In Japanese cuisine, teppanyaki guides diners through an immersive, full-sensory experience. Ingredients are amassed on metal cooking surfaces and a grilled tableside using open flames. Specially trained chefs use theatrics and cheeky one-liners to captivate their audience as the meal is prepared. Patrons, seated just inches from the cook station, toggle between roles of spectator and participant. The experience eliminates the barrier between patron and chef. And when patrons are this close, safety is paramount.
Kobe Teppanyaki Lounge (KTL) partnered with Calgary-based Datum Construction and Millwork to design a restaurant concept that would eliminate visual disruptions and draw focus to the culinary performance of Japanese teppanyaki.
Throughout the 2,850-square-foot space, electrical wiring was concealed within a system of PVC trenches spanning beneath the flooring. Metal-top cook stations imported from Japan were specified for their absence of overhead exhaust hoods. The hoodless design provided expansive sightlines for diners and provided a unique challenge to the design and installation team.
ANSUL® RED: Intelligent Performance
With the client’s focus on aesthetics and the unique dynamic of customer-facing, hoodless food preparation, ANSUL® RED (Restaurant Electric Detection) Technology was selected to provide intelligent, multi-zoned fire protection.
The intelligence and sensitivity of ANSUL® RED allows it to distinguish between flames used for cooking and a true fire hazard — a quality necessary for teppanyaki cooking. A multi-zoned configuration was used so fire suppression will only deploy where it is needed, reducing downtime and cleanup in the event of a system discharge. Safety was taken a step further with communication between the system and appliance operation to shut down affected cooking stations in the event of a fire.
Tasked with the challenge of hoodless cook stations and the client’s eye for aesthetics, Tyco Integrated Fire & Security (TIFS) from Calgary, Alberta, took inspiration from the unique design of the Japanese cooking tables. Each grill featured its own ecologizer unit pulling air and heat away from the cooktop. As part of a complete design-build project, the distributor carefully deconstructed the cook stations and integrated ANSUL® RED wiring and components within the unit — and away from the eyes of patrons.
The suppression system was mounted within the cooking station with detectors and nozzles positioned in the center facing the chef to spare patrons in the event of deployment. Piping was disguised within the table legs and electronic wiring was run through the underfloor routing system to further support the client’s aesthetic vision. A centralized pull station was used to increase ease of access. Hardware for the pull station was recessed into the wall to create a sleek design.
The system can be expanded and reconfigured if cook stations, and potential safety hazard zones, are added to the restaurant over time. Both existing and additional zones operate from a single control system, providing complete restaurant monitoring from a central location.
Streamlined Maintenance for Reduced Operating Costs
While the system installation had unique challenges and the potential for additional design complexity, the simplicity of using one suppression nozzle per cook station means reduced maintenance costs for KTL — almost 70 percent less than the average in-hood fire suppression system. The ANSUL® RED system features a stainless-steel controller and display unit that can easily be wiped clean, and only requires semi-annual maintenance. Built-in smart notifications prompt restaurant owners in advance of maintenance and can be programmed to include a directory of certified ANSUL® technicians.
When playing with fire is part of the dining experience, intelligent, dependable fire protection is critical. Kobe Teppanyaki Lounge can rest assured that their patrons, staff and facility are protected using ANSUL® RED Technology.
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