Home culture abroad

Recently we were invited to a Korean restaurant here in Hamburg, Germany, where we live. The restaurant is quite well known, and while it is not necessarily the “place to be” for the rich and famous, it is clearly above average.

An interesting and enjoyable feature of the restaurant menu is that many dishes require a private table grill, which allows you to cook your own food at the table. We were in a group of six and between us ended up with three grills on our table, along with plates of fish and meat, vegetables and various small Korean dishes. We had a wonderful meal, and even though the grills produced a lot of smoke, it was fun to have them on our table and be our own “chefs” for the evening!

Later, a few things about that particular restaurant experience occurred to me as a designer. Soft furnishing materials — carpets and fabrics — could not be used at all in this kind of environment because they would have a permanent odor, like my clothes did at home afterwards. 

The tables ought to have been larger than usual to cope with the collection of grills and different-sized plates.

And I also discovered that a trolley — and the floor next to it — can make perfectly fine service stations.