© Integrated Field / Photography: Ketsiree Wongwan

For quite some time, ‘experiential’ has been the magic word in lifestyle marketing, but as we slowly are able to throw off this heavy cloak called pandemic, the adjective has gone stratospheric, signalling our innate need to come together and socialise. Unsurprisingly, this is particularly the case for Millennials whose high mobility and ditto connectivity count as their most prominent characteristics. The former Burendo Shabu restaurant at Siam Square, a fave destination of the aforementioned demographic in the Thai capital, has been fully rebranded, and obviously, it comes with an entirely new setting. And not only that, the entire façade is wrapped in a new cloak. Now called Shabu Lab, it occupies a 150 sqm. (1,615 sq.ft.) ground floor unit, and is in fact the blueprint for an entire chain of new dining establishments dedicated to Shabu-shabu cuisine. The futuristic interior design by Bangkok-based practice Integrated Field is striking, to say the least, and forms part of the restaurant’s appeal. But let’s go back to the food served here, as it has very much influenced the setting. Shabu-shabu originally is a Japanese hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water and served with dipping sauces, and the food is cooked piece by piece by the diner at the table.

As such, it’s hugely popular across Asia and considered a relatively cheap collective dining experience. Unsurprisingly, the interior design extrapolates from the dining concept, but ambitiously aims to elevate the dining experience to a whole new level by creating a futuristic lab-inspired environment. Given the range of requirements when indulging in Shabu-shabu cuisine, functionality is key, and here, it sees some nifty applications in the tech department. The space sees communal tables seating four or ten guests, in addition to bar seating, all equipped with built-in equipment to a large cooking pot, a portable stove, food trays, bowls, dishes and dip bowls. , not to mention the place to put the bags away, containers for menus, pencils, tissues, and napkins. Cooking fumes are extracted by large pipes, but at the communal tables they’re integrated into a handy storage shelf and cabinets. Shabu Lab also sees an increased convenience for staff as the stockroom, food preparation, and expedition are all in the same area, enabling a more efficient workflow. The menu lists a wide range of fresh ingredients, including imported Australian beef, pork, fish cake, squid and crab stick, a variety of Asian vegetables, noodles, rice and various sauces.

Shabu Lab
430/11-12 Siam Square, Soi 10 (Siam)
Bangkok 103330
Telephone: +66 2 2517558
Daily 12-9

© Integrated Field / Photography: Ketsiree Wongwan