© Tsutsumi and Associates / Photography: Sensor

Contrary to the majority of China‘s major cities, downtime in Hangzhou means having a wealth of enticing options to choose from. The city’s thriving economy and the affluence of its dwellers have spawned a continuously expanding infrastructure of striking retail and hospitality venues, A recent addition to the dining scene is Songzi, a Japanese fast-food restaurant on the east bank of West Lake, a popular destination with such a cultural significance that it was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. The restaurant occupies three floors of a historic three-storey building, an features an open kitchen on the ground floor. Given the location’s relatively low ceiling, which could not be altered, architecture practice Tsutsumi and Associates used an old trick from traditional Japanese architecture which is all about optically tweaking a surface to make it appear larger. The makeover is a rather brilliant exercise in timber, seeing thicker ceiling panels arranged alternately up and down, and the tops were connected by curves so as to invite them to the back. An elongated open kitchen with bar seating is situated on one side, and directly opposite, additional seating in the form of an elongated bench paired with tables and chairs. The upper floors feature additional seating with a similar backdrop, but void of the ground floor’s spectacular ceiling, and includes private rooms, V.I.P. rooms and outdoor seating on the balcony. The menu at Songzi is based on Unagi, or Japanese eel, prepared in several variations, and widely considered as a delicacy.

Songzi
92 Xueshi Lu (Hubin)
310009 Hangzhou
Telephone: +86 136 81266453
Daily 11-10

© Tsutsumi and Associates / Photography: Sensor