Chinese food and a not-typically-Chinese ambience designed by Paris-based Gilles Et Boissier is the USP of the new Hakassan in Mumbai.
Established in London in 2001, the kitchens of Hakkasan have anchored at Miami, Abu Dhabi and Mayfair (London) before setting foot in Mumbai's happening suburb – Bandra. Hakkasan brings the experience of international dining closer to home, serving up a unique combination of glamour and elegance along with Chinese food that is contemporary yet traditional. The décor of this restaurant has been interpreted by the concept architectural and design firm, Gilles Et Boissier, Paris.
The jasmine fragrance, the warm welcome by the hostess, the dominance of oak textures, superior marbles, leather and dim lighting all work towards insulating the diners from the mad buzz outside and make eating here a novel experience.
The restaurant is divided into three areas – a bar, a lounge and the main dining area. The 16-metre bar, a mystical mélange of blue glass and stainless steel, grabs attention immediately. Unusual details abound, including a bar stool for two, a slate backdrop, which livens up with a ripple lighting effect and a huge console on an adjacent wall that displays some of the most exotic varieties of whiskey.
Adjoining the bar is the cosy Ling Ling lounge with comfortable low seating in dull blue leather – the embroidery on the leather is a unique embellishment. Seen across Hakkasan restaurants worldwide is the lattice work, or jaali, in geometric and floral patterns, which works as an element of design and lends privacy to every table.
The jaalis are carried across to the main restaurant area. This area boasts a double height ceiling, which is accentuated with a wood cladding and ripple light effect. The sense of space is further amplified in the elevated VIP area that looks out to the entire restaurant below. The VIP section is accessed through a small staircase in the corner. An open-plan kitchen is visible from the restaurant, making its activity a part of the restaurant's theatre.
DISCUSSING THE DESIGN
The design moves away from stark minimalism and instead translates traditional Chinese motifs such as lanterns and screens into a contemporary language. A backlit blue glass that surrounds the perimeter of the restaurant offers a soothing backdrop. The design of the lounge area – Ling Ling – reflects the old school decadence of Chinoiserie punctuated by traditionally drawn signature panels. The passage that connects the restaurant and the lounge has a beautiful weave pattern in oak, a pattern seen in different versions around the various Hakkasan restaurants. Following a common design language yet standing out from its other siblings around the globe, the Hakkasan in Mumbai is sheer delight of design and ambience.
Text: Sumisha Arora
Contact: Hakkassan, Krystal, 206, Waterfield Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai-400 050. Tel: 022-2644 4444.
Gilles Et Boissier Concept Architectural and Interior Design; Website: www.gillesetboissier.com