A Homely Flavour

With a menu that serves unpretentiously Indian comfort food like masala chai in \'kullads\' and \'bun maska,\' architect Sohail Walia had to provide décor which had a similar low budget, bubbly, home spun vocabulary for the restaurant \'Masala Chai’ in Mumbai. Since it was not a formal, fine dining restaurant, the whole ambience created is friendly and approachable. Attracting a young clientele who would like to smoke \'hookas\' and enjoy their drinks, the restaurant uses many generous squirts of red in its colour palette to pump up the volume. A carpet area of 1350 square feet, spread out over two levels of 550 square feet each, meant that Sohail had to construct a staircase leading to the mezzanine. The flooring is a practical, cost effective vitrified tile which mimics a wooden look, with a pebble trough bordering the edge. Woven cane frames conceal tubelights, and the bar has been created with cane, sleeper wood and red Corian, which gives it an Indian look. Busy, disarming, and infused with an eye popping red colour, the unaffected décor of Masala Chai matches the casual nature of the food served.