Designer Vishal Gupta of Hookkapani gives a hangout hub in a Mumbai suburb a cool overhaul.
‘He Said She Said’. Is that a name, you ask. Yes, it is. Here’s how the story goes. The name He Said She Said is a reference to quote boxes (also graphically depicted in the restaurant at various points), inviting people to come over and fill them up with their chatter. Located in Andheri, Mumbai, it’s a perfect party place that answers to your mood. You get to choose between the thumping music on the ground floor, the fine dine experience on the first level and the lovely terrace atmosphere on top. Ah yes, this space is huge – the definition of huge here being 13,500 sq ft.
Designed by Vishal Gupta who runs a design studio called Hookkapani, He Said She Said is certainly a breath of fresh air, especially for the bursting-at-the-seams local train commuters of Mumbai. Designed on the line of a picturesque park meets Goan shack, the restaurant experiments with graphics beautifully. It’s young and peppy, with the Mumbai skyline accompanying you as you climb up to the terrace. As Vishal puts it, “The interiors are modern and vibrant, and are punctuated with cool art works on the wall. The funky speech bubbles are devoted to both the sexes and their viewpoints, which are broadly based on the name of the place. I wanted people to feel the fun vibe and just not think of it as a place with cool interiors.”
The restaurant area on the ground level, which boasts of being India’s first shots bar, is a burst of colour with graphics vying for attention. There is a fountain in the outdoor section with miniature character installations on it (fishing, sitting and peeing - oops!). The digital art is difficult to mount on the walls without printing or tracing but He Said She Said roped in the super-talented artist Bhuppi from Delhi to hand-paint all of them to precision. Bhuppi is not only a Bal Shree Award winner himself (an under-18 version of the Padma Shree Awards) but two of his students are also recipients of this award. Bench-style seating has been provided to enhance the park feel of the place. An old telephone booth is transformed into a photo-booth to keep the selfie-obsessed Facebookers and Instagrammers amongst the waiting crowd busy.
Setting the mood
From the pulsating atmosphere of the city-that-never-sleeps on the ground level, you are taken to the quiet avenues of Greece on the first floor. The fine dining restaurant flaunts white-washed, hand-plastered walls and retro artefacts that compliment the soft music and serene ambience.
As you move further up to the top level, you see a covered terrace with a dais for small gigs and screenings. The covered awning on the terrace and the ground level outdoor section allows revellers to enjoy the vibes of He Said She Said without worrying about the fickle Mumbai weather.
All said and done, He Said She Said is the answer you are looking for if you are a man or woman of many moods.
Total Area: 13,500 sq ft
Text: Sumisha Gilotra