The lively redesign of Mizumi, the Japanese restaurant in Wynn Macau, summons both serenity and fun.
Guests returning to Mizumi in Wynn Macau are in for a treat before they even sit down at their table: a dramatic, freshly imagined space. Previously the restaurant favored natural colors of stone, straw, and wood, but as Roger Thomas, Wynn’s Executive Vice President of Design, explains, “When I look at Japanese art, some of the pieces I’ve most loved are red lacquer with gold accents, and that’s what inspired the new room.” As they had done in renovating Mizumi in Wynn Las Vegas, Thomas and his design team added a coat of deep red lacquer to the restaurant’s split-face sandstone walls and then applied gold leaf to create what looks like stacks of gold. They added similarly striking new colors and textures to the wooden walls and ceiling beams.
Various other aspects of Japanese art, architecture, and crafts influenced the redesign, which complements the new menu, created in consultation with three of Japan’s best-known Michelin-starred chefs, heralded in the culinary traditions of sushi, tempura, and teppanyaki. Diners may feast on delicacies flown in from that country on a regular basis, including abalone from Iwate, sea urchin from Hokkaido, and marbled beef from Ishigaki Island.
The restaurant’s iron entry gates, a symbolic nod to a 1910 gift of cherry trees from the people of Japan to the people of the United States, were retained, but large sake barrels near the front door were removed to help create a more open, flowing entrance. Above the foyer, tubular red silk fish kites were hung vertically to produce a vivid chandelier. The design team also collected magnificent examples of antique obis—brocade sashes worn on elegant kimonos—which they unfolded and placed on the walls to create vertical stripes. The carpet design, based on one of the obis, was custom-woven for the room. The new chairs in the dining rooms feature embroidered Japanese family crests.
The new look also reflects Thomas’s love of traditional Japanese lacquered writing boxes, which held inkstones, brushes, and other implements. “I’ve always found them to be remarkable works of art,” he says, “and really marvelous because they were also used for creating art. So if I could walk into a Japanese writing box, it would look like this.”
Although the influence of traditional Japanese art and culture is unmistakable, a number of lively contemporary elements were added as well. To reinvent and highlight Mizumi’s outdoor rock garden, translucent stones were sculpted and lit from beneath so they glow. The reception area now features a large yellow foldedsteel origami dog (“Dogami”) by Los Angeles–based sculptor Gerardo Hacer. The sushi bar and the private and teppanyaki rooms are graced with paintings by Las Vegas artist Sush Machida, who created colorful large-scale images of waves in a style that, while very modern, was inspired by 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints.
Overall, diners may find that the new décor at Mizumi has a dual impact. “Japanese art is able to evoke festive and serene feelings at the same time,” Thomas explains. “I hope we’ve managed to do that, too. You walk into a space that has lively energy, but at the same time there’s a certain amount of reverence to it. A joyous serenity.”