2015 Boschendal Style Award Nominee: Tokara Restaurant

Our next nominee for the 2015 Boschendal Style Awards is the chic Tokara Restaurant in Stellenbosch. This polished space combines modern art and fresh architectural design to create an effortless backdrop. Here’s why Tokara Restaurant deserves its nomination.

The space

Located 400 metres above sea level in the scenic Helsoogte Pass in Stellenbosch sits the stately wine farm, Tokara. Interior designer Samantha Fuchs, from SJF Design, was the creative mind behind the restaurant’s recent transformation, and worked closely with Tokara estate owner, Anne-Marie Ferreira. The new interiors were inspired by the magnificent vineyard surroundings, and the intention was to let the outside landscape flow freely through the interior, creating a stunning sense of light and space.

The interior of Tokara Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The upmarket interior at Tokara Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The finer details

Dramatic views over Stellenbosch and False Bay set the scene for the restaurant. The architecture of the building that houses the winery utilises glass, steel and stone, which give the structure a stylish, albeit industrial feel.

The subtle yet sleek interior revamp has given the restaurant a fresh, modern look ahead of the summer season. Carpets have been replaced with cool, screed floors, while luxurious, cream leather chairs add a touch of elegance. Striking copper light fixtures, fashioned by a local craftsman, hang from the wooden rafters to cast an amber glow on the William Kentridge tapestries that dominate the walls.

Wood stacked for the fireplace at Tokara Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

World class decor at Tokara Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

“The idea was to bring freshness and a more modern feeling to the space,” explains owner-operator, Wilhelm Kühn, who says it’s an evolution of the space, rather than a complete overhaul. “We haven’t gone so modern that the space will feel foreign to regular guests.”

The clean, light and modern feel celebrates the vistas outside the restaurant with the views featuring more prominently than with the former “heavier” interior. Explains Samantha, “The changes accentuate the natural splendour of the landscape outside the panoramic windows of the restaurant.”

The cuisine

Chef Richard Cartens’s cuisine is known for offering guests terroir-focused, contemporary cuisine with award-winning wines to match. A revamped à la carte menu, available from mid-October, will feature a mouth-watering collection of both brand-new creations and Carstens’s classics revisited. Think cured rainbow trout with radish, apple and trout crackling, or soya-glazed chicken with sushi rice, pak choi and coconut tamarind sauce.

Does Tokara Restaurant have what it takes to win the 2015 Boschendal Style Award? We’ll reveal the winner at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday 15 November.

The cuisine at Tokara Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The cuisine at Tokara Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

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