Vanika Choudhary’s Sequel gets a crisp, minimal facelift by ace architect Asheish Shah

AUG 26, 2019 | By Aneesha Bhadri
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Brunch is served from 11 am to 4 pm every Sunday, at Sequel’s Bandra outlet; Charred turmeric cauliflower with lacto fermented coconut yogurt; Raw yellow fin tuna served with farm tomatoes, charred zucchini and a cucumber broth.
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Photography by Amrita Diwanji ; Other handmade elements include the woven cane chairs and benches textured by hand; Channapatna beads, inspired by Karnataka, wrap around the main counter in vertical stacks to create a playful yet polished surface; Other handmade elements include the woven cane chairs and benches textured by hand; Other handmade elements include the woven cane chairs and benches textured by hand.

Chef Vanika’s passion for organic food and healthy eating habits runs deep. Growing up in the verdant valleys of Kashmir and then Jammu, Vanika and her family used to farm their own produce, compost, cook with fresh ingredients and forage seasonal herbs and vegetables. After a six-month sabbatical in 2015 when she explored her interest in wellness and conscious eating, she gathered the courage to pursue her long-cherished dream of opening a restaurant that dealt exclusively in wholesome meals made of organic produce and indigenous ingredients. In 2016, she opened her flagship restaurant, Sequel in Bandra, which she renovated this year, the project, helmed by exemplary architect Asheish Shah. Sequel 2.0—Choudhary and Shah’s combined vision—pairs an authentic farm to fork experience with a luxurious touch.

Indian handicrafts such as woven cane chairs and bronze shelves bring tactility into the space, while keeping the lighting warm and intimate. An overarching Wabi-Sabi aesthetic has been introduced to the restaurant—a material palette of wood, subtle greys and whites exude tranquillity and lightness. Their Bandra outlet has an outdoor area encompassed in grey stone-crete that contrasts beautifully with the lush greenery that surrounds it.

You will also find planters cast in white stone and shrubbery that lend a sense of vitality. The entire space comes together with minimal interiors and soft colours that lend a sense of languid flow and peace, creating a refuge from the crowded city’s hustle and bustle.The Mumbai-based brand advocates clean, organic eating with its farm-to-table experience, offering nutrient-rich, wholesome, gorgeously plated dishes that even a hardcore non-vegetarian would drool over. Most of the organic produce comes freshly harvested from the Sequel Green House, on the outskirts of Pune.

The restaurant’s Sunday special brunch menu offers dishes a wide variety of dishes such as grape tomatoes, heirloom broth and kaffir lime oil, charred turmeric cauliflower with lacto fermented coconut yogurt, tuna, farm tomatoes, charred zucchini and a cucumber broth, along with buckwheat and poppy seed flatbread with chickpeas, kale, Alphonso mango and charred avocado, among other delectable eats.

Hungry yet? For those who prefer a sweet repast, Sequel offers a wide variety including sweet potato waffles, Sequel’s signature granola, pure maple syrup, with blueberries and raspberries, and to top it off, a dark chocolate coffee cake made with 80% stone-ground dark chocolate sourced from the Dominican Republic, with raw Peruvian cacao nibs and Kashmiri walnuts.