© Studio Emily Broom / Photography: Anne-Sophie Rosenvinge

Since its inception in 1994, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi have successfully expanded its hospitality format from its Copenhagen base – mind you, the company currently operates no less than twelve branches on home turf – to almost as many restaurants in and around London, and for the past four years, also an outpost in Berlin. Co-founders Jens and Kim Rahbek Hansen, two brothers of mixed Danish-Japanese heritage, and Thor Andersen, wisely steer clear from generically designed restaurants. Knowing their clientele have been around the block, each establishment boasts a distinct setting. The chain’s restaurant in the city’s buzzing Vesterbro district initially opened nearly two decades ago, and sits on the ground floor of a large residential structure built in 1902. As of late, it has been fully revamped by Copenhagen-based Australian architect Emily Broom, resulting not only in a setting that underscores the hospitality chain’s design-led focus, but it’s also one that ticks all of our boxes.

The renewed Sticks ‘n’ Sushi restaurants sees three different sections, including a brand new cocktail bar at its heart. The monochromatic palette, predominantly captured by Petersen Tegl‘s handmade and custom-finished bricks, strikes a rare balance between raw and sophisticated, and is paired with other natural materials such as steel, natural stone, oak and leather. However, given the Japanese dining concept, subtle Japanese references are blended in by way of specific materials and details. The well-stocked bar, sitting below a sleek steel canopy of light spots by Flos, is clad in similar bricks, and paired with counters in glossy grey quartzite and comfy leather-clad high stools. Additional seating configurations line the side walls, comprising custom-made booth seating crafted from oak and topped with leather upholstery in a simple style which seemingly marries the Land of the Rising Sun‘s minimalism with Nordic functionality.

Facing bustling Istedgade is low-backed banquette seating accompanied by curved leather chairs by Møbel Copenhagen. Unsurprisingly, the interior of Sticks ‘n’ Sushi takes cues from the former-blue collar, slightly rough neighbourhood it’s in, and as such, the composition of materials and textures start tonally lighter close to the street and deepen towards the rear of the restaurant, intensifying in a subtle gradient. Proving once more that detail is key, three striking split mirrors adorn the wall, elegantly taking ample bites out of the wall brickwork, while Pholc‘s Apollo 59 pendant lamps embellish the parameters with their strikingly simple design. Large cut-outs in the back wall reveal the kitchen, allowing guests ample peeks of the staff’s culinary dexterity. Needless to say, the understatement extends to the littlest of rooms on the premises. Sticks ‘n’ Sushi serves Japanese fare, including maki, nigiri, an abundance of small and large dishes, salads and yakitori, albeit creatively tweaked with use of fresh, locally sourced produce and fish.

Sticks ‘n’ Sushi
Istedgade 62
1650 Copenhagen (Vesterbro)
Telephone: +45 33237304
Mon-Tue 11.30am-10pm
Wed-Sun 11.30am-10.30pm

© Studio Emily Broom / Photography: Anne-Sophie Rosenvinge