Nikita Pai Design Studio presents an ideal space for experiments for Masque Lab in Mumbai

MAR 2, 2020 | By Anamika Butalia
The main dining area is a bespoke place fitted with kitchen appliances and cabinets from Häfele; Photographs by Pankaj Anand
A central cooking island and U-shaped table setting dominate the dining area; Photographs by Pankaj Anand

A little over three years after the Masque restaurant opened in Mumbai, Aditi Dugar and Chef Prateek Sadhu unveil a novel concept. The duo presents a 1,100 sq ft space for developing newer recipes, flavours and methods of fermentation, pickling, etc. “That’s how we arrived at its name—Masque Lab is a laboratory for experiments,” says Chef sadhu. He adds that the intent is to plan curated meals (by invitation only) for 10-12 diners here. “Dishes that do well during these trials will be added to Masque’s menu. Plus, we cook in this open kitchen, adding another dimension to diners’ experiences,” he says, as he gives us a peek into the space.

Walls finished in a grey line plaster merge with the Caesar stone surface and textured slate flooring in the main dining area. Under the linear skylight are custom designed chairs and lamps; Photographs by Pankaj Anand


Capsule brass lights tie in with the Masque brand identity; Photographs by Pankaj Anand

Framed by crittall windows on one side is a double heighted volume, typical of the mill compound plan. Designer Nikita Pai, who’s crafted the space, says, “The muted Caesar stone counter tops, Häfele appliances and cabinets as well as the neutral palette ensure that the focus remains solely on the fare.” Dugar punctuates: “This is my favourite design element.” Just beyond the main dining area, a spiral stairway in mild steel leads to a 200 sq ft mezzanine level that’s reserved for a temperature controlled, fermentation lab, as well as a balcony, where the chef plans to set up a mini kitchen garden.

A curved staircase leads up to the dedicated fermentation lab; Photographs by Pankaj Anand


Black fluted panels form the skirting seen in the atrium; Photographs by Pankaj Anand


Masque’s launch date is engraved in stone; Photographs by Pankaj Anand