Tell us a about the Japanese food with a South American twist.
There is a big Japanese population in Peru and between the two cultures, Nikkei cuisine was born – a fusion of the two recipes and cooking techniques. At IZAKAYA, we have done our own interpretation, nothing is ever copied.
What was the thinking behind the cool, minimalist look? Where did you pick your ideas up from?
We like to tailor-make each restaurant to the city they are in – be it Munich, Amsterdam, Barcelona or Ibiza. With Ibiza, we hope we have connected with the nature, with Ibiza life and with the whole vibe of the island. That’s why we put a swimming pool in the middle of the venue, there’s lots of greenery, a real tropical feel.
The beaten polished wall is fantastic. It feels like rippling water running upwards! Was this central to the design?
It is a combination of many things. It reflects as a mirror and so becomes warm. We have taken cold materials and made it soft with the water, the waterdrops have a wonderful waterfall effect.
You treat your wine very seriously – is the wine library an ongoing project you add to from your travels?
We are a contemporary restaurant, not a classic one. I understand that people do have their favourite wines and that is why you will find Chablis, Poully-Fumé and so on, but I love new world wines – and also a big list of Sake because of our Japanese heritage.
On a more personal note, can you tell us some of the top tables you have been inspired by from around the world?
I am inspired by travel, fashion, music, interiors, movies, art, architects – people! I take bits and pieces from everywhere I go and give it my own interpretation. I find it so thrilling when people come and dine and tell me they have never been anywhere like it before.
Why the concept of shared dishes?
The art of sharing food is centuries old. If you look around the world in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, the Middle East . . . everyone has always put their food dishes in the middle of the table and shared.
Is location just as important to you as the actual décor of the restaurant? You are in a great spot.
We have created a closed environment, you cannot see in, you cannot see out. It is a secret gem that you were not expecting. And once you are inside, you connect to the surroundings. You forget where you are. You are in paradise for a while.
The swimming pool adds a lot to the experience for those that fancy it. Was this always part of the plan – poolside dining in a chic metropolitan atmosphere?
Water brings a touch of beauty, they add a relaxed atmosphere, they make you feel you are dining in luxury. And the daytime and night could not be more different in their atmospheres. With the sunbed service in the daytime and the lighting at night, you are in two beautiful worlds.