Custom art: the focal point of the venue is behind the bar.

Intersect by Lexus opened in DIFC in December 2015, with Tomas Reger at the helm as executive chef, offering cusuine he describes as “feel good food”.

The Dubai-based outlet was designed to enable people to experience the Lexus brand, and engage with it differently — through food, design, art, fashion, culture, movies, music and technology.

Developed by interior designer Masamichi Katayama, founder of design firm Wonderwall Inc., Intersect By Lexus aims to create what it calls ‘a third space’ between home and work, to relax and connect with other people. The space includes a library, a garage space that will host Lexus concept cars among other installations, and a display of lifestyle items. The latter is born from a series of collaborations between artisans and designers, creating fresh interpretations on classic products in harmony with the Lexus spirit of craftmanship.

It is evident throughout the venue that the concept has been carefully created with the brand in mind — the bamboo wall is a design representation of the Lexus Spindle Grille, and the upholstered seating is made of the same leather used in the Lexus LFA supercar.

“We’ve had fun making sure there is a subtle hint back to Lexus, creativity and craftsmanship,” shares Benjamin Nicholas, head of Intersect By Lexus. Nicholas, who has more than a decade of experience in UK and UAE hospitality, leads the front-of-house team.

“There is a story for everything [in the outlet] and what the connection is to Lexus. And once you sit down there is a story for the food. Chef Tomas Reger has really focused on the design of the food and the creativity to connect to what Lexus tries to do.”

He continues: “The idea of Intersect is about creativity; it’s not just a restaurant. Yes, we offer food and drink but ultimately we are a creative space for people to connect and create,” adding that this is one of the benefits the outlet brings to the area.

He tells Caterer Middle East: “In DIFC we have restaurants that are within the top five or 10 in Dubai. We’re not here to compete with them, we’re here to complement them. The more restaurants and art galleries that come here, the more it drives people into this space, adding value.”

Dubai is only the second city in the world to host the concept, following a successful Tokyo opening in 2013, but many of the design elements, as well as the menu, are different for the Middle East venue.

Overall though, Nicholas says everything the team has done “connects back to what Lexus tries to achieve — showcasing creativity and craftsmanship”.