It all began in 1978 in Japan, where the owner of the Hotel Nikko in Paris was looking for a chef for his new restaurant, Benkay. There he met Kyoichi Kinugawa, who became the chef of the famous establishment until 1984, the year that Kinugawa opened, marking a milestone in the history of Parisian Japanese cuisine.
In early 2012, fate offered them a chance: the Maison Kinugawa was put up for sale.
It was a unique opportunity for this colorful team to work on a joint project, a merging of personalities, talents and cultures. Restoring Kinugawa’s acclaim, they decided to create a place dedicated to Japanese gastronomy and lifestyle that would be one-of-a-kind in Paris.
Also taking part in the adventure was Laurent Hullo, the former head of the Galerie du Plaza Athénée, now overseeing the new Kinugawa. With him, he brings a precious knowledge of French savoir vivre. Gilles & Boissier have created the interior design and décor. They worked with a team of French artisans and artists, once again showing the value they place on knowhow, tradition and excellence.
After crossing the threshold of the intimate doubledoor entrance, the visitor discovers the space that the architects have reconstructed.
A rift pierces the two floors and creates an immediate break with the outside. The 6-meter high walls display a design in White plaster. The artist Alix Waline gorgeously plays with pointillism in a way that calls to mind the water movements of Japanese prints.
Entering further leads to a black granite bar and amber mirrors, facing a long bench in bronze leather, lined with tables.
Here, tribute is paid to the tradition of cocktail, from the classics to special creations, taking advantage of the carefully chosen dishes offered on the menu.
One is then seemingly projected onto a Japanese street, evoking both Tokyo and Kyoto. These two cities have inspired and made an impression on Gilles & Boissier, and here their contrasts meld together
beautifully. Kyoto is elegant, meditative, and sentimental while Tokyo is masculine, bold and brazen. On one side, a high pavilion. On the other, a dramatic mural.
Upstairs is “l’Atelier”, an intimate room where one can watch the hypnotic beauty of the sushimen at work on the other side of the counter.
Menus tailored to suit the imaginations of diners, based around seasonal ingredients, are available upon request.
Their expertise and unique skill, combined with a desire for innovation and constant reinvention of tradition, make this unusual space a gastronomic hothouse.
These two spaces of discovery and pleasure come together, enhanced by a convivial atmosphere.
The traditional large room on the first floor, with its majestic volumes, has been preserved, creating a unifying place where individuals and worlds
converge, giving Kinugawa the necessary dose of soul and life to make a great space;
The walls are textured like the traces of water on the sand.
The seating is greige-colored and the rugs are graphic.
The materials are raw and natural: dark cedar, light cedar, fired and polished black stone.
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