Oku Mexico — Mexico City, Mexico
Located in northeast Mexico City, Oku is a new restaurant serving up muted, minimal interiors and freshly prepared Japanese cuisine in equal parts.
Conceived by local firm Michan Architecture, led by designers Isaac Michan and Alan Eskildsen, the space is defined by an angular cavernous layout that lends itself to an intimate yet contemporary mood.
Front and centre is a sushi bar from where both traditional and fusion dishes such as salmon tostadas, wagyu nigiri, and house made lychee and coconut sake are served up to patrons, while guests seeking lengthier dining sessions may prefer to retreat to one of the restaurant’s table seating arrangements, positioned both indoors and outdoors. Here, under a gentle blanket of linear shadows cast by a vertical window feature, oak wood tables sit with oak wood chairs lined with leather latticed seats and high backs made for lounging.
The defining feature at Oku, however, is the futuristic, angular terrain that forms the restaurant’s cement ceiling, marked by three ‘legs’ which extend from the top down. Just one connects the floor and ceiling, allowing it to host the restaurant’s bathrooms, while the remaining pair measure 2.4 metres each and hover over the sushi bar to create an artificial lighting element — courtesy of internal brass cladding. The outcome is another layer of texture and colour added to this space’s soothing palette of putty greys and ash, which combine to create a chic cocoon of calming modernism. §