MASTI – A Design Aficianado’s Dream
When I first discovered MASTI, it was the intensity of color that attracted me the most as soon as I walked through the door. Signature shades of emerald-green & peacock-blue are intermixed with touches of yellow, pink, and orange. It’s a far cry from the dark velvety interiors associated with most traditional Indian restaurants. MASTI’’s space is light, airy, and open – the ultimate fit for its breezy beachfront location.
It’s hard not to notice the colorful Murano chandeliers, made of hand-blown glass, dangling from the sky-high ceilings, especially the one in an ultra violet so deep, you could swear it came straight out of Prince’s “Purple Rain” video.
Designed by Studio Lotus and winner of the prestigious UNESCO Prix Versailles for best restaurant interiors in the Middle East and North Africa, MASTI’s design elements have a distinct Indian connection. “What we tried to stay away from is your typical approach to Indian restaurants,” says Eddie Ghazal, “We decided to go in the opposite direction, inspired by trends in fashion, art, music, and all of these things that are coming out of Urban India and see how that translates into an Indian restaurant. We really wanted to look at modernizing the Indian perception and flipping it on its head.” And did they ever flip it.
On the walls are framed portraits of people in traditional dress representing different walks of life and who embody the vision of a globalized India. It’s cool, timely, and reinforces the urban appeal behind MASTI’s founding principles.
The first floor
Before exploring the dining room on the ground floor, I’m greeted by a little statue of a monkey at the entrance. I’m not sure what to make of him, he’s cute, and I like him. I would later find out what he symbolizes.
Large, wrap-around windows welcome in light, making it a haven for bright colors and tropical plants. There’s a mocktail bar beside the entrance, where tropical juices come to life. Banquets in the most vivid orange are lined with playfully-detailed cushions and embody a South Indian aesthetic. It’s a visual feast that’s brought to you in Technicolor.
Putting my best foot forward (or in this case, my best 6-inch booties), I take a trip upstairs to the lounge.
In the center of the room sits the bar, where MASTI’s “liquid chefs” make cocktail dreams come true.
Had I known it was windy, I would’ve brought a jacket…
An elephant made of stained, blown glass sits behind the bar and acts as the focal point of the lounge. The signature MASTI colors of emerald-green and peacock-blue peer out from the bar’s façade. Make no mistake, mounting the elephant to her current position was no easy task. The stained-glass panels were shipped straight from India, which were numbered and assembled in a jigsaw puzzle fashion.
Hidden in a discreet corner of the lounge is the Gin Room. A separate space used for private dining, and features one of the most varied collections of gins in the region. While the Gin Room stands on it’s own, it remains consistent with the rest of the restaurant in terms of design. Navy blue walls, hardwood liquor cabinets and bookshelves, all embossed with brass accents make it a very chic and cozy little space.
…and I just couldn’t help but twirl.
Leather-bound turquoise banquets and overhead-art deco lights line the lounge’s dining area. Slide open a window and you’re on the terrace overlooking the sea.
There’s that monkey again! This time as a quirky piece of art next to the DJ booth. The monkey, painted by Pallav Patel, represents mischief and fun – the very definition of the word MASTI. I can’t think of a better animal than the monkey to symbolize the sentiment. Can there be a naughtier creature?
As I watched sunset by the terrace windows, the lights went down in the lounge. I could feel myself swaying to the beat of the music, turned up ever so slightly, but just enough to make me want to groove. My day at MASTI might have ended,, but my night was just beginning….
A Lidija’s Kitchen Production, All Rights Reserved 2018
Shot on location at MASTI
Photography by Tara Atkinson Photography
Hair and Makeup by Instaglam.co
Jewelry by Vik Jethwani
Social Media by Donna Hearts Beauty
PR Support by White Label
Special Thanks to Eddie Eddie Ghazal, Creative Development Director for Black Spoon Management Consultancy