Crafting luxury experiences: how restaurants embody the art of omotenashi


Omotenashi is a Japanese concept that, according to, originates from the sado tea ceremony. The concept means to “wholeheartedly look after guests”. By providing a selfless service through the act of even small, kind gestures and by paying attention to the smallest of details, the needs of a guest can be anticipated, creating an environment of ease.

Lexus interpret omotenashi as ‘anticipatory hospitality’, and they lean on it as a philosophy not just an inspiration in the designs of their luxury cars.

When it comes to dining, those aiming to offer high-end experiences know these philosophies and implore their subtle arts to great success.

Under the helm of John Norris-Rogers, PIER marries a multi-course fine dining seafood experience with gentle table-side theatrics. As with Lexus vehicles, the team focus on quality in the execution of their craft. Just imagine – in an environment of bright light and clean, comforting lines, you look on in delight while fresh oysters are poached right beside your plate in a local bubbly. PIER’s flair for turning only the freshest local produce into delightful, culinary drama offers the played-out experience of meticulous detail in action.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sam Linsell (@drizzleanddip)

Lexus are ambassadors for attention to detail. By utilising only high-end materials, the precision engineering of their cars performs a luxurious theatre of its own.

Impeccable interiors and cutting-edge technology combine to transport you into a driving experience that’s not only relaxing – because every detail has been thought of – but also highly enjoyable, as you experience movement with grace and control. It’s almost as though the car can anticipate your next move and wants to meet you in the execution.

We see another aspect of omotenashi rise to the fore in Séjour, a modern, fine dining spot nestled in the verdant luxury of Houghton Estate, Johannesburg. Here, a welcoming and comfortable environment is immediately felt. The old-world-charm décor and seating invite you to a slower time. Well-informed and attentive staff curate your experience by guiding you through either of the explorer plates or the pioneer plates, each extend a slightly different style of enjoying chef Freddie Dias’s gastronomic and travel fusions. By offering two different styles of fine dining, the petiscos style of casual Portuguese eateries and the larger mains, Séjour pre-empts the varying preferences of their guests, inviting comfortable and relaxed eating.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Séjour (@sejour_sa)

Lexus are renowned for their commitment to customer needs. In every experience with their dealerships, from the gentle lighting and comfortable seating to the polite and professional staff, they ensure the customer themselves feel seen.

Similarly at Dusk, popular fine dining hotspot in the cosy town of Stellenbosch, the ambience and staff go the extra mile to ensure a memorable experience. Here ‘anticipatory hospitality’ takes on a slightly different tone. A moody, dark environment with soft downlighting over the tables casts the focus on the food. As though in a vintage cinema, the room around you falls into shadowed privacy, as the show plays out on your plate. While you enjoy each dish, almost as an ‘act’ following on from the previous, gentle anticipated intermissions allow the staff to replenish your drinks and infuse your experience with intrigue. Exceptional food served in an environment of sophisticated theatrics allow Dusk owners and chefs Darren Badenhorst and Callan Austin to curate a novel, premium experience.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 𝑫𝒖𝒔𝒌 (@dusk_restaurant_)

This level of intimacy and luxury can be felt in the experience of owning a Lexus vehicle too. Lexus cabins are notable for their quiet, refined interiors. The use of high-quality, leather fabric and wood panelling not only gives the sense of luxury, but the addition of sound-dampening materials and noise-cancellation technology cultivates an internal space of intimacy – a totally private driving experience.

The next time you find yourself in a setting that seamlessly combines leisure and pleasure, take a moment to consider the elements of omotenashi that are present, always ready to anticipate your every need. This is a sensation you’ll consistently experience, especially when driving inside a Lexus.

Leave a comment

Promoted Restaurants