Chefs Ritu Dalmia and Viviana Varese tell tales of their journeys through their new outpost Spica in Milan

OCT 17, 2019 | By Vedika Nair

Nestled in the heart of the Milanese district of Porta Venezia, is Spica—the brainchild of celebrity chef’s Ritu Dalmia and Viviana Varese. With a dash of internationality, a pinch of conviviality and abundant research, Spica was crafted to portray diversity through the art of gastronomy. Milan based architects Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino have designed this space to reflect Porta Venezia’s vibrant culture and dynamic youth. The restaurant narrates Ritu Dalmia’s journey through the Asian continent and her voyage to Milan as seen in the traditional, spiritual and hospitality attributes of this outpost. Featuring contemporary cosmopolitan culture and aesthetic influences of the Masters of Milanese design, the architectural duo Vudafieri-Saverino have taken a page out of Ettore Sottsass’ book by combining freedom and radical design. The furnishing of the space takes you back to the ’50s and ’60s by paying homage to Franco Albini. Spica is a bag of Asian references more specifically with the Vastu Doctrine that plays an important role in the restaurant’s layout. The menu is curated to imbibe elements from South-East Asia, the Indian Sub-continent, Europe and America. Located in an industrial building with massive windows that offer views of the road and an inner courtyard, Spica preserves signs of the past like the seeded floor. At the entrance, customers are captivated by an 8-metre long bar inspired by the vintage Milanese ones featuring an antiquated glass backdrop, powdered brass top and a long suspended bottle rack. The lounge area is perfect to lose yourself in with its cosy interiors. Retreat to the dining area that is illuminated with big lamps that take shape of Indian agricultural implements; a charming corner in this room hosts a service station with wooden floors and greens on the gravel. The walls are decorated with the works of Jaco Sieberhagenc that give an ironic representation of Italian culture from industry to gastronomy. Feast on a range of lip-smacking delicacies from Chinese to Indian with a side of Mexican or American.