic and dramatic like that of a club, where the food is as important as the entertainment and where dining is a thrilling and fun experience. It is a place of powerful sensations where guests are guaranteed a unique experience," continues the designer. But why so much theatricality in a restaurant? One of the fundamental aspects of Japanese cuisine is the search for harmony in satisfying all five senses. The pleasure of a kaiseki meal begins by enjoying the spectacle of the artist-cooks preparing the many small dishes that make up their culinary presentation in varnished, ceramic, wood or bamboo dishes while following strict rules regarding the combinations of colours and cuisines. It is only afterwards that the senses of smell, touch and finally taste are also satisfied in an ancient ritual that, according to equally age-old unwritten rules, must be celebrated in an appropriate setting. And before starting to eat, don't forget to thank mother nature by uttering the word "Itadakimasu", meaning "I humbly receive".
Serenissima, Gemme
porcelain stoneware
100x100, mosaico
Black Mirror
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,1% Bla GL
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Classe A
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
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