Izakaya Den

Melbourne, Australia
Izakaya Enterprises
Project 2009

Hidden in a Melbourne city basement is this bold interpretation of a traditional Japanese izakaya – a place for meeting, drinking and sampling great food.

Channelling the character of Tokyo’s fashionable izakayas, Izakaya Den adds to the cultural restaurant scene thriving in Melbourne’s laneways, basements and rooftops.

Elevated tables offer a view of the busy preparation/cooking area behind the full-length bar.  At the far end is a communal stone table; a large mirror behind it extends the space further and conceals the back-of-house.

The palette of materials is simple, with the main bar running the full length of the space being the principle organising element.  Its blackened finish was burned using traditional Japanese methods.

At the entrance is a large graphic mural designed by Garry Emery.  It features a reproduction wood block by celebrated Japanese artist Hokusai overlaid with a manga comic character in colourful dots.