A balanced combination of culinary arts and design
It is indulgence inspired by the culinary crafts of the Far East, in a highly dignified ambience, that awaits guests at Kushi to Cook restaurant, which opened in 2019 in Gangnam-gu, one of the best-situated districts of the South Korean capital Seoul. The name is a clear indication: The gourmet location is known for its kushiage. From the upscale kitchen, visitors get multi-faceted dishes made from select seasonal ingredients. Bite-sized, deep-fried bites of fish, vegetables or meat coated in breadcrumbs are served on wooden skewers.
To the point: Kushiage in a nature-inspired interior
Kushiage cooking, which originated in Japan, is said to appeal to all five senses. The surrounding physical space is tailor-made to create an even larger stage for this experience. Kushi to Cook is classy without being aloof, its understated interior design as refined as the food itself. Responsibility for this lies with Jongkim Design Studio, whose conceptual design divides a visit to Kushi to Cook into six stages, each an experience in itself. Even before entering the premises – the interior covers a total of almost 260 square meters – guests have the opportunity to look around and “discover”. Passing a simple yet elegant terrace, from which the main dining room can be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows as if on display, the guest walks up smooth concrete-grey steps through a tall entrance to the “check-in” area. This area is graceful in its natural simplicity, with a rounded reception counter in a curved environment of wood and clay earth, the latter starting at the floor and continuing up the walls. The chosen colours are also close to the earth, conveying a certain calm to the visitor as they “stroll” through a homely corridor to reach the equally discreetly designed area for appropriate hand hygiene (“cultivate”). There, too, round forms dominate, and water pours from a system of hanging pipes arranged like a wind chime.
An ambience that grounds you
The destination of this little expedition is the dining area („taste“), where the majority of the tables are elevated and arranged around corners, creating the feeling of counter-service. This area is dominated by wood as well: The designers chose this material for tables, ceilings, supporting elements and wall surrounds, among other things. And there again earthen clay appears as a protagonist, used for the surfaces of the walls. Shades of brown and beige harmonize with each other. Recessed ceiling light illuminates the scenery just enough not to disturb, small light spots emphasise what, besides the architecture, is the focus: the food. When leaving the restaurant, the guest goes back to where he or she checked in („check-out“), before leaving the location – gastronomically spoiled with exquisite kushiage, relaxed and grounded by an all-around nature-loving aura that seems to connect with the guest as if by itself.
Seoul – a perennial tourist destination
Once in Seoul, there are numerous options to choose from after such an experience. North of Gangnam-gu flows the Han River, and the area is considered one of the city’s most important business districts. Worth a visit is Garosu-gil Street, not far from the site of the Kushi to Cook, an avenue lined with tall ginkgo trees and populated with shopping malls, fashion, art, culinary offerings, and other tourist attractions and highlights.Read more »
Surfaces rich in contrast – with versatile earthen clay plaster
No matter where in the restaurant the visitor is: The soothing, grounding atmosphere at Kushi to Cook seems almost palpable. It is not by chance that natural materials are used in the upscale restaurant. The colour scheme is also focused on being natural, which in turn emphasizes the authenticity of the location and its food. The walls are crafted with YOSIMA clay designer plaster in a Kolumba-grey tone, while the rest of the premises are decorated in earth tones. To create contrasts in surface texture and thus discreet visual variety, the designers opted for the natural additive straw in the open stairwell. Throughout the rest of the restaurant, the YOSIMA designer plaster was given a rough texture finish, thus accentuating the walls. As a natural and sustainable building material, clay earth does not require any chemical additives, which has a positive effect on indoor air quality. Speaking of which, clay earth has the property of filtering not only dust and pollutants but above all moisture from the air – and also of releasing the latter evenly. Therefore, it once again supports a feel-good atmosphere, in the case of the Kushi to Cook in the form of the fine YOSIMA designer plaster as the finish for the walls. The good sound absorption of the plaster also lends a noticeable advantage, especially in rooms with public traffic.