Japanese Spring

March, 2018


In keeping with its destination, Keiba means horse racing in Japanese and sunrise in Hawai; both meanings perfectly fitting for the new restaurant at the Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai. The restaurant is co-owned by Neeti Goel, founder of Nom Nom and Madras Dairies; Ronak Rochlani, owner of RR Events; and Suren Joshi, partner at Pali Village Cafe, Su Casa and I Think Fitness café, along with Aftab Moon. Tremendous lot of research went into coming up with the perfect Japanese cuisine that led to the formulation of the design concept.

The 4,800 sq ft space is divided into indoor and outdoor dining areas with varying seating styles, including a raised upper level outdoor machan and a live sushi counter. A stone-clad pathway bypasses a trickling water feature and leads straight into the main restaurant space.

The restaurant features a larger than life cherry blossom artwork with décor done by Sumessh Menon Associates. The zingy oranges and greens add life to the decor creating an invigorating experience. The space exudes a raw, natural essence in every design element, be it the beautiful vaulted ceiling; the raw, two-toned terrazzo flooring; the rattan and cane furniture or the monolithic, concrete cast or inside–outside bar with fluid folds running along its entire length.

Custom-designed lights, including pendant and pedestal lights, make the space look spectacular. Facing the Amateurs Riding Club area, one can also see the magnificent horses from the dining area.

Raw concrete finish in varying forms and textures are seen on the floor and stone-blasted columns. The play of materials is kept within a range of three to four elements, but the design diversity within it is a visual delight indeed. Colours, textures and patterns permeate through the space, using the various elements for canvases.

Be it the rich art expressions in the form of columns, or the furnishings and seating arrangements, every element exudes a well-finished design that is not overpowering yet attractive. The overall ambience of the space is warm, earthy and charmingly inviting, one that promises a delectable treat both for the eyes and the stomach!