With two outlets in Mumbai; DeGustibus Hospitality’s Neel (Indian Kitchen+ Bar) opens its doors in the heart of South Mumbai. At the very foundation Neel is an Indian restaurant where the food is from an amalgamation of a wide range of travels and perfecting certain memory-filled traditional recipes from across regions in India. The brief for the design of the restaurant takes its inspiration from the wonderfully curated menu; stories of ancient traditions through the voice of a contemporary Indian kitchen. Neel is located in the Art Deco precinct in South Mumbai in a prominent mall Crossroads 2. The design revolves around an ensemble of contemporary take to Indian traditions and art, handcrafted elements and details embraced in a modern dining setup.
Neel; like the name is a deep blue color of the sky. One side is a wall feature representing the moon stuck in a time lapse oscillating between the various phases. This makes for an interesting wall light feature. The waxing and waning of the moon is shown with back-lit circular panels that span across a blue wall bringing the space together effortlessly. The Blue wall then continues on the ceiling with custom designed pendant lights in an antique gold finish which adds to the subtle Indian influences in the overall design of the space encompassing the whole restaurant.
Block printing techniques of textile design brings in colorful elements to the space with the use of geometric bison board panels. These panels, handcrafted by local artisans of Rajasthan and Gujrat showcase geometric compositions in shades of blue and yellow. These back-lit bison board panels are visually framed with a back-lit logo, the Hindi alphabet ‘न’.
Contrasting flooring type has been smartly used to create a segregation of spaces. While the monochromatic patterned tiles adds to the character of the space without taking away from the wall art, the wooden flooring demarcates the seating around the moonlit wall. The rustic grey flooring defines the circulation areas and resonates the textured grey walls of the restaurant. These patterned tiles are balanced by an open ceiling that is painted indigo blue to mimic the night sky.
At the far end of the restaurant, yet visible from the entrance, the bar is carved out of the kitchen area. The bar back has an array of display bottles within wooden and blue backpainted glass shelves. The bar front has a grid of 3D cement tiles which are handcrafted. This grid is reflected in the ceiling thereby adding a warmth to the bar area.
The ceiling hung lights in the restaurant is an interesting feature custom designed by the inhouse team with trails and mock-ups using perforated and solid steel to get the right light balance and warmth and create a patterned interest with a play of light.