In Grillno Restaurant, architecture studio Keiji Ashizawa Design’s dark, moody palette creates a visually strong yet cosy environment. Situated near Kawaguchi station in Saitama (one of largest Tokyo commuter towns), a combination of raw materials—wood wool cement boards, concrete, natural wood, and steel—is accentuated by thoughtfully placed, soft lighting.
With its small footprint, Ashizawa and fellow project architect Kenta Hirayama have carefully arranged the restaurant’s layout. A long concrete counter runs alongside an open kitchen, allowing patrons to watch the chef preparing a selection of smoked and grilled dishes such as oysters and scallops pickled in smoked oil, Iberico pork collar skewers and grilled salmon with grated daikon. Several individual tables offer a more private dining option to complete the 26-seat restaurant. Overall, Keiji Ashizawa’s concept for Grillno expertly balances an industrial air with a welcoming sense of calm.