Unveiling the New Look Yamagen
Nic Graham takes on the Japanese Izakaya and nails it.
It takes a sure and accomplished eye to tackle the total redesign of a much-loved dining institution, but that’s exactly what interior architect, Nic Graham in his role as chief designer of the QT brand of hotels and resorts did when asked to revitalise the successful 30-year-old Yamagen Japanese restaurant at QT Gold Coast.
Closing its door for the first time in April 2017, Graham was tasked with reimagining Yamagen as a traditional Japanese Izakaya with the added objective of ‘upping the ante’ on an expanded bar component in keeping with the hotel’s upbeat holiday vibe.
Naturally enough, QT’s design DNA of quirky contemporary fusion became the defining road map, and the result is an invigorating blend of east meets west urban street style, pop-culture kitsch, and Japanese fishing village charm.
Equally challenging for Graham and his team was the task of balancing a merge of existing and newly specified elements to create a cohesive design solution. The brief called for a retaining of the original heavy wood framework throughout – which impacted on the footprint of the space to a large degree – while developing the space to incorporate a new yakitori station and large bar offering.
“What is great about the QT brand is that it allows us to play within the boundaries of what is very much a strong cultural eating style and aesthetic deeply rooted in tradition to a dramatic and somewhat irreverent effect while still honouring its history” said Graham.
Classic ‘silk black’ or wenge wood detailing anchors the space, which is then infused with a contemporary top note courtesy of a vibrant bespoke wallpaper of shocking pink, electric blue and shiny silver, and where bold graphic elements are also introduced in all manner of unexpected ways… including a set of vintage sports lockers sourced in Tokyo complete with original cartoon art.
Amplifying Yamagen’s strong fresh seafood focus, dining chairs edged in woven rope are offset by custom light fittings formed from Japanese fishing nets… delivering just the right note of tradition meets ‘tongue in cheek’.
Yamagen is open for dinner and drinks Monday – Saturday from 5.30pm until late.
To make a reservation call 07 5584 1200 or click here to book online.
words by CavCon