Located in an old building in Chinatown, Torafuku is getting raves for its pan-Asian cuisine, with an ethical menu that includes sustainable seafood and organic meat. The owners, Clement Chan and Steve Kuan, used to serve their new take on traditional eats from their food truck, Le Tigre. But when it was time for a standalone restaurant – and food truck commissary – they called on Scott & Scott Architects.
The firm (which knows its way around creative eateries) focused on utility, working with raw materials that could age comfortably over time. A cast-concrete communal table is front and centre; it has a sculptural quality that is complemented by a custom-made track light, finished in red oxide paint and featuring grade harness leather, that beautifully asserts its pure functionality and runs the length of the table. The heaviness of the concrete table is softened by cork stools (by Discipline).
Along the walls, discrete seating – wood tables and banquettes in leather and tarpaulin – are arranged against a backdrop of sound-absorbing panels. These are made of quilted cargo pad and denim cotton wool, their tactile materiality giving them a warm and rugged aesthetic.
The kitchen “viewing bar” allows patrons to watch the chefs prep irreverently devised and named dishes, including Kickass Veggie Risotto and Welcome to the Gun-Show, on rustic dishes that also serve up a visual feast. Every branding detail in the restaurant – from the serving plates to the signage, which casts a shadow on the concrete floor – was designed by Brief with a similar eye to impeccable design as the interior itself.