Manhattan meets Melbourne at Kisumé, the Lucas Group’s newest hospitality venue designed by Wood Marsh Architecture with interiors by Fabio Ongarato Design.
Kisumé means “a pure obsession with beauty,” and it is evident throughout the Flinders Lane restaurant and bar. Spread across three levels of a former 1950s office building, Kisumé is a moody, sleek and understated space, like an opulent den. Wood Marsh and Ongarato sought to create a design beyond trend and used a dark palette of black and charcoal with burnished gold, matte bronze and ink-coloured leather banquettes. Provocative photographs by Polly Borland and Nobuyoshi Araki add the fun and irreverence for which the Lucas Group is known.
From the outside, Kisumé is noticeable only by its blood red-tiled wall and porthole-like windows with Spirograph pattern. The restaurant at street level has a long New York-style sushi bar surrounded by tables and booths offering an up-close view of the chefs. Edgy and colourful images by Melbourne-born Borland include a portrait of Nick Cave disguised as a blue-haired girl. A bustling restaurant is in the windowless basement with a hot kitchen and large semi-private nooks and tables.
Upstairs in Kiro Kisumé, there is a concept Chablis Bar at one end and 12-seat semicircular kaiseki bar at the other. Intimate seating, and large tables that can be curtained off for private dining, are arranged in between with a wall of wine alongside and Araki’s cinematic photographs to the other.
Parachilna’s Anwar Suspension Lights feature in Kiro Kisumé where they hang above the Chablis Bar and two large tables. Designed by Stephen Burks, the lamps are made with black, gold and copper-electroplated steel rods to create their spiraling form. Burks’ fascination with wire lead to the intricate pendants, and in Kisumé their circular and elongated forms recall traditional Japanese lanterns.
Kisumé is well worth a visit for world-class design and cuisine and to check out the Anwar Suspension Light by Parachilna. Alternatively, drop by the KE-ZU showroom at Alexandria where you can also see the pendant lamps and lots more world-class design.