Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka Midosuji — Osaka, Japan
For seasoned shoppers, ‘Where shall we lunch?’ used to be a question fraught with existential angst, especially after a successful retail spree through a bold-faced named couturier.
This is no longer the case for Louis Vuitton loyalists dropping into the marque’s new four-storey flagship store in Osaka where in-house architects inserted a café and restaurant at the top of the billowing white façade – the latter stylishly mimicking the sails of traditional Higaki-Kaisen cargo ships.
Both venues are collaborations with Yosuke Suga, the celebrated Japanese chef overseeing a pair of serene spaces lined with terrazzo and furnished with, in the case of Le Café V, coloured discs that mimic the sea and a prow-shaped bar; and in the adjoining Sugalabo V restaurant – a bijou, moodily lit space wrapped around an open kitchen accessed through a speakeasy-type panel – with trompe l’oeil cube floors, dark panels, and high leather-swathed stools.
Le Café V, in particular, pairs its sunny room with an equally relaxed menu of Turzum and Kagoshima teas, satsuma juice, and an Earl Grey-infused gin and tonic to go with crab macaroni au gratin, and a crisp Croque Monsieur oozing with Raclette and Abondance. Or skip all that and head straight for the millefeuille scented with Madagascar vanilla. §