Hedonistic Highs
Malaysia Tatler|January 2020
Koma at Marina Bay Sands rewrites the playbook for high-end Japanese dining
Koh Yuen Lin
High-end Japanese restaurants are often associated with spaces that are minimalist almost to a fault; gastronomic temples with a Zen-like calm, where conversations are hushed, and words of appreciation are translated to sighs and nods. Koma, which opened its doors in August, tears up the formulaic recipe altogether. The new concept is the brainchild of Marina Bay Sands and Tao Group Hospitality, and it is a stage designed for an indulgence of the senses.

There is the dramatic interior design: the walkway that takes its inspiration from the seemingly infinite row of torii gates of Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine; the imposing 2.5m-tall bronze bell at the entrance; and the voluptuous, oversized lanterns. Yet, there are also the subtle: perched on a vermillion lattice of wooden beams high above the bar are snow-white figurines of owls—a symbol of good fortune in Japanese culture; behind the wooden panelling on the walls, clever illumination creates the contours of mountains afar.

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