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Inebi, Hysan Place, Causeway Bay


Japanese Concept Restaurant, Full-Scope Design, Completed 2023

Project Brief

Metagram has helped to create Inebi, a newly envisioned Japanese concept restaurant located amidst a new concept lifestyle and food-hub by Hysan Place, Causeway Bay. 

The design of Inebi takes its inspiration from traditional Japanese architecture - focusing on wooden construction, modular design, and delicate timber screens, with many of the seating areas inspired by the architecture of engawa (the transitional spaces between indoor and outdoor areas) or Japanese style verandahs. 

Within the brand's name Inebi - "Ine" in Japanese (イネ or 稲) means - Rice, a central theme in the design of the menu and the restaurant's offerings. Using rice as a central concept, Metagram took the Japanese 'hangiri'; a traditional, large, shallow wooden tub used for preparing sushi rice, to form a focal feature in the design.


Located at the entrance of the site, framing the restaurant's logo; the hangiri form is used together with rice-paper style paneling and delicate lighting to create an eye-catching display intentionally visible across the food-hub's long vistas. Inside the restaurant, the hangiri feature is used to orient the space - positioned centrally inside the sushi bar and also as a seating area backdrop, where two hangiri act as frames for a mixed-media artwork by celebrated local artist Samantha Li. 

In the exploration of Japanese Wooden Construction and Modularity, Metagram studied traditional wood jointing methods, and abstracted a modular system which would delicately display a series of rice-paper-textured acrylic features cut in the oval shape of rice. With each 'grain' overlapping another below, the system was symbolic of raw rice - still unhusked and fixed to the stem.

Flexible in its modular nature, the 'raw rice' system was used as a feature screen at the shopfront, providing privacy and a stunning focal point for passers-by. Inside the store, it was used to create a dramatic central ceiling feature; its complex arrangement suspended over central banquettes to provide the main object of focus within the space. 

Internally, the restaurant is divided into distinct seating zones which are articulated by different expressions of the 'engawa' style architecture. Group banquettes are nestled within modular pergolas, providing a lovely sense of coziness and containment, while others are situated under the 'raw rice' feature, or pendant lights hung lazily from projected timber arms.


The private dining room, situated toward the rear of the customer area is set within a larger pergola structure and contained behind full height clear glass. The clear glass allows the PDR to be utilized as a public dining area (transparent and open) or closed off with traditional timber venetian blinds. 

Outside the PDR sit three round tables with three cylindrical shaped light features (hinting the hangiri form) made of fabric decorated with traditional Japanese patterning. 

Photography: Steven Ko Interior Photography

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