Interior of a small restaurant characterized by warm woods and light. there are two tables, a bar, and a window looking out to the street.

A Warm and Intimate Sushi Restaurant Opens in the Azores

At Fuji Sushi Experience in Metropolitan Ponta Delgada, local firm Sequeira Dias Arquitectos evokes Japanese simplicity with clean lines, crisp contrasts, and shifting shadows.

Japanese restaurant Fuji Sushi Experience opened in 2021 on a metropolitan street in Ponta Delgada, the capital of Portugal’s Azores archipelago celebrated for its mix of old and new architecture, as well as dramatic views of the North Atlantic. Developed by local firm Sequeira Dias Arquitectos and spearheaded by architect Rodrigo Sequeira Dias, the design’s restrained elegance is intended to connect diners to the cuisine’s Far-Eastern origins, with clean, modern lines enhanced by subtle textural details.

Fuji’s unassuming exterior suggests the simplicity and charm mirrored in the restaurant’s interior: There’s an impeccable sense of order conjured by the limited color and material palettes. In the dining area, uncomplicated furniture made from American oak adds organic warmth, in subtle contrast to the more somber, charcoal gray walls and ceilings. The combination of sunny wood and gray shades pay homage to the dense forests and blanketing fog that has characterized Azorean landscapes for centuries.

Interior of a restaurant with a view of a four-seat bar and someone behind it making sushi
a detail of a lattice wood ceiling treatment

Above the modest dining room, a rectilinear wooden lattice hovers like an elegant toolbox lid over the tables, adding depth and textural detail to the ceiling while providing ambient lighting for dining. Crafted from intersecting oak wood panels lined with woven straw mesh, the piece forms a series of boxes that alter the room’s dimensions and scatter the light at various intervals. Throughout the day, light is distorted through the blocky forms and filtered through the straw mesh allowing refractions and shadows to play across the dining floor. The sushi counter, minimal shelving, and seating throughout the small space provide a curvilinear contrast to the otherwise orthogonal design elements. The same woven straw accents the geometric shelving unit and wine display behind the sushi counter, which is also designed to incorporate under-counter downlights to illuminate the four bar seats.  

Fuji Sushi Experience’s sober yet cozy design makes it an ideal spot for quiet solo meals or spontaneous dinner dates. The restaurant’s compact interior, which measures just under 800-square-feet, doesn’t feel cluttered or cramped—just intimate, warm, and easy.

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