SUSHI ZEN • Beijing

Located at No. 33 Wusi Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, the Japanese banquet restaurant was renovated from a 200-year-old building set up in the Republic of China and provides Japanese banquets with a history of 300 years, facing the Forbidden City, a 600-year-old imperial palace.

As its designer, Daohua mainly highlighted the oriental aesthetics and integrated the eastern and western cultures in the spatial design of the restaurant. Guests can feel certain culture and tradition from every dish they enjoy at every moment when they stay at the restaurant.

Cloud Café, on the first floor of the building, spread a life atmosphere for SUSHI ZEN on the second floor.” People can experience a fused cultural and artistic conception.”

Behind the doors and windows with diamond-shaped lattices is a cavernous cigar room with brick grating sills and a lighting fireplace. The welcoming counter, on the second floor, is created with natural marble with firelight lines, and looks like a fire providing a warm and tipsy feeling.

Welcoming Counter

The paper window shimmer penetrating through, the stone-like rough wall, the wabi-sabi bryophytes in the corner, and a small flowing “mountain stream” complement each other. Guests feel as if they arrive at a mountain temple after climbing.

Food, Tableware, And Artistic Conception

All the moldings and moving lines converge together in front of the table in the center of the space. A large hinoki table combines with round chairs, cloth curtains, and shadow windows here. Suzuki Ohki, who was titled Asia’s Top 10 Chef in 2017, cooked delicacies here.

Central Dining Area

With special tools, the chef sculpts precious and cooks ingredients which are transported across the mountain and sea into seasonable delicacies suitable for spring, summer, autumn, or winter. Guests can enjoy delicate delicacies quietly in such a ceremonial area.

The black steel and the mirror reflect each other and bring an infinite sense of spatial extension. The interspersed dark and light colors add more visual layers and create a warm balance.

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Separate Dining Room

There are four separate elegant dining rooms, named Chuan, Ze, Song and He, which symbolize mountain, river, green pine, and green cypress, respectively. Every window was produced with carved hollow pine and maple patterns. The grass-flower road at the corner and the full moon shape on the wall create a broad spacious sense.

The courtyard is enclosed and closed as is typical in Beijing. When you walk into it, you can find a world that seems to belong to you specially. Its door, house, screen wall, veranda, grass, trees, flowers, birds, fish, and stone scenery all show tranquility and warmth.

The ultimate goal of design is to connect human and nature. The courtyard forms a separate world at SUSHI ZEN. Along the winding wooden walkways on the roof, guests can arrive at the sunken courtyards on the four sides. They are surrounded by maple and bamboo trees, and interspersed with irregular flagstone paths. Guests can have drinks heated with fire here.


The turret of the Forbidden City shows the majesty of the royal architecture, with its Xieshan gable and hip roof where there are horizontal and vertical eaves, exposed or hidden, and well-arranged eaves corners, high or low.

The roof courtyard and the Forbidden City face each other every dawn, noon, and dusk. It is at such times that man and nature are connected exactly. We can listen, smell, watch and feel at these moments.

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