With dramatic architecture and a menu that bridges the gap between Asia and the West, Mumbai’s newest lounge-restaurant Auriga is a shining star in the city’s lifestyle skyscape. Auriga is a constellation, with both Greek and Chinese references, and is the mythological Latin word for charioteer.
This pan-Asian restaurant with Western influences, has a vegetarian live kitchen on the first floor, a lounge on the ground floor, and a 30-seater open café. The cafe is designed with robust silver triangular metal louvers that form an open-to-sky roof, and present a beautiful blend of back-lit onyx and elegant cane furniture. The lounge itself – accommodating 250 people on the ground level – is a stroke of sculptural genius, with silver triangular metal louvers that are back-lit with colour-changing lamps to invoke an ultramodern and interactive experience.
Guests are presented with a contrasting experience as they traverse through the angular planes at the lower level led by a single flight of stairways that sweeps through the steel panels to the upper level arriving within a completely contrasted space layered fluidly in thin strips of wood, each offering a different ambience. For night revellers, the mood is further enhanced by DJ Shiva’s house music. A flight of stairs sweep up in steel-encased splendour to Auriga’s pièce de résistance – a wood-panelled 60-seater restaurant with smooth lines and a verdant view.
Another first is the separate kitchen for vegetarians, where no MSG, colourants and preservatives are used in the food. The other is the Meal in a Bowl (for time-crunched professionals).featuring Mung Bean Murtabak with Malaysian Vegetable Curry, Khao Suey and Yellow Noodle with Tomatoes and Crispy Okra, amongst other delights. The meals are crafted by Chef Nilesh Limaye to ensure that consumers get their fair share of vitamins, proteins and nutrients. Desserts include Chocolate and Mint Samosas, Banana Strawberry Melt, Passionfruit Cheesecake, etc. The menu flits seamlessly between Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Singaporean and Malaysian influences with modish European influences. Whether it’s the Cigarillos filled with Asian Spiced Broccoli and Water Chestnut or Edamame and Exotic Vegetables in Orange Ponzu Sauce, every dish is characterised by a fresh burst of flavour, and zero artificial additives. Gourmands can indulge in exciting house cocktails and shooters, little bites at the lounge, and full courses at the restaurant and café. For weight watchers, there are steamed Baby Corn and Mushroom Siu Mai, Green Leafy Rolls and Mushroom and Bamboo Shoot Tapioca Dumplings, amongst other healthy options.
Auriga Restaurant cum Lounge
Location: Plot no 1B, Famous Studio Lane, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai
Owner: Kritika Nagpal
Area: 4,000 sqft
Opened: September 2013
Seating capacity: 70 – restaurant, 30 – cafe, 250 – lounge
Cuisine: Pan Asian
Daily footfalls: 30-40 in restaurant
Design: Architect Sanjay Puri