Rajasthani vibrance for Texas fine-dine
New Delhi-based Chromed Design Studio has designed the Musaafer in Texas, a 210-seater fine dine restaurant and bar spread over 11,000 sq. ft. Paying tribute to Indian opulence, two Spice Route Co. chefs embarked on a 100-day journey of travelling to 29 states and bringing traditional regional recipes – which have been added to the restaurant’s menu. It integrates artefacts found in traditional spice markets, royal visuals and regal charm – symbolizing the vibrance of Indian cuisine and culture.
Divided into various zones, the main entrance features a crystal chandelier highlighting the royal paintings on the work. Next to this, a 1:1 sculpture of a musaafir (traveler)is installed, which tells us about the brand’s quest for Indian food. This seven-feet sculpture stands on a pedestal, introducing us to inverted lamps in different colors, fabrics and patterns. Sixteen-feet long wooden arches, known as colonnades, connect the two entrances.
In the Mughal area, the diwan-e-khaas, also known as the Hall Of Private Audience, was where the emperor received courtiers and state guests. Similarly, the space has been designed as a private area for intimate gatherings. The diwan-e-aam, known as the Hall of Audience is today used for conferences and meetings. A laser-cut light fixture by Anila Quayyum Agha is installed on the ceiling, which takes on different octahedral and tetrahedral shapes when in touch with light and shadow.
The second-level entrance displays a traditional dhokra wall with brass cravings and brocade paneling. The sheesh mahal, or the private dining room, has a ceiling decorated with 200,000 hand-cut antique mirrors, thikri work, – resembling the monument in Agra built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The courtyard is a double-space volume with a grand lighting fixture, while the Shadow Room is a private dining space with dedicated seating for the twelve-course tasting menu. The Diwan Lounge features vignette seating, marble tables and tufted with an embellished wine display room.
The bar displays chitai work, a Rajasthani art of beaten metal to create different patterns. The original photograph of the carved Chhatri at the Gadsisar Lake in Jaisalmer is displayed as wall art, also inviting tranquility. The liquor storage space is decorated with Banarasi cloth used as shutter to the Dhokra sculptures, reminding one of Indian folk motifs.