THE STORY OF
EMIKO & LOUIS
"Whenever you're in love with something you want it to be perfect."
Respected gastronome Rudi Kull and architect Albert Weinzierl enlivened Munich’s center in 2009 when they opened the casually luxurious Louis Hotel and its in-house restaurant Emiko, a modern Japanese eatery that’s renowned throughout Germany for its authenticity and quality. Though their joint projects include five restaurants and two hotels, Kull and Weinzierl found time to sit down with Made by Originals to discuss the hotel business, their love for Japanese pub food and the concept of “relaxed luxury”.
You have a reputation for understatement. Is that part of your formula for success? ALBERT WEINZIERL: Success always results from a good idea in combination with a bit of luck: being in the right place at the right time, catching a creative spark before anyone else, and then having the opportunity to realize these ideas financially. Neither of us is a high-flyer, but we do try to give our ideas as much life as possible.
How would you describe the spirit that pervades the Louis Hotel? RUDI KULL: As a kind of “relaxed luxury”. The hotel radiates a classy, warm and mellow atmosphere. We attempted to bridge the gap between serenity and quality on the one hand, and hipness and modernity on the other. I like to think we’ve done a good job in that respect.
You seem to have put considerable research and effort into your projects. You travelled all the way to Japan to find the right inspiration for Emiko. RUDI KULL: In Japan we met a lady named Emiko – she introduced us to Japanese culinary culture. We weren’t really interested in the high-class restaurants, but rather the traditional local pubs. We wanted to know where the Japanese go to enjoy an after-work beer and what kind of snacks are served there.
What experiences flowed into the restaurant? RUDI KULL: Responsibility for the quality of a product. Food is extremely important in Japan, and the Japanese practice an extremely sophisticated eating culture, which we wanted to bring back with us to Munich.
How did Emiko react when she learned that you named the restaurant after her? RUDI KULL: She was extremely excited and proud.
ALBERT WEINZIERL: For us, no other name could express our aims for the restaurant more succinctly. It stands for the love of good food, for an appreciation of quality and for the desire to always keep one’s eyes open for unexplored possibilities.