WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Graeme Wyllie
FYN, named in reference to fynbos and the Afrikaans word for fine, is located on the top floor of Speakers’ Corner (another cool space you should check out here) on Parliament Street. Opened in late 2018, it is the brain-child of award-winning chef Peter Tempelhoff, supported by food-world heavyweights chef Ashley Moss and front-of-house manager Jennifer Hugé, who wanted to challenge the separation of the kitchen and dining room. “Peter wanted to blur the lines between the two,” says Tristan, “to create an integrated food experience. He also wanted the space to represent the cuisine – Japanese with a subtle yet ubiquitous African edge.”
Tristan took his inspiration from Japanese culture and its intersection with African textures and palettes. “The aesthetic is linked to FYN’s specific style and considered plating,” he explains. “I wanted the space to be sexy, interesting and textural, but most importantly to be more of a backdrop to the culinary experience than the focus.”
The hanging installation is inspired by the soroban, a Japanese abacus. Says Tristan, “I wanted to use a material that felt equally Japanese and African, and the carved oversized wooden beads were perfect.” Its scale has the dual effect of emphasising the double volume while fashioning a lower ceiling to create intimacy. The feature also hangs over both the front of house and kitchen, a smart design element that further blurs the line between kitchen and dining.
To pick up on FYN’s cool CBD locale Tristan chose dark charcoal tones pared with washed-out deep reds and gem-stone greens to create warmth amidst the glass and steel of the double-volume space. “Textures play an important part of the sensory experience at FYN. We used granite block off-cuts with exposed drill marks from the extraction process of the stones, soft leather, and polished green marble tops as well as hand-charred ash wood to create theses all-important textural layers.” Tristan, who is also the interior design visionary behind the highly anticipated Gorgeous George hotel that is also in the Cape Town CBD, executed his vision with custom-made light fittings and furniture manufactured by Guideline Design.
Of the overall effect he says, “I want guests to feel as if they are in a chef’s kitchen experiencing an intimate interaction witnessing the way the food is prepared by the talented chef’s that stand centre-stage at FYN.”