The World’s Most Stunning Restaurant Designs

All too often restaurants are heralded for their incredibly tasty courses (as they should be), but we here at ToMo want to also shed light on restaurant presentation – namely restaurants that make you stop and admire as your waiter/waitress tries to regain your attention before taking you to your seat. Prepare for a trip around the world, ladies and gentleman, because we went far and wide to find you some of the world’s most stunning restaurant designs.

Morimoto – Philadephia, PA

Opened by restaurateur Stephen Starr and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Morimoto restaurant has garnered attention both domestically and internationally since its opening a few years ago.

The interior boasts a beautiful array of glass and colors that convey a sense of liveliness and serenity all at once. Seat colors change very slowly throughout the night while undulating walls provide an organic feel that most do not get through other dining experiences.

While waiting to be seated, you can sip on some sake while waiting in the wood-laden elevated commissary that offers a full view of the dining and kitchen areas. Whether treating a date or entertaining a client, Philadelphia’s Morimoto is not to be missed.

L’Arc – Paris, France

Signed by Samy Chams, L’Arc Paris restaurant-bar-club instead of the former Etoile in the 16th District, has taken full advantage of its assets to become one of the absolute trendiest places to be in Paris.

In addition to the exceptional view of the Arc de Triomphe, the original decoration is attractive, with metallic walls, encrusted wood panelling, and original globe lights from the 1960’s.

The bar and outdoor seating areas are equally impressive, sporting their respective arrays of spacious modern seating and open spaces. This designer restaurant’s big highlight is its delicious neo-classical menu served by the skilled chef Antony Germani (of L’Atelier Joël Robuchon).

The Yellow Treehouse – Warkworth, NZ

The new Yellow Treehouse Restaurant by New Zealand based Pacific Environments Architects Ltd. is a stunning architectural feat perched high above the canopies of a redwood forest.

Showcased for all the world like an enormous chrysalis grafted onto a 40-meter-high stalk, the project was taken on by way of plantation poplar slats and redwood balustrading milled at the site.

After proceeding down a very inviting wooden pathway, one will notice the dining area makes extensive use of natural lighting, making this also one of the most eco-friendly eating establishments you will find in all of New Zealand – a must-try for any traveler.

Chan Restaurant – Thessaloniki, AU

Andy Martin Associates collaborated with Farrow See and L+DG to create this sanctuary hidden deep within the belly of The Met Hotel, Greece. The space is known for its inviting, yet privacy-conscious nature, featuring beautifully sculpted booths and subtle ambient lighting that lines the entirety of Chan.

In the words of the designer himself: “We conceived this idea on the premise of a serene black aluminium box to which we applied backlit Asian graphic treatments such as abstract bamboo patterning to the walls and Japanese Karesansui garden graphics to the ceilings overlaying the dining tables. This was achieved with the technological assistance of NES light panels in the UK, using patented side-emitting LED technology.”

The work put into this restaurant is apparent upon first entry, so do not be surprised if you briefly forget your appetite at the sight of this Tron-esque dining scene.

Ithaa UnderSea Restaurant – Maldives, ROM

Designed and developed by a New Zealand-based design consultancy company M.J. Murphy Ltd, the $5 million Ithaa Undersea restaurant was constructed in Singapore and later shipped to the Maldives on a colossal barge.

You’re probably wondering how it is the restaurant doesn’t collapse onto itself under the weight of the seawater; engineers fit Ithaa with 16-foot wide acrylic arches and “sank” it with 85 tons of sand ballast to keep it anchored at 16 meters below sea level. The restaurant only seats 14 people at a time, so be sure to make reservations very early before your next visit to the Maldives.

The Smokehouse Room – New Delhi, IN

With this final restaurant design masterpiece, I am speechless and, therefore, will let the images and designers (Busride Design Studio) speak for themselves: “The Smokehouse Room has 3 distinct, yet seamlessly connected offerings. We’ve tried to create a fluid, organically growing, psychedelic landscape that melts into various parts.”

“The Smokehouse Room is a tiny 40 seater tasting room. We created an elegant, understated, quiet atmosphere as a dramatic stage for a sensorial food performance, with subtle organic undertones. Each element in the Restaurant is hand-crafted, from the chairs and fluid partitions and window frames. Lighting and paneling is designed to create long, fluid horizontal lines, that hint at the forms and textures of the Mushroom, which served as the formal inspiration behind the venue. Touted as “One of the finest restaurants to be setup in the city”, Smokehouse Room has been called ‘brilliant and irreverent’.”

“The Cocktail bar introduces schizophrenia into the offering, being a pristine white space in the day, and becoming an intensely coloured, constantly changing hallucinatory environment by night, which takes the trademark Smokehouse Room eccentricity into cocktails. We worked on a molten design form, that creeps up the edges of the spaces, sculpting out functionality. The idea was to work on flexible, eccentric seating ideas, including the mound-like barstools, and the floor hugging organic sofa form, such that it creates multiple seating options, for different Bar requirements. The Cocktail bar, in layout forms part of both the Restaurant and the attached Club, hence responds to both extremities in energy levels.”

And finally, on the aptly named SHroom room: “With SHRoom we created a completely immersive Audio-Visual Environment, in what is intended to be the closest replica of the psychedelic mind-bending experience.The club tries to visualize an experience inside and under an exploding canopy of mushrooms, with synced effects lights and pulsing visuals. SHRoom adopts the progressive sound of EDM to create a space that breathes and lives, pushing the Club culture in the capital city into a more international space.”


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3 Responses to “The World’s Most Stunning Restaurant Designs”

  1. Eddie Goldstein
    January 6, 2013 at 10:15 pm #


    I really enjoyed the photographs in “The World’s Most Stunning Restaurant Designs.”

    I’d like to—very respectfully—pass along a correction to a misspelling in this article:

    In the description of Morimoto, in Philadelphia, you say, “Opened by restauranteur [. . .]”

    Please note that there is no “n” in the word “restaurateur.”

    Thank you for your time and for the photographs of these beautiful restaurants.

    Best regards,

    Eddie Goldstein
    Ayer, Massachusetts

    • Jonathan Tzou
      January 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

      Thanks for pointing that out, Eddie! Edits implemented. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy the post despite the grammar goof 😉


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