Centred on offering high end Japanese food in a chic location at affordable prices, TAKA is a new concept from restauranteur Andrey Datsenko and his sister Anastasia.
Located in the heart of Shepherd Market in Mayfair, the Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar opened in September. TAKA takes inspiration from Andrey and Anastasia’s debut restaurant in Tokyo of the same name and offers an authentic Japanese dining experience within a contemporary setting.
Ideal for a working lunch or social dinner, TAKA can be found in the increasingly thriving Shepherd Market in Mayfair at the centre of London’s burgeoning food scene. Set over two floors, the first is occupied by the restaurant while the lower ground floor houses an intimate bar. Designed by Object Space Place, TAKA is a contemporary, well-considered space based on simple, warm materials, which make for strong design aesthetics. David Chenery, Founder of Object Space Place, spoke to Premier Hospitality about the origins of the project, the challenges of the space and Taka’s design highlights:
“It was beginning of 2016 and we were put in touch with Andrey, via Harris Restaurant Consultants. It was one of those rare occasions where an incidental meeting becomes an immediate project . We’ve been working on developing the design since then.
“In terms of the original brief, the client had some clear direction but weren’t completely sure on what exactly they wanted. They specifically referenced a group of Japanese restaurants called SugarFish in Los Angeles. SugarFish locations are characterised by a strong use of solid, simple materials and texture, whether that be stretches of timber or brick on the walls.
“For Taka we wanted to create something that was contemporary and material driven. It’s not in your face, luxury that’s typical in Mayfair. Nor is it tying in with the trend for industrial style interiors either, but something designed to celebrate simple, high quality materials – much as the chef celebrates good ingredients.”
In terms of the layout of the restaurant, the small nature of the site meant David and his team were quite restrained in what they could do. The main restaurant seating was set on the ground floor while the sake and cocktail bar was developed in the basement. These two elements had to be combined to give the overall space a flow but the bar is a bit moodier and more reflective of its basement location.
It was also important the design reflect its Mayfair location and this was done through the use of solid walnut, oak and brickwork on the wall. There’s also bronzed anodised aluminium and satin finished brass to elevate the overall feel in particular areas. David continued:
“A standout feature is the individually laser cut, solid brass panels along the wall that will catch the light and will look fantastic as decorative pieces. When you’re in the restaurant there is an articulated timber ceiling raft that runs the whole length of the space and that’s formed from thin sections of solid oak.
“The listed status of the building didn’t prove to be too much of a challenge because it didn’t impact on a lot of things we wanted to do. The main challenge was probably the size of the space and upgrading it from a restaurant that I think did quite standard food into a kitchen that could deal with more complex Japanese cooking.”
In addition, an illuminated sign at the bottom of the stairs that reads ‘Bring on the sake’ is an invitation the lower ground bar. Once you reach the bar, a bespoke illustration of a flowering tree created in Japanese newspaper is a centrepiece amongst the startling grey brick walls. To drink there is a stunning collection of unique sake, Japanese liquor and whiskey cocktails to try.
Food at TAKA is an extensive collection of Japanese signature dishes from tataki, and tempura to sashimi platters, inside out rolls and yaktori. All are expertly made to authentic perfection thanks to TAKA originating from Tokyo where their chefs have been fully trained.
All of the buildings in this particular area of Mayfair are listed so externally the design had to find a balance of maintaining as much as was existing while changing enough to ensure the restaurant stood out as new. The timber of the previous shopfront was therefore retained but stripped back and stained to a dark grey. A small external seating area has also been added to increase the number of covers without impacting further on the limited internal space. Reflecting on the project as a whole, David concluded:
“It’s been a fantastic project for us and it’s exactly the sort of thing we like to be doing, working with individual clients to develop an experience that suits a particular style of food. It was also great to work on a space that has a unique character. We were able to get involved on all levels of this project, from the branding and graphic design to helping source plates and cutlery. For us, the good thing about it is to be able to take a holistic approach to the overall customer experience.
“We’re keen to show off what everyone has done on this project and hopefully customers will enjoy the experience”
As TAKA welcomes its first customers, the hope for owner Andrey Datsenko is that it will elicit a similar response to his other London venture, the Melt Room. Ahead of Taka opening he commented:
“I’m so excited about this new venture, and the stunning listed Shepherd Market in Mayfair is the perfect place for TAKA to call home. Japanese food and drink have always been particular favourites and I’m looking forward to taking it to the next level.”
To find out the latest TAKA news, please visit takalondon.com.
