“We wanted to stay true to the philosophy of the restaurant: futuristic in form and earthy at its core,” says Ashiesh Shah
The farm-fresh, vegan-friendly bistro Sequel, owned by Vanika Choudhary, now has a third address in Mumbai: an expansive fine-dining rendition at BKC, designed by Ashiesh Shah. The new location caters to its corporate surroundings by offering three distinct experiences—a grab-and-go section, a casual café space, and a more refined dining room. Combining Shah’s signature wabi-sabi aesthetic with the brand’s own earthy, organic values, Sequel BKC is a seamless blend of lines, raw tones and casual luxury. “We started as a 20 seater casual bistro 4 years back in Bandra,” says Choudhary, “Sequel is synonymous with everyday eating—and clean eating is at the heart of our philosophy. With Sequel BKC, we wanted to elevate the customer experience both from the design and food perspective while ensuring that we stay true to our beliefs.”
Ode to Crafts
“We wanted to stay true to the philosophy of the restaurant: futuristic in form and earthy at its core,” explains Shah, who also designed Sequel’s first location in Bandra. “We wanted soft edges and organic natural forms to marry custom-crafted design objects.” Monotone textured walls, alabaster pendants and channapatna beads from Karnataka are Sequel staples—but in the BKC location, they’re “celebrated in an entirely new context,” Shah expresses.
The location caters to quick office lunches, lengthy meetings and also offers easy take-away options—each of these services is offered in a distinct portion of the space, carefully accounted for with soft-cornered partitions. The formal dining room, which represents Sequel’s first foray into fine dining, is clad in a warm honey oakwood veneer which extend out onto the gridded façade. Custom-crafted fabric-clad curved sofas and rounded dining chairs and elliptical arched tables complement the organic contours that characterise Shah’s design—and perfectly offset the bronze bar, which brings a touch of glamour to the space.
A central partition divides the dining room from the casual café, where oyster lights with pearl-like alabaster globes continue the theme of organic forms, and gently counter the cane chairs and upholstered benches. A lighting fixture from Paul Matter and a Lucio from Shah’s own atelier complement the fittings. Terracotta brick floors extend across the restaurant, underlining the futuristic forms with a raw, earthy texture—a subtle nod to Sequel’s own commitment to natural, wholesome farm-fresh food.
As one of the country’s first restaurants to open during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sequel BKC sets the tone for socially-distanced dining. “While the space was planned and started before the pandemic, our flexibility in layout allows for social distancing,” says Shah. “Our circulation patterns allow for flexible one-way movement. Additionally, all the finishes have great wear and tear—our table tops and brick floors can take a great deal of disinfecting.” As social distancing norms are eased, more communal aspects of the restaurant’s design will come into play—but for now, Sequel BKC promises to be a relaxed break from the bustle of the city. What’s more, it is a testament to the fact that even in our “new normal,” we can find moments of relief.
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