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Thu 10 Jan 2008 04:00 AM

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Pure Asia

The Burj Al Arab's latest edition to its F&B offering exudes the complete Asian experience.

Junsui, which translates as ‘pure' in Japanese, is the new addition to the mezzanine floor of the Burj Al Arab and, unlike many fusion restaurants, offers authentic Asian cuisine.

The job of designing the restaurant was outsourced to London-based design firm Khuan Chew Associates (KCA), the original creator of the Burj Al Arab's iconic architecture.

At Burj Al Arab we have seen an increase in the number of guests from Asia of approximately 150%,” Burj Al Arab general manager Luc Delafosse

KCA's head designer John Carolan headed up the Junsui project, which was overseen by KCA principal and founder Khuan Chew and her team.

In keeping with the hotel's opulent interior, the concept for the all-day dining restaurant was to create a "very rich and luxurious feel but with a difference in colours and materials", explains Burj Al Arab general manager Luc Delafosse.

"At Burj Al Arab we have seen an increase in the number of guests from Asia of approximately 150%," he reveals.

"The addition of Junsui will help to meet the increasing demand as well as offer another unique Burj Al Arab experience, which complements those already available to diners."

The restaurant has 12 live cooking stations and 45 specialist Asian chefs who offer culinary delights from Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Korea. The live stations are interactive where guests can select their ingredients and have the dish created in front of their eyes.

Stations are split into three main sections: a cold station, a hot station and a dessert station and the style, presentation and service of the dishes add action to the dining experience.

The cooking stations are linked to an expansive kitchen, which is partially hidden behind patterned glass to keep the open-theme alive and also give privacy to those preparing food behind the scenes.

The colour scheme was inspired by glitz and glamour in keeping with the luxury and elegance of the hotel, explains designer John Carolan: "She (Chew) was adamant from the beginning that the restaurant should be alluring and glamorous and make the customers feel like film-stars, and so the black and white scheme was born.

Carolan and Chew also installed strips of mirror in the ceiling and along the perimeter at irregular angles that give the impression of variant heights. The clever use of mirrors also breaks up the solidness of the sheer walls.

The seating areas are partitioned into booths with panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf.

Junsui also features a stylish cocktail lounge for pre- and post-dinner drinks. KCA collaborated with Austrian crystal company Swarovski to create some of the effects in the bar such as the ceiling, which features glass panels embedded with Swarovski crystal droplets and LED fibre-optics.

The key to Junsui's success is attention to detail, as Carolan says that there is a "sense of understated luxury that runs throughout the space".


The coverings have been sourced from German company ADC Dommel and Mother-of-Pearl tiles from Thailand, while the hard-edged quality of the huge partitions has been softened with the use of soft leather.


Marble dominates the flooring in the main restaurant with Crema flooring provided locally by El Marge, while the Crema Marfil is sourced direct from Spain.


The dining tables were locally manufactured by Greenline and made of ebony macassar, with glass and Mother-of-Pearl and sheets inlayed into the tabletops. The individual geo and Brighton designer chairs are sourced from Italian furniture company Costaninti Pietro.


Mosaics by Sicis provide an alluring contrast to the marble. "The luminescence of the material is due to its composition, 20% colour and 80% glass rather than the opposite ratio in many other mosaics," explains Carolan.

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