Hyde Park Corner’s latest addition is set to ignite an indulgence of contemporary Japanese street food as Viron and Alexis Christopher (at the helm of Willoughby & Co. in its heyday) return to the centre with their new concept, KōL. It’s a casual yet elevated Japanese dining experience unlike anything Joburg has seen before. The name, based on the kanji symbols for charcoal, references the fire at the heart of this ambitious undertaking.
When it came to bringing their vision to life, the brothers entrusted the job to award-winning interior architect Tristan du Plessis of StudioA. He transformed the lower-level mall space into a visual spectacular, using natural wood, leathered granite, marble, and aged brass to great effect, along with an eye-catching living wall.
Inspired by the deep tradition of Japanese cuisine, the focus of KōL will be on street-food-style cooking, with particular attention paid to the “KōL trilogy” of sushi, robata (grill), and mixology. “The ‘one soup, three sides’ (ichiju-issai) philosophy forms the basis of our menu: it’s designed as a sharing experience, mimicking Japanese izakaya (street taverns) with our own ‘izakhaya’, bringing it closer to home as an amalgam of local ingredients and culture,” says Viron.
Chef Katsuhiko Miyamoto will be heading up the kitchen, and brings with him more than three decades of culinary experience. Patrons can expect both traditional and contemporary takes on Japanese street food and sushi. KōL lights its fires later this spring.
• From the September edition of Wanted, 2021.