Spirit & Style: MF Associates Encapsulate Urban Life in Sachi

With master scenes carved into its unique spaces, this renowned Japanese dinner aims to encapsulate the complexities of Cairo.

By Karim Abdullatif


Looking to design a fine dining destination in Cairo that encapsulates the complexity of the city, Cairo-based design firm MF Associates, an Alchemy brand, jazzed things up in Sheikh Zayed with their scintillating interior of renowned restaurant Sachi. Riddled with symbolism, the design of the Mediterranean-Asian fusion restaurant maps out a visual journey through uniquely crafted spaces with ceilings covered with parquet wood and mirrors, and floors laid with floral marble mosaics.

“Sachi’s brief included two main requirements: create a space where people feel the warmth of the restaurant’s heart at its kitchen, and cosy zones for everyone to enjoy an intimate time,” Founder of MF Associates, Mohamed Fares, tells SceneHome. “It’s a place people can constantly visit and still have a unique experience each time.”

Upon entry, a translucent door opens to unveil the layered visuals of a sculptural staircase that swirls around Sachi’s signature red cherry blossom tree - a fitting centrepiece, since Sachi is a feminine Japanese term that means ‘child of joy’. “The combination of brutal steel, the beauty of marble and softness of landscape created an aesthetic formula that was fitting for the restaurant,” Fares explains. “Beyond the patterned black and white flooring, the spaces unfold.”

The main dining hall is oriented inwards to its bustling kitchen while overlooking the high-rise skyline of the city. “The kitchen fuels the space and is marked with sleek lighting, everyone entering would have to pass by it and glance at the cooking art of the Japanese Robata,” Fares adds. “It shares a double heighted ceiling with the bar above it, and uninterrupted views of the refreshing landscape framed by olive velvet curtains.”

Colourful furniture was used to break the monotony of the space, while the table tops were anything but ordinary. “They vary from Italian Cheppo circles inlaid with brass to diagonal Neo Marquina and Carrara marble,” Fares says. “Even if someone dines in the same zone multiple times, they’re catered to with different aesthetics.”

Colours played a huge role in establishing the visual theme of the spaces, with red symbolising what flows within us, gold establishing an essence of sophistication and success, black enriching the former’s glow, and green evoking growth, while wood was used innovatively throughout the restaurant.

Nestled within the dinner’s plan, a cosy, private dining area was designed to host exclusive events and gatherings and displays both the design firm’s novelty and technical prowess. “One of the main challenges in the design was to use familiar materials in a different way. The area is framed by walnut wooden louvres and floored with multicoloured marble mosaics that depict the floral patterns of Sachi,” Fares says. Above, perch lighting from Dutch designers Moooi induces the space with a lively ambiance.

Grandeur is reimposed once again once visitors get to the bistro-bar and its double height ceiling that opens up to the terrace. “Embraced by tree canopies, the terrace is the pulsating heart of Sachi, with a bar positioned to hang above, overlooking the entire space,” Fares explains.

“Both the lounges and high tables have a deep burgundy colour that provides the space with a fervent feel. It all started with a seed that grew into a lush family tree with branches that are seen by those who know it and cherished by those who want it to continue to flourish.”

It is this image that guided Fares’ overall perception of the design, as he grew attached to the symbolism within it. Despite having intense aesthetics covering its many spaces, the design maintains a joyful character that pays homage to its Japanese inspirations.

Photography Credit: Nour El Refai


Related Articles