Yamaichi Izakaya

A traverse to the 90’s Tokyo through Japanese Izakaya curated by Minus Workshop


Step into Yamaichi Izakaya, a Japanese Izakaya restaurant meticulously crafted by Minus Workshop, and prepare to be transported to the nostalgic streets of 1990s Tokyo. Founder Kevin Yiu weaves a tale of cultural immersion and mood, where dining becomes a reverence for life itself. Let us delve into the concept and creation of this captivating space.

Upon entering, guests are immediately drawn to the floating sphere counter in vibrant red, beckoning them to explore further. Yiu artfully combines cinnabar red and ink-black scenes against a bright white canvas, creating a striking contrast within the nearly 2,300 square feet space. 

Yamaichi Izakaya aims to transport guests to an exotic scenario, starting with a row of banquette seats inspired by Torii gates. Each seat provides privacy through hanging drapes, which can be opened to welcome the arrival of food. The tablesides offer storage for menus and condiments, while a glass screen adorned with a washi pattern shields diners from the gaze of passersby. As guests walk through the corridor, a fish fin-streamline glass partition showcases seasonal sakes, staying true to the Izakaya concept.

Yiu ingeniously combines the concept of a journey back to the golden era of 1990s Tokyo. Neon light signage adds vibrancy, but deeper exploration reveals the uniform system of Pragmatism in the fixture modules. The dining experience extends beyond visuals, as lounge music blends with the sound of traffic lights, creating a harmonious alignment with the concept.

Within this flourishing Tokyo vibe, a sashimi and grill bar takes center stage, resembling a playful and energetic tangram puzzle with its collage of marbles. The bar transforms into a stage where skillful chefs delight guests with their cooking performances, offering tantalizing dishes. In a residential area for young families, Yiu introduces a virtual aquarium, captivating the imagination and sparking conversations among families. The shimmering fish created by countless LED lights serves as the pinnacle of the story, accompanied by the recurring seabream motif throughout the restaurant.

The aesthetics of Yamaichi Izakaya are truly unique, exuding a sense of youthful energy through a series of captivating artworks. Japanese swords, resin art fans, Edo Uchiwa-shaped decorative pieces, and Geisha stencils in kimono, created by local and overseas artists, adorn the space. Checker patterns inspired by Kumiko craftsmanship grace the chair fabric, while the signature Tatami texture finds its place on the wall panels. Every exquisite detail speaks volumes, showcasing Yiu’s affinity for culture and storytelling within design narrative.