The challenge was to breathe new life into this tired little art deco building and convert it into a traditional Japanese sushi and seafood restaurant. The new owners wanted to provide an authentic Japanese dining experience so the makeover needed to support this aim on a limited budget. The approach taken was to work within the existing building envelope, keep the services in their original locations, but to otherwise gut the interior.
Once inside, the formal but relaxed scene is set. Timber slats are used to separate the reception from the main dining area allowing visitors a glimpse in without impinging on the privacy of other diners. Apart from keeping the original timber floor all the surfaces are new. A combination of dressed timber finishes, shoji screens and subtly textured paint surfaces complemented by discreet LED lighting creates a quiet relaxed ambience. Particular care has been taken to integrate services and to align trim, lighting and built in joinery.
The sushi bar is modelled on the counter in an old Tokyo restaurant and allows diners to be part of the food preparation experience. The direct lighting and plain surfaces mean that the food and its preparation takes centre stage.
It has not taken long for Sachi to gain a reputation as one of Nelson’s preferred Japanese dining venues. The owners believe that the quality of the design plays an important part in the smooth operation and customer enjoyment of the restaurant.