This otherworldly, Lee Ufan-esque interior characterises Another D Studio’s exquisite vision for Sutimoon Restaurant. Located in Seoul’s Yeouido district, Sutimoon—a combination of the Korean dialect of Charcoal and the English expressions of Moonlight Night (Wolseok)—celebrates the age-old method of grilling meat over charcoal. Inside this clean interior is a deconstructed imagery of the moonlit night—equally romantic and elegant for a backdrop while appreciating traditional cooking.
A small restaurant that can sit around 40 patrons, Sutimoon is the picture of simplicity. On one end of the space sits the kitchen and reception that greets guests upon entry, while on the other half rests the main dining area, free from the motions happening within the back-of-house.
The dining space is sectioned into two private dining rooms secluded by white and black-framed sliding doors. Centrally rests a bench for grilling and plating—a grand demonstration and display for food enthusiasts.
Inspired by “the subtle light emitted by charcoal (that) resembles the moon”, Another D poetically stages the interior to mimic the celestial nature of the moon traced gracefully by charcoal. The unapologetic use of black and white is unmistakable upon entrance, with the wooden reception bench dramatically painted in two-thirds black and the latter in white. A rock—akin to a chunk of the moon’s crater—supports the bench effortlessly.
The ceiling above is brilliantly lit by fluorescent light and marked as the only portion of the entrance to be painted and tiled monochromatically white, offering a strong shift of senses, perhaps to heighten the smell of charcoal floating through the air.
While the reception is yin in nature, it can be said the dining room is harmonised with the yang. A sharp transition from the softly lit corridor takes visitors into a space donned by white tiles and white ceiling. The walls on either side, however, including the surrounding furniture, are donned in black timber to maintain the charcoal imagery. The hard, clean, and minimal edges are softened by a touch of red adorned on the central columns for flame; the white gauze-like curtains drape wistfully on the other side.
As if the restaurant is showing a transition of moonlight’s illuminance as the clouds clear, the private dining rooms border heavily on the yang counterpart. Most of the room is reversed in where it’s white walls and floor, with only black hugging the furniture and faux window.
As cooking with charcoal can sharpen special ingredients and find the harmony of each dish, Another D Studio follows a similar principle with their minimalist contemporary approach. Knowing that in Asian culture food tastes better when appreciating the moon, I can already imagine the sensation when tasting grilled meat at Sutimoon. Especially when their interpretation is as breathtaking as this one.
[Images courtesy of Another D Studio.]