Object Space Place
Founded in 2011, Object Space Place is a London-based design firm of architecture and interiors. Working alongside brands and private individuals, Object Space Place create interesting spaces for thriving businesses. They believe a successful design project requires two key aspects; the clarity of a good design idea and the integrity of its execution.
You can find out more about Object Space Place here objectspaceplace.com.
Red Source Interiors
Red Source Interiors is a contract furniture, bespoke interior lighting and decor agency providing a variety of unique creations to various industries.
The company have worked closely with David and the team at Object Space Place over the last few months to achieve a furniture pack that not only meets the designer’s brief but is also practical for such a fantastic new Mayfair restaurant.
Claire Seward, Red Source Interiors, said:
“David Chenery first made contact with us back in May on the quest for a reliable and forward thinking contract furniture supplier with the ability to not only manufacture some pretty unique bespoke solid walnut tables, but also to source a list of specified dining chairs from Italian supply chains.
“TAKA will take pride of place with some of 2017’s fantastic projects including The Bottle Room for Harvey Nichols, Buttermilk and Maple for Splendid Restaurant Group and Abode Hotel’s new Brasserie Abode roll out.”
Partridge Ventilation specialise in the installation, service and maintenance of commercial kitchen ventilation equipment. The Company has been in operation for just over 10 years, however the combined family experience in kitchen ventilation dates back to 1971.
Over the years, Partridge Ventilation has worked with numerous Michelin stared chefs, including Michael Caines at Lympstone Manor, Paul Ainsworth at No 6 Padstow, Marco Pierre White in Singapore and various projects for Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw. Additional projects have included Hub Box, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and works for the National Trust, amongst others.
Most recently, Partridge Ventilation has been involved with Andrey Datsenko’s new restaurant, Taka. Working on this project, Partridge Ventilation provided a new extraction system into the reworked basement kitchen, with supply air and fire suppression. The project had its difficulties with low ceilings, angled walls and beams affecting the canopy, but all of these issues were resolved and solutions were found.
Paul Williams, Contracts Manager for Partridge Ventilation, said:
“Andrey Datsenko is a motivated, up and coming restaurateur, so to work with someone with the drive and enthusiasm that Andrey possesses is fantastic. He understands the importance of installing the right equipment and systems that will serve him well – he just gets it!
“All of us at Partridge Ventilation wish him all the best and great success for this new venture, and the new ones to come.”
“We strive to find solutions to the challenges that sites like this give us. It is important to us that the client has the correct systems installed to suit their individual needs. We endeavour to provide a turnkey system with minimum disruption to the client and providing a service that is swift and efficient.”
Stark & Greensmith
Stark & Greensmith Ltd design, supply and fit decorative screens for developers, estate owners and contractors in a variety of materials.
Textile, interior and product designer Martine Le Gassick and property developer Mat Webb-Jenkins founded the company in 2016 as a response to the limited choice of fencing products available, but quickly realised their designs had applications in construction and interiors, including rooftop M&E screening, room dividers, back-of-bar decoration, feature panels, balustrading, gates, staircases and solar shading.
The team has worked with a number of interior designers, architects and contractors, both large and small since launch a year ago.
For the Taka Restaurant project, S&G produced a series of eight mirror-polished brass feature panels which adorn the walls of the restaurant situated by the entrance. They were excited to be involved with the project, as the ambition of the client, the attention to detail and quality of overall design and workmanship from Object Space Place and 3 Interiors was always going to be exemplary.
Martine commented: “Working with clients and professionals who operate at this level is inspiring, as they embody the qualities we strive for: professionalism, precision, beauty and cost effectiveness. These characteristics give rise to really special spaces.”
Kuci Design specialise in the supply of brick slips to architects, designers, construction contractors, shop fitters and home owners. Formed in 2015, Kuci Design has worked on a number of prestigious projects, including Caffé Kix and has worked for Delta Bravo Design Group and Bellway Homes, amongst others.
Most recently, Kuci Design has been involved in Taka, working alongside Object Space Place and 3 interiors. Working on this project, Kuci Design supplied the restaurant with the dark grey brick slips, which have been used on the walls of the dining area.
Paul Handford, Kuci Design, said:
“It’s a privilege to be associated with such reputable companies as Taka, Object Space Place and 3 interiors, and we are hopeful this will lead to greater exposure and further collaboration in the future.”
“We are a friendly, reliable and customer orientated company, which take great pride in supplying quality and unique brick slips to the UK and European markets.”