“Finally, Copenhagen has a sushi bar that could just as well be situated around the corner from the train station in Ginza, in a high-rise building in Roppongi, or where Tokyo’s three-star sushi bars might otherwise be found.”
So reads the introduction to the six-star food review that the Danish newspaper Berlingske published about the newly opened sushi restaurant Sushi Anaba in 2019. The dream of creating an original sushi restaurant along the lines of an authentic Japanese eatery was born when the restaurant’s owner and head chef Mads Battefeld worked as a cook at a Japanese sushi bar.
“The Japanese eat out a lot, and minimalism permeates both their architecture and their food culture. The cooking is rigidly controlled, and focuses on using only a few ingredients, and this approach is reflected in the architecture,” says the architect Anni Baun Danielsen MAA from BAUNarkitektur, who helped Mads Battefeld design his Sushi Anaba restaurant in Copenhagen.
And it was far from easy. Because how do you turn a raw, concrete, 95-square-metre commercial space into an oasis of Japanese food culture?
“Like the Japanese restaurants, which are often hidden slightly out of the way in an apartment block, the space is located in a neighbourhood in the new Nordhavn district. The dimensions were fixed, and we were unable to decide the size of the rooms ourselves,” says Anni Baun Danielsen.