N Bar & Grill

N Bar & Grill

Ar. Sumessh Menon

The design approach for the project, , at , Mumbai by Sumessh Menon Associates is a reflection of restaurant’s cuisine – fusion of Indian and European. There are no typical Indian motifs in sight; the designer adapts indigenous materials and techniques across the interior which has a distinctly western sensibility. Elements take on sculptural forms, and the lines between artwork and design are blurred.


The N Bar & Grill, in Chembur, Mumbai for Natraj Hospitality’s designed by Sumessh Menon of Mumbai-based design firm Sumessh Menon Associates is a 2,100-sq ft space divided into a large fine-dining restaurant with a private dining area and an interconnected lounge bar with a separate entrance.

The tone is set from the entrance with the white GRC trellis which, not unlike a Rajasthani jaali screen, shields the restaurant from neighbouring businesses, and the slatted wooden strips along the length of the glass façade create a sense of privacy from passers-by while still lending a sense of interconnectivity for the diners with the outside. The wooden doors leading to the restaurant and the bar are inset with a grid of magnifying lenses and complement the semi-transparent nature of the façade. On entering the restaurant, patrons are greeted by a backlit reception table in front of a partitioning screen, both clad with laser-cut leather. The Brescia Aurora Italian marble flooring in the reception continues into the restaurant and private dining areas, and coupled with brown leather and dark wood tones, creates a formal aesthetic. An undulating series of layered waves in repoussé (hammered) brass dominate the space, below which are placed three pod-seating areas. Leather clad crescent-shaped sofas wrap around round dining tables which have tops finished in laser-cut veneer unlike the sheet-rock and resin finished tops of the other tables. Customized polygonal lamps in perforated and gold-plated metal arch are hung over these pod seats. A lot of the feature including the lights and furniture is designed by the designer and the sculptural lamp at the centre of the space is one such. It is made of a series of concentric curved layers with hand-woven metal mesh on the outside, then an acrylic box that conceals the bulbs, and in the centre a vinyl printed to look like onyx is placed. This larger than life feature creates a focal point to the space while also offsetting the recessed ceiling lights.

In the private dining area too perforated and hammered bucket lamps focus light on the textured veneer table top. A space which he intended to cater to women who lunch, a ‘woman-centric’ theme is created with softened colour palette and dull gold hues on the walls and on the plush velvet chairs. The mural print on plywood that dominates the space clearly celebrates women, and the chairs also have an interesting element – the headrest sports an oval of glass delicately suspended on gold buttons and etched with a woman’s profile.

Although there is a wide variety of materials and textures in use in this project, the designer manages to tie up elements and motifs through repetition or modification. So the polygons seen at the entrance and again in the lamps above the pod seating make an appearance in the washrooms where glass and metallic finishes further blend into the overall design scheme. He also echoes the wave motif from the restaurant in the lounge area but in a whole new avatar; a series of seamless undulating waves in exposed plywood form the ceiling for the bar. An organic element, some of these planes meld into the wall while others continue down the vertical and create the actual storage of the bar. The bar itself looks like a sculptural light box with its diagonally cut tobacco Italian marble slabs arranged on backlit onyx to create a floating apron. Unlike the ‘grown-up’ appeal of the restaurant, the lounge expresses trendy and casual outlook. A funky wall pattered with panels of differently treated glass – coloured, stained, blown, textured, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright – separates the dining and lounge areas, creating an element of interest in both spaces. With wood panelling on the walls and floor, and slats in a mix of woods along the glass of the façade and on the ceiling, the room has a warm feel which is further enhanced by bold stripes and plush mauve velvets used. The glass sphere lamps suspended over the bar and the polygonal tables wrapped with copper sheet and covered with resin coupled with the textured glass wall give the space a funky vibe.

Fact File
Projects: N Bar and Grill
Location: Chembur, Mumbai
client: Natraj Hospitality
Architect: Sumessh Menon Associates
contractors: Precision Contractors
commencement date: September 2013
completion date: January 2014
Area: 2,100 sq ft


About The Author
Sumessh Menon is a self-taught designer. He was in the furniture and accessory design and manufacturing industry working very closely with several architects for many years. His interest in interior design developed into a passion over the course of time which led to the creation of Sumessh Menon Associates. He did a short course in interior design in New York to kick-start the process. His practice is now a decade old and most of what he has learnt has been on site with hands on experience and through observation. Now he has specialized in high-end and bespoke residential, corporate and hospitality interiors, and has done projects in New York, Dubai, South Africa and across India.