DINER’S CLUB

Here’s a step by step guide to creat­ing a mod­ern ta­ble set­ting in­spired by Ja­pan

India Today - - COVER STORY - AMI KOTHARI Pro­pri­etor, Din­ing Cou­ture, Mum­bai www.din­ing­cou­ture.com

The wabi-sabi of a Ja­panese ta­ble set­ting is sim­ple to un­der­stand. Of course, it has changed over the cen­turies. Ini­tially, hakozen, small box-shaped ta­bles or trays, were used. And ev­ery one had their own. Then, chabu­dai, or low din­ing ta­bles gained pop­u­lar­ity. To­day, a mod­ern Ja­panese house­hold has western-style din­ing ta­bles and chairs. So, if you want to recre­ate the look at home and im­press your guests, just fol­low these sim­ple and easy to repli­cate steps cre­ated us­ing us­ing kitchen and din­ing pieces from the house­ware col­lec­tion avail­able at in­ter­na­tional life­style brand MUJI.

1 The In­gre­di­ents

To cre­ate this look you need min­i­mal­ist crock­ery. This will en­hance most dishes and al­low you to bring in dif­fer­ent el­e­ments to cre­ate a smart ta­blescape. Though the ac­ces­sories used are earthy to go with en­tire look, the bright red nap­kin and red flow­ers add a pop of colour; and the greens add fresh­ness to the ta­ble.

2 Plac­ing the chop­sticks

The chop­sticks placed on the soup bowls con­trast well with the white bowl. As per Ja­panese tra­di­tions it is ac­cept­able to rest the chop­sticks on the bowls. Just en­sure that they are par­al­lel to one an­other and not crossed. Why? Crossed chop­sticks are a re­minder of fu­neral cer­e­monies.

3 Cre­ate a ver­ti­cal Zen gar­den

Next, cre­ate a ver­ti­cal Zen gar­den as the cen­tre­piece. Zen gar­dens are an in­te­gral part of Ja­panese cul­ture. Ja­panese rock gar­den or ‘dry land­scape’ gar­den, of­ten called Zen gar­den, cre­ates a minia­ture stylised land­scape through ar­range­ments of rocks, wa­ter fea­tures and greens. Gravel or sand is raked to rep­re­sent rip­ples in wa­ter. Here, in the ver­ti­cal set­ting, dif­fer­ent colours of sand cre­ate the rip­ple ef­fect.

4 The Fi­nal Look

Start with one colour of sand hold­ing the vase at an an­gle. Once you are ready to change the colour of the sand tilt the vase in the op­po­site di­rec­tion and pour the next colour sand in. Con­tinue the process till you get the de­sired height of sand in your vase. Fin­ish it with dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of the Zen gar­den. Place the table­ware on the place­mats, add a dash of green and place a stack of stones tied to­gether on one side to en­hance the look.

PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY DANESH JASSAWALA; LO­CA­TION COUR­TESY MUJI, MUM­BAI (WWW.MUJI.COM/IN)

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