The Pearl welcomes a uniquely Japanese venue
The Pearl-Qatar recently welcomed Japanese lifestyle dining restaurant Megu following seven months of work which saw large design features crane lifted into place via the venue’s second-floor balcony.
The 1,000-sq-m restaurant from the Hospitality Development Company (HDC) can cater for 224 covers and, according to manager Ouahid Ouassaidi, it boasts both unique and awe inspiring architecture as well as a truly spectacular location with breathtaking views of the island and marina.
With interiors by Café Co of Japan the design was inspired by existing Megu restaurants in New York.
Ouassaidi explained: 'HDC wanted to create a glamorous restaurant at The Pearl-Qatar but one that incorporates a new set of unique characteristics, features and materials. The company also wanted to diversify the Megu experience by creating more than one atmosphere, which is why today guests can enjoy a casual drink at the lower floor sake bar, the Megu signature food experience at the main dining room or at the sushi bar, an exclusive evening out at the mezzanine lounge or a private event in one of the two VIP dining rooms.
'Some of the key words in the design brief were: ‘modern Japanese, glamorous, exclusive, trendy yet sober, high-end, vibrant and comfortable and we went through five different concept designs until we reached the desired intent!'
Among the main materials used were Japanese paper and handmade kimonos, both sourced from Japan, natural leather, solid oak wood and sandalwood, Nero Assoluto and tiger granite in honed, flamed and natural split finishes, back painted glass with acid etching sourced from all over the world and hand-tufted carpet from Thailand.
And the colours are those constantly found in high-end fashion. Ouassaidi said: 'It’s a very powerful mix. Black is elegant and chic, gold is glamorous and red is vibrant.'
Design features: Eriko Horiki’s
‘The Bell’ dominates the main
The metallic artwork piece at the entrance bar is called the Galaxy and the one in the VIP room is the Cloud. These were designed by REF and Sawada Studio Design, while the custom-made pendant lights and various other objects were made by Yagi.
The restaurant features more than 1,400 lighting spots throughout the space which were sourced from Japan the US and Europe and the mezzanine displays a stunning 360-degree panoramic graphic which depicts sunrise and the sunset featuring Mount Fuji and the eagle famed in Japanese culture – if you dream about these the night of the new year it is believed to bring luck and blessing.
Those using the private dining space will discover a black dragon hand-painted by a Japanese artist and symbolising power.
Of other features Ouassaidi added: 'The exquisite furniture was the product of collaboration between Café Co and specialists from Hong Kong, while Eriko Horiki’s creation ‘The Bell’ features prominently in the middle of the restaurant. The Mezzanine Bar was also designed by Café Co and executed by Lead Construction, the general contractor for the whole project.'
And coming up with the technical design and construction of the second-floor venue created its own challenges with Ouassaidi explaining: 'The sheer volume of the restaurant required a cooling system of 120-tonne capacity but, since we have a dome and no traditional ceiling, it was a challenge to conceal the impressive HVAC network.
'The mezzanine structure is a state-of-the art cantilevered mechanism to answer the structural requirements and bearing loads of the building.
'The restaurant is on the second floor and many of the large features had to be crane lifted through the balcony and we had to work for many months on a thorough value engineering process to meet the budget, while keeping the top quality standards and initial design intent.
'Although the project faced a number of challenges, what you see today is a magnificent restaurant that is unique in design and quality and overlooks one of the most magnificent views of The Pearl-Qatar.'