minami toronto

Toronto restaurant just won a major international award for its interior design

A Toronto restaurant was recognized with two awards for its interior design out of establishments from 100 other countries. 

Minami Toronto was chosen as the best-designed restaurant in both North and South America, in addition to best designed restaurant in all of the Americas, in the Multiple Category, with more than one location. 

minami toronto

A view of the bar showing the interior of Minami Toronto. Photo by Derek Shapton.

The Restaurant and Bar Design Awards is an annual competition where a judging panel of 45 global figures in architecture and hospitality choose winners for their interior design.  

Minami Toronto is an upscale restaurant serving  Japanese cuisine on King West, in the city's Entertainment District, in addition to having a Vancouver location.

The restaurant is owned by Aburi Restaurants Canada. Throughout the lockdowns, they worked with architectures from DesignAgency to revamp a 4,600-square-foot space into the award-winning restaurant it is today.

minami toronto

The dining room at Minami Toronto in the Entertainment District. Photo by Derek Shapton.

Some notable features about Minami Toronto that led to its success in the competition include the background walls that frame the restaurant.  

These walls are made up of thin, woven, red-and-orange-painted fabric sheets that are meant to resemble the look of a gentle flickering fire. 

"The back wall is an effective backdrop for the theatre of the restaurant," said Aliya Khan, Vice President of Global Strategies at Marriot International and one of the judges at the awards. 

minami toronto

A mural by Japanese painter Hideki Kimura as shown on the back wall of the restaurant. Photo by Derek Shapton.

The feature wall next to the kitchen was another area of excellence for Minami in the competiton. It shows a mural by Japanese painter Hideki Kimura; an elegant depiction of animal and plant life. 

Seigo Nakamura, founder of Aburi Restaurants Canada, says the King West area was chosen strategically to coincide with the planned interior of Minami. 

"Both the menu and interior are meant to showcase the spirit of theatrics as a homage to the important culural and architectural significance of the area," said Nakamura.

The last time Toronto won at the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards was in 2019 for Louix Louis, the restaurant at the St. Regis Hotel

Lead photo by

Derek Shapton 

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Decades old family-run Toronto bakery-restaurant puts South American food on the map

High turnover Toronto space might have its luck changed by this Michelin-trained chef

Ontario brewery taking heat after Doug Ford stopped by for a visit

Toronto restaurant from star of Food Network is closing and becoming something else

This Toronto sports bar has been known for their chicken wings since 1985

Toronto Greek restaurant has permanently closed and already been replaced

Food prices in Canada to skyrocket again next year and it's shocking how much

You can now build edible models of Toronto designed by award-winning architects