Pan-Asian delicacies and a plum location in bustling Juhu—Mr. Baozi’s new outlet doesn’t leave much else to be desired. Started by Mihir Desai, owner at Corum Hospitality, the generous 5,000 sq. ft. area has been apportioned to both inside and outside spaces. The architect of the project, Sumessh Menon, Design Director, Sumessh Menon + Associates says, “The brief from the client was for a funky, Asian inspired space with generous outdoor as well as indoor space. Right from the striking custom wooden door set within a multiarched doorway to the imposing Asian influenced artwork that scales an entire long wall and the ethereal sculptural light fittings to the handmade tile inlaid tables, the entire space is a splendid synthesis of patterns and textures that dominate the space and yet are seemingly understated. The raw appeal of these earthy materials is sharply contrasted with the bright chirpy yellow and turquoise chairs creating an element of surprise.”
The alfresco section of Mr. Baozi has a mix of custom lounge seating; bar style elevated seating, regular chairs and tables, and a stunning custom wooden pod seating. To the left of the entrance is a pergola covered seating with pinewood tables and planters stacked up to create a cozy island dining space. In addition, the outdoor section is highlighted with stone and an attractive red terracotta wall. The bar area is characterized by an exquisite croc finish grey stone countertop customized in Jaipur perfectly set off against a custom cement block patterned apron on the terracotta wall backdrop. The rustic, grooved grey bar back delineates three arched display units with an antique mirror backdrop and patterned metal inserts in the rise of the arch. The architect has used a myriad of different materials and elements to give the space an eclectic Asian décor theme to go with its cuisine.
The indoor space lends a rustic and earthy vibe. The wooden door is set against a multi-arched doorway, the tables are inlaid with handmade tiles and ethereal light fittings adorn the area. “One entire wall displays an exposed fly ash wall with red silicon filling oozing out of its edges adding a raw earthiness to the room. The flooring is laid out in an interesting staggered pattern with rainforest marble lining its edges. There are wire-mesh fixtures that are placed between the cosy booth seating in the restaurant”, explains Menon.
Menon prides himself and his firm on always providing the space with their utmost attention to detail in every nook and cranny, which is evident through the plethora of materials, textures and techniques they introduce without overwhelming the diner. The restaurant is high on warmth and energy; this is brought to life by the arresting artwork, larger than life paintings and Chinese inscriptions that grace the walls. The lighting, personally looked over by Menon himself, adds to the earthy vibe in the outdoor area and takes a bejeweled form in the inside — with molecular light fillings that make the space shine!
Menon and his team have overcome all the challenges the initial space posed, giving diners a space that is an ode to all things Asian and fun. “The original structural facade had very large beams that were difficult to design around. This was resolved by removing unwanted structural members and thus widening the structural openings while adding the required additional structural support strategically”, elaborates Menon. The final result has been striking — “Illustrative design ideas, fine craft and exceptional customization melding raw, earthy features with artistically attuned aspects of design.” We can see some exciting things from Menon and his team in the near future — two trendy upcoming nightclubs in Juhu, a TBSE franchise in Malad and a newly completed swanky restaurant in Colaba called Pa Pa Ya. Our mouths are already watering!