laminate that looks like quartz

Stone sushi counter at Jap restaurant is actually laminated plywood

The green “stone” sushi counter at a Japanese restaurant I went to is a perfect definition of the best of interior design because:

  • green is a high risk colour, compared to grey tones for example, and
  • is a choice borne out of deliberation because one cannot take the nature of green colour for granted in a convenient manner like grey, taupe and white.
  • the end product is nothing short of posh

I always had an unconscious impression that the massive counter, in the center of which the chef prepares yummy sushi and sashimi is completely made of stone.

Then on this trip with wifey, at least 10 years after we first came here, I noticed the exposed cross section of what appears to be a layer of laminate, at the junction where two planes meet each other at an angle. The counter is made of plywood that is finished with a laminate that looks like stone.


A closer look at the exposed cross section.

Its brilliance are in more ways than I can comprehend and the following are my best effort takeaways:

  • wood grain laminates, marble pattern laminates, as are white, black, grey and taupe laminates, are a dime a dozen in most restaurants because of the intrinsic timeless nature of these colours. This designer chose green.
  • the green furthermore sports a high shine finish. Used incorrectly, it will cause the interior to look dated in as little as a few years.
  • when browsing for laminate colours, grey colour for example will be available in a few shades and tones as it is a low risk colour for manufacturers. Green, on the other hand, is a high risk colour to begin with and the choices available are likely to be few. One is unable to go up to the salesperson and order a particular shade of green either. The understated and subtle green used in this counter bar is likely a laminate choice available only at that time and is discontinued as soon as it goes out of stock. As far as I can put myself in the shoes of the designer, to see through the project to this end product, it would first have to a decision of, “hey let’s do green, and let’s see what laminates are available.” Statistically, green colour is definitely not the everyday low risk choice that most designers will recommend. Even, if recommended, the client may not agree either.
  • it delivered a posh interior design without the exorbitant cost of natural stone and it has lasted to this day despite daily use.

A final look at the counter with a slightly further view (as I try to avoid taking photos of other people).

Looks sufficiently stone to me and it felt like we were seated at a jade(?) table.

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