Tokyo Meets Tulum in A Dramatic, Intimate Space Crafted by Hamilford Design

Juno Omakase, the latest culinary gem in Notting Hill – one of the smallest in London, and the only gluten and nut free Omakase in the world – opened its doors on 11th January 2024. The opening unveils a one-of-a-kind dining experience that beautifully fuses the vibrancy of Tokyo with the laid-back allure of Tulum. With meticulous attention to detail and an inspired vision, Juno brings forth an intimate dining space where Japanese-Mexican cuisine meets an awe-inspiring, carefully crafted ambiance by prestigious London-based interior design studio Hamilford Design

Despite typically focusing on residential designs, Markus Thesleff, Founder of Los Mochis and Thesleff Group, chose Hamilford Design to transform a storage cupboard space into a bespoke six-seater Omakase in just 7 weeks, whilst embodying an intimate, homelike space that welcomes you. The team did just this, creating Markus’ vision, guided by the ethos of achieving a balance between Mexican and Japanese influences, a concept that is reflected by Los Mochis Executive Chef Leonard Tanyag and his carefully crafted 15 course menu. This equilibrium is reflected in the choice of design materials: linen wallpapers, seagrass and bamboo, juxtaposed with smooth metals and woods, all contributing to a sustainable design approach aligned with Juno’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices. 

Manuela Hamilford, the founder of Hamilford Design, drew inspiration for Juno’s décor from the restaurant’s Japanese-Mexican cuisine, aiming for a harmonious blend encapsulated in the theme of “Tokyo meets Tulum.” Hamilford envisioned the intimate space as a jewel box, intertwining elements reminiscent of the ocean, portrayed through curved walls and fish scale accents. 

The space was transformed with curves to create a sense of flow from the main restaurant, using key elements such as tactile wall finishes and light oak timber details to give a sense of continuity. The contrast however lies in the mood of the two spaces: whilst the main dining area is light and airy, the Omakase is a realm of darkness and drama, deliberately setting the stage for a captivating dining experience. 

Describing the atmosphere at Juno Omakase, Manuela shared:

“It’s very intimate, with a speakeasy vibe hidden behind a curtain, creating anticipation. The walls mirror delicate fish scales and waves, immersing guests in an underwater ambiance, transporting them away from central London.” 

In order to maximise the intimate space, Hamilford Design has incorporated discreet low-level concealed storage for the chef and open shelving to showcase aesthetic items like specialist sushi knives. Markus wished to create a space for six guests as this allows flexibility, allowing the Chefs to express their inventive side. The design of the Omakase bench for six was a deliberate choice to foster a communal dining, using traditional timber for a classic touch, respecting the ritual, convivial experience of Omakase.  

From Markuss inception of this visionary concept to the meticulous crafting of every detail, Hamilford Design have worked in tandem to create an enchanting realm where guests can expect to be immersed in a seductive ambience crafted by an interplay of light and darkness, elegance, and drama, setting the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.  


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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