The design of the F Lounge, Bar, Diner at the One India Bulls Centre in Lower Parel, Mumbai, is spread across an area of 10,000 sq.ft. over two levels and an outdoor area. The structures are predominantly made of wood, right from the floors to the high ceilings. The lower level is a vast expanse of what will constitute the lounge/bar or post-work watering hole.
The brand falls under the franchise of Fashion TV (FTV), an international channel revolving around fashion, beauty and lifestyle. The channel’s association with the F Lounge includes exclusive insights into the various parties, soirees and events held at the property.
Speaking about the synergy with the brand, Sanjay Mani, Head – Brand Extension with FTV, says: “Fashion TV is among the very few channels that have lifestyle brand extensions which extend to outlets based on food, beverage, hospitality and fashion. Their direct association with trendy music and the fashion fraternity gives such extensions a clear synergy with FTV. The brand has cross-linkages with fashion designers, artists and high-end hospitality connoisseurs. Fashion TV’s new line extensions like F cafes, F vodka, F energy drinks, F clothesline, etc. are scheduled to roll out soon.”
Unlike the other F lounges, the one in Mumbai is more of a diner than a club. The Michelin-starred Chef Vineet Bhatia holds fort at the Mumbai counterpart of the F Lounge where he presents Indian food with global finishes while keeping it fashionable. He says the idea is to present a unique take on Indian cuisine while retaining the familiar and comforting flavours. When it comes to showing off food, there is not a more creative costumer than Bhatia. Some fashionable concoctions offered include raw mango and prawn puckha, Tava Ravas with Tequila Lime Glaze, tangy corn chilli seekhs with bloody mary tomato chutney, and the dynamic Patiala chicken with whisky flambé, all endearing and flavourful. The chef’s personal recommendations include “Bourbon