Despite a decaying urban core Mumbai has a burgeoning arts scene with restaurants and designer boutiques on either side of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. South Mumbai’s Kalaghoda, also known as the arts district, is constantly surprising with new additions such as the Delhi Art Gallery, which opened with a show on Indian Modernism inside a building sensitively restored by New Delhi-based firm Morphogenesis. Also making waves in the design circuit is Indigo Deli by Sameep Padora & Associates, notable for its striking internal dome inspired by wine cellars.
Further down the street from Delhi Art Gallery sits Filter, a retail space that curates and sources work of graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, fashion experts, students and product innovators. Nearby, we have Obataimu, a nifty boutique known for men's and women’s clothing, an array of design and fashion books, vintage sunglasses and select furniture pieces. Owner Noorie Sadarangani has managed to fit in a tailoring studio, which forms the backdrop to the strikingly designed shop.
Across the street sits the airy Pantry, designed by interior designer Chetan Shah with whitewashed exterior walls, counters clad in vintage Bharat tiles in pastel tones, cement flooring, wooden table tops and metal chairs. The menu that focuses on locally sourced produce.
Across from the Bombay Stock Exchange in the deep pockets of Kalaghoda is an inviting new dining and bar space, Nico Bombay, designed by husband-and-wife owners Nico Goghavala and Kamal Sidhu. With gray concrete walls, large custom glass lamps, and a blackened mirror behind the bar, the space seems reminiscent of old New York. And located in the colonial district of Ballard Estate is The Tank, a new 5000-square-foot clothing boutique by designer Prabhakar B. Bhagwat and inspired by the building's maritime history.
There is an equally intense fervor with which the design and cultural scene is exploding north of the sea link in Bandra one the theme remains constant throughout the city: designers have a fetish for the raw and honest. New bold spaces are being designed devoid of rules, spaces that are comfortable and relaxed.