Born in Monaco, Samy Sass, – owner of the famous SASS’ Café, – is an unconditional lover of Japan. Throughout his multiple travels in the land of the rising sun, he discovered and explored the Japanese culture. Along with his two partners Dean Carr and Daryl Foster, it was only natural that this love would lead to the fulfillment of his dream, the highly awaited opening of THE NIWAKI, nestled in the heart of Larvotto.
THE NIWAKI Japanese restaurant, chic yet cozy, contemporary yet traditional, promises to offer a one- of-the-kind memorable culinary experience. It is the very expression of Nippon contemporary cuisine.
THE NIWAKI restaurant was born from the passion Samy has for Japan, and his fascination for Japanese cuisine and gardens, particularly for the niwaki pruning art. Other than their beautiful aesthetic, it is the spirit behind it which makes it so charming to him.
The art of niwaki ( niwa: garden and ki: tree), steeped in the deepest of traditions dating back thousands of years, is guided by serenity, patience and attention to details.
Looked after by meticulous gardeners, every step is done with great care and their full energy is used in the creation of the tree shape. These art trees embody the core of nature, with trees reduced in scale and pruned as clouds to retain their essence.
“The niwaki pruning art’s objective is to restore the essence of the tree, same way as we strive to offer our guests the essence of Japanese gastronomy blended with a contemporary hint and a touch of Mediterranean influence,” – describes Samy Sass.
Designed by the architect Rashid Rivani, THE NIWAKI, stylishly understated and tinted with warm and marbled colours, is finely structured around a mesmerizing combination of shōji ceiling consisting of translucent sheets divided by wooden frames, and a multitude of mirrors offering an infinity sensation. Playing with the reflection, it plunges you in never-ending décor. Set across two floors, THE NIWAKI comfortably seat approximately 140 guests.
THE NIWAKI is lead by Luca Fametti, specialist in chic Japanese restaurants. Born in Italy, his career took him to London for nearly twenty years, then in Monaco where he settled down in 2013.
Now General Manager at THE NIWAKI, Luca is leading the teams with his savoir-faire and passion for world-class dining to guarantee the success of this new adventure.
The Corporate Chef of THE NIWAKI is Chef Shahar Dahan, who sublimates each guest experience and makes it memorable, using the finest quality of local and seasonal produce sourced with painstaking attention to details.
Chef Shahar hails from Israel, but it is in the United States that he developed his culinary savoir-faire. In 1999, his career takes a start within top international restaurants and makes him discover the world of contemporary new-styled Japanese cuisine. A few years later, his career led him to Monaco offering his mastering of Nippon flavours to the most exclusive dining destinations.
“I had never eaten sushi in my life,” – once said the Chef, we can now say that this time is over.
THE NIWAKI, unveils a culinary Japanese universe where Chefs’ passion for the finest ingredients, exquisite flavor combinations, and tasteful plates presentation, come together in an exclusive environment. The Chefs present an alluring Japanese cuisine with a contemporary hint and a touch of Mediterranean influences.
Our “couture” menu, offering a trendy and sophisticated twist on the Japanese culinary universe, combines unique flavours, colours and textures. Our essential mouth-watering dishes are made out of specific techniques of infusion and fermentation masterfully created by our Chefs.
Zensai, Tempura, Kushiyaki, Robatayaki, Sushi…; an abundance of exclusive dishes to discover. Last but not least, THE NIWAKI is one of the restricted selection of restaurants in Monaco allowed to serve Kobe Beef.
The concept, based on sharing, will take your palate on the most decadent adventure through texture and flavour wowing the senses.
Additional to the main kitchen, the taste of THE NIWAKI comes also from the sushi counter. Seated on high wooden chairs in front of the Sushi Master, Executive Sushi Chef Wagner Spadacio, indulge yourself in an authentic and vibrant Japanese atmosphere. This experience will make you discover a pleasing culinary universe paired with uniquely personalized service. The excellent quality of our sushi is attributed to a one-of-a-kind combination of fresh ingredients, coupled with a blend of traditional and modern savoir-faire.