Not a Cliché: Kiga Restaurant

On the outer edge of Huixquilucan in Greater Mexico City, Cherem Arquitectos have built a contemporary Asian restaurant with interiors constructed mainly of two materials: wood and stone. Cherem's leading architects Abraham Cherem and Daniel Braverman were faced with the challenge of creating an Asian-style eatery without being too local, ethnic, or cliché. The vision for the space was derived from the idea of building a sophisticated and timeless environment that is not directly associated with any specific country or place.

In the main dining room rising chef Rodrigo Sanchez serves up a master-mix of traditional Thai, Japanese, and Chinese dishes with his own modern twist. Here, the walls, floors, and ceiling of the dining room are covered with thin planks of pine wood and slabs of stone.

The build of the restaurant called for high quality custom furnishings. Cherem commissioned none other than PAUL ROCO, a celebrated Mexican workshop dedicated to the design and manufacture of furniture to create custom designed chairs, banquettes, and tables.

Founders of PAUL ROCO, Rodrigo Berrondo and Pablo Igartúa, were called upon to implement various types of seating throughout the space including banquettes and tables that are sunk into the floor, offering diners an experience similar to that of the traditional Japanese dining style of a tatami room; where people sit upright on the tatami floor mats. With a psuedo-traditional approach, Berrondo and Igartúa designed the seats to appear as though they are placed directly on the floor, but are actually sunken into the floor to keep ample leg room below the table.

Central to the restaurant is a U-shaped sushi bar, which is adjacent to a contemporary wood pond that is surrounded by seating. The long and rectangular "pond" is nearly three feet high with seating on both sides, a height that is just tall enough to intersect with the custom wood table tops created by PAUL ROCO. The decor of Kiga is both elegant and cozy at the same time, lending a strikingly high attention to detail that parallels the chef's superb dishes.

 Photography by Jaime Navarro

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