; Vietnames restaurant Nho Saigon in BKC Mumbai by MuseLab x Jetsons

Design

Verses of Vietnam: Nho Saigon in BKC is a Mumbai restaurant designed by MuseLab and Jetsons plating up interiors that spell indulgence

FEB 21, 2022 | By Pratishtha Rana
The storefront is enveloped in custom made sculptural cane curtains, one of Vietnam's staple farming productions; Photographs by Sameer Tawde
The abstract noodle shaped light over the bar area pays homage to the celebrated Vietnamese 'pho' dish; Photographs by Sameer Tawde
The restaurant features a refreshing colour palette reminiscent of the sights and scenes of a bustling Vietnamese market; Photographs by Sameer Tawde
The walls upfront are sheathed in cementitious paint are almost naked with only a thin wooden moulding cutting across them like a belt; Photographs by Sameer Tawde
The bar is draped in aqua blue handmade ceramic tiles that unfold like a ribbon; Photographs by Sameer Tawde
The lower halves of the walls are covered with the same aqua blue handmade ceramic tiles used on the bar, drawing the onlooker's eye towards the space; Photographs by Sameer Tawde
A display cabinet at the bar serves as one of the focal points of the restaurant; Photographs by Sameer Tawde
The exposed ceiling coated in a deep terracotta with a cane installation and lights blankets the atmosphere with an element of warmth; Photographs by Sameer Tawde
The flooring is carpeted in hues of wooden tiles and screen-printed tiles that pair with the colour palette of the restaurant's decor; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

A sweet scent of Vietnam and its buzzing, people-friendly culture pinned on food and intuitive interior design engulfs Nho Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai.

Launched in the late months of 2021, Nho Saigon by Origin Restaurants positions itself as one of the few premier restaurants in Mumbai (and India) that plate up authentic recipes from the lands of the Southeast Asian country. Saigon, which is also known as Ho Chi Minh city lies on the southern end of the country’s map, and rightfully now embraces the geography of the maximum city, thanks to Nho Saigon.

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Design musings 

Stationed inside an all-glass facade from the front, this 1,000 sq ft restaurant is a labour of love and intelligent design by Jasem Pirani and Huzefa Rangwala of their co-founded studio MuseLAB and Jeet Soneji, Founder of Jetsons. To express the mood of this eatery better, I say, a thoughtful but whimsical junction of textures, materials and decor details emerges through a poetry where interiors meet influences of Vietnamese street culture and yes, the fabulous food scene.

Curtains at the storefront pay homage to not only Vietnamese homes but also as an extension of the facade of neighbouring restaurants in the area; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

Mimicking how a dish is made using a variety of ingredients, the restaurant, too, takes shape with an evident use of multifarious colours, textures and materials that by the end of it become one.

“Given the secluded and constrained nature of the site, like the bustling streets of Vietnam, we imagined creating a dining space that could provide a relaxed and transient bistro vibe during the day and transform into a busy lounge by night,” reprise Pirani, Rangwala and Soneji.

Teal plays a primal role as the unanimous colour for all facets of the bar; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

If you’ve ever sauntered the streets of Vietnam, physically or through your screens, the burst of colours that mingle with the people, concrete roads, green trees, blue skyline and symmetry of houses is a palette that arouses awe. MuseLab and Jetsons have nailed their design pin on the exact moodboard, starting with the flooring that’s carpeted in dual hues of wooden tiles and screen-printed tiles. 

Cement-textured paint swathes the walls as a thin wooden moulding cuts through like a belt, accompanying the high and low heights of bistro tables in their slender wooden frames. As you navigate your eyes below, the lower end of the walls are done up in handmade aqua blue ceramic tiles. A generously planned bar space overlooks the main seating zone with vivid maroon tinted sofa benches that feel cosy but communal.

Remotely manufactured and designed by Priyanka Narula of Wickerstory, the cane curtains are the first of their kind; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

 

The restaurant’s interiors are an ode to Vietnamese lands but immersed in an unexpected sense of quirk; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

The layout gives people their privacy and also encourages them to interact with one another and stay connected as one would in a busy marketplace.” The central wall of the seating area illustrates a mural by digital artist Lovin S, painted by Nayan Mote. 

A rather uninterrupted design theme takes over Nho Saigon, too, in form of terracotta-hued ceiling with rattan lights that flush the space with a mellow incandescence, complemented aptly with the ceramic wall lamps by Harshita Jhamtani. Atop the bar area, a spectacular string of pho noodle light has been installed to rhyme with the thematics of Vietnamese food. 

A maroon coloured island-like-sofa-bench allows for seating on either side encourages interaction between neighbouring diners; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

 

The ceramic wall lamps, dubbed ‘the tree of light’ are a result of an artistic collaboration designed by Harshita Jhamtani; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

A statement material element is also the cane curtain that drapes the entrance made in collaboration with Wickertstory’s Priyanka Narula. Hugging the glass windows, the cane imbues a certain sense of belonging and warmth to the entire restaurant, making it not just a pit stop but a venue to savour with eyes (and taste buds) slowly and gradually. 

Rangwala, Pirani and Soneji agree and reiterate, “We have retained the idea of the curtains that pay homage not only to the colonial Vietnamese homes but also are an extension of the facade of the neighbouring restaurants.” In essence, this restaurant is a design-rich gateway to the lanes of Saigon, manifesting the traditional aesthetics with the urbane hints of the modern diners.

Patterned teal skirting on the lower half of the restaurant’s walls resembles visuals of deep waters and lush greenery that claims the lands; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

 

A contrast of rough and smooth textures make up the material selection of the space; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

 

The designers envisioned a dining space that would double as a relaxed bistro during the day and a busy lounge by night ; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

Culinary tales of Vietnam

An extension of the local-contemporary design astutely borrowed from the streets and bistros of Vietnam, the menu is an absorbing jaunt of the country and the city of Saigon, too. From comforting phos and curries, summery rice paper rolls, luscious prawns recipes to juicy and crunchy salads, the spectrum ends on a high note with the restaurant’s range of meads, cocktails and of course, the silky cold Vietnamese coffee!

Blue and yellow of screen printed tiles create a balanced contrast against a primary wooden tiled flooring; Photographs by Sameer Tawde

Address: Nho Saigon, Unit no 1 B, Ground floor, Godrej BKC, 68, G Block Rd, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai

Price for two: ₹2,000

For reservations: Contact 7045122211

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