Bold, vibrant, and buzzing with energy, Masti Cocktails & Cuisine in Dubai serves up innovative, Indian-inspired flavours with a contemporary twist to the ever-evolving audience of this business and tourism hub.
The food and beverage destination located in the La Mer region of Dubai features 8,000 square feet of dining and lounging space with a seating capacity of about 200, designed by India-based Architect and Interior Design firm, Studio Lotus. With the vision of creating a one-of-a-kind, modern destination for locals and tourists alike, the design team drew inspiration from the vibrant and eclectic Indian culture without the usual cliché and kitschiness often found in Indian restaurants. The result is a space comprizing of all-day dining, bar, evening lounge, and Gin Room across an equal mix of indoor-outdoor spaces, packed to the brim with thoughtful design details that perfectly complement its contemporary, Indian-inspired global cuisine.
In fact, the restaurant name itself, Masti, is loosely translated as fun and mischief in Hindi. To fully embrace and capture the colourful personality of the Indian culture in a fun and meaningful way, Studio Lotus incorporated modern Indian arts and bespoke, hand-crafted decors and furniture set against a vibrant palette of colours. Here, guests can enjoy a full-course lunch or dinner in an intimate setting, relax on the spacious outdoor patios, chat away the night with delectable cocktails at the stained-glass bar or in the evening lounge, or even host a gathering within the private dining room.
The building features two entry points, one from the beach and the other from the valet parking with each entry highlighted by an arched pavilion design, wallpapered in vivid green to captivate approaching visitors. Guests entering from the parking side are welcomed with a double-height ceiling, vibrant furnishings and multiple, eye-catching chandeliers sourced from India. This entry also marks the access point for the evening spaces on the upper floor, as well as the lower level mainly used for day-time experiences. The kitchen occupies the majority of the ground floor, with a small section of it, called the Tandoor, used as a live counter. The beachfront entrance opens into the Tandoor, enticing passersby with its buzzing energy.
Fun elements such as the hand-crafted, stained-glass elephant bar, the inlaid marble games tables, and the quirky graphic prints on the cushions and upholstery mesh together in harmony with the backdrop, adding an air of whimsy.
Due to the varying day and night activities at the restaurant, the design team created a series of distinct ‘zones’ within the space. The subtle spatial separation allows guests to have unique experiences within each section of the restaurant without losing the common thread of quirky Indian influences. There is something new to discover with each visit, a refreshing concept for the globally-aware audience of Dubai.
The all-day dining space on the ground floor is designed to complement the daylight, featuring bright palette and low lounge furniture to fully relax. To capture the ethos of Masti, a reinterpreted Juice Bar, often seen in the markets of India, can be found as an insert in the white marble mosaic, brass and wood. The design team also fully embraced the beautiful beach view by creating a sprawling deck that overlooks it, as well as using strategically positioned, tilted mirrors to reflect the shoreline for every angle of the dining area to enjoy.
With nightfall, evening guests can shift entertainment and activities to the upper-level dining space that takes on a deeper and more dramatic hue reflecting the upbeat nightlife in Dubai. Design features in the upper dining area include hand-crafted stained glass, green quartzite and wood, and a massive, signature elephant bar fabricated in India with a 3D, stained glass elephant protruding from the center. The exaggerated bar centerpiece sets the stage for countless other dramatic spinoffs of flora and fauna most associated with the country, expressed in an assortment of mediums - including the DJ backdrop hand-painted by the client, Pallav Patel, as well as the playful monkey wallpapers in the restrooms.
The large restaurant terrace has a baithak-inspired seating and boasts an incredible panoramic view of the beachfront. This space in the restaurant is designed to accompany larger groups, making it the perfect destination for family or social gatherings. Thoughtful details such as the integration of popular local games like Ludo inlaid into tabletops encourage guests to have fun, adhering to the playful and quirky restaurant theme.
Guests opting for the terrace seats can also enjoy views of the stunning sunset, making Masti Cocktails & Cuisine a destination for those looking to indulge in a romantic, fine-dining experience with the sunset as the backdrop.
Last but not least, an exclusive Gin Tasting Room wraps up the final section of the restaurant design. The deep blue colour of the room evokes a sense of luxury and royalty, reflecting the elite experience tucked away from the rest of the restaurant. The room’s grand entrance is marked by a series of brass arches atop a tall shelving unit with brass lattice shutters housing a world-class selection of gin in vintage decanters. A lotus and swan motif, developed by Toile Indienne, can be found on the velvet cushions and as tarkashi (wire) work on tables introducing a whimsical element into the dark timber, brass, and parquet flooring. .
Not only has the Studio Lotus team created a world-class dining space in a city saturated with the world’s most extravagant restaurants, but they also created a unique interior to immerse first-time visitors in the vibrant, energetic and playful culture of India with a contemporary and original spin. To learn more about the works of the award-winning Studio Lotus, visit here.
Name of Project: Masti Cocktails & Cuisine
Location: La Mer, Dubai
Address: La Mer, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Design Studio: Studio Lotus
Project Consultant: Concept Development - Meraki & Modus, Dubai
Lighting Design: Ayush Kasliwal
Furniture Design: Mangrove Collective in collaboration with Studio Lotus
Design Team: Asha Sairam, Ankur Choksi, Neelam Das, Randhir Singh, Kristel Sequeira
Project Area: 8000 sq.ft
Completion Date: June 2018
Photographer: Edmund Sumner & Juliet Dunne