Saké Restaurant & Bar first opened in The Rocks in 2009, and most recently opened in Manly at the end of 2018. Consistency has been key to Saké’s ongoing success, and KE-ZU is proud to have been with the award-winning restaurant group from the beginning.
Luchetti Krelle and Melissa Collison Design independently designed the venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and called on KE-ZU for furniture and lighting for many. While each venue has a bespoke concept and is specific to its location, there is a strong continuity in design with the Andreu World Smile chair being a predominant, enduring feature. “There is a refined quality to the Smile chair and it has a subtle nod to the Japanese origin,” says Rachel Luchetti of Luchetti Krelle. “And they are so well made – the chairs in The Rocks are still there."
Luchetti Krelle set the scene for Saké Restaurant & Bar, designing the original venue in The Rocks. Set against the backdrop of a heritage building, the design celebrated the contrast between refined Japanese-inspired design and rustic colonial aesthetics. Classic Japanese motifs and joinery construction methods were referenced, deconstructed and appropriated for the various dining and drinking spaces. Melissa Collison Design refurbished the venue in 2014, incorporating bamboo chandelier pendants, Koi-fish upholstery and an image of a modern geisha as a contemporary backdrop across the entire back wall.
The strong imagery and motifs have continued across the venues. Melissa’s design for Saké Double Bay balances comfort and edginess, while Saké Flinders Lane is inspired by the Japanese obsession with Western culture in the 1970s. “For Japan this was a period of economic growth and of trying to look and be all things Western. A time of big men, big deals and dark bars,” says Melissa. Red neon punctuates the rich interior and Melissa’s hand-painted tattooed girl continues as a theme throughout. Andreu World Smile chair features in both Double Bay and Flinders Lane, which also has the Andreu World Manila chair that evokes a sense of grandeur and serenity. The Emu Darwin collection is contemporary and elegant in the outdoor dining area, and also featured in Saké Jr Collins Lane – Saké’s grab-and-go little sister.
Luchetti Krelle designed Saké Melbourne (above) and Saké Brisbane (below) which feature pendants from KE-ZU, and most recently designed Saké Manly. The light and airy venue has the restrained grandeur of its predecessors, while also taking cues from its waterfront location. “We took inspiration from Japanese craftsmanship and the art of wabi-sabi – the ancient Japanese approach to appreciating and celebrating the imperfect,” says Rachel. Saké Manly has a luxe minimalism with a restrained palette, natural materials and the Andreu World Smile chairs and stools. It also features Emu’s sophisticated Terramare armchairs, Parachilna’s LightOLight wall lamps and Forestier’s Papillon wire mesh pendant.
Congratulations to Saké for being a dynamic yet always consistent presence on the Australian restaurant scene for the last 10 years, and we raise our glass to many more years to come.
Check out the Andreu World Smile chairs here