Desi Tadka

December, 2015


Mumbai has a new restaurant that´s both whimsical and alluring... ´Artsy and fun´ is how the owners and designers of Firki* like to describe it. Firki* stands out in its popular location at Lower Parel in Mumbai as a contemporary restaurant dressed in traditional colours. With quirky tones, Indian motifs and folksy décor, this restaurant is a perfect combination of colours and components. Electric and eye-catching was what designer Minnie Bhatt of Minnie Bhatt Designs aimed to achieve.

What´s in a name?
The entire space recreates a bustling Indian village hosting a mela. From the entrance itself, visitors are transported into a rustic zone. The logo, in multi-coloured wires depicts a pin-wheel, the source of inspiration for the name and setting of the restaurant.

Keeping true to the ´single-screen´ environment, colourful rustic frames with funky text, famous dialogues from Bollywood movies and pop graphics adorn the neutral walls. The bright seating arrangement adds to the colour in the space, while the vibrant decorations underscore the rural countryside.

Wonder walls
The main attractions are the panelled walls - each more unique and innovative than the other. The first one, a three dimensional relief screen, is filled with tiny little houses mirroring the Indian chawl system. Produced using laser-cut MDF, this intrinsic wall is replete with huts and hotels, reminiscent of India´s urbanscape. A second wall holds a sight prevalent in most rural towns in the country: an enormous ferris wheel filled with wooden figurines. Another conspicuous installation is a wall panel with numerous tin boxes attached to it. Each tiny tin box holds made-to-order wooden dolls. These artistic effigies rightly mimic a mélange of different people from various communities, chatting and enjoying day-to-day activities.

Rustic charm
The entire flooring of Firki* consists of framed granite and vintage tiles. The theme that the client had in mind was perfectly executed by the designer. Attention to detail, such as the use of bright colours to compensate for the lack of natural lighting, exhibits the expertise of the designer.

Meet the designer

Minnie Bhatt

Firm: Minnie Bhatt Design, founded in 2007
Firm specialisation: Commercial and residential interiors
Design philosophy: To create eclectic spaces using pure materials, with a timeless appeal
Philosophy towards life: Simple, tasteful and timeless
Favourite architect/Designer: Architect Antoni Gaudi