Le Blossom is Ménard Dworkind’s non-traditional and futurist take on Japanese culture, located at the heart of Montreal’s Village.
“Drawing inspiration, in part, from the work of Hollywood industrial designer Syd Mead, the idea was to create a singular environment, free from the usual and overused Japanese-themed clichés that we’ve all been so accustomed to,” explains the design duo. “In the process, nods to Quebec’s own mid-century era — most notably through the use of terrazzo and ceramic tiles — were also thrown into the mix, as well as elements reminiscent of 80’s and 90’s Wall Street chic — for instance, the aluminium venetian blinds as well as the wall lamps.”
Instrumental to Le Blossom layout is the bar – this is where most of the restaurant‘s seats can be found. Prefabricated and transported in six different parts, the European beech bar has three distinct stations set to accommodate the restaurant’s three chefs. The custom designed minimalist stools are topped with extra thick felt for comfort, cantilevered via a concealed anchoring system — one of Ménard’s signature tricks. The steps leading up to the bar are made from terrazzo.
The pinkish ceramic tiles used for the kitchen and the bar area were a last-minute addition to the design, as “they were found by chance in the supplier’s warehouse,” said the design team. “They had been stored there for almost fifty years and were chosen mainly for their 70’s feel.”
But let’s not forget Le Blossom’s centrepieces – an homage to the name of the restaurant itself. The large cherry blossom tree stands right in the middle of the room measuring 5 meters in width and 3.5 metres in height, acting as the restaurant’s own “totem pole”. The tree was custom-made in China before arriving in Montreal for assembling. With four lamps resting at the base and providing the tree with a smooth, upward lighting, its breathtaking pink silk foliage is bound to leave anyone who enters the room in a state of awe.
Covered with tiles on the sides and topped with a timber table, a circular bar surrounding the tree was added to accommodate even more customers. Its shape purposefully evokes the hollow space created by the main bar, as if both structures were meant to interlock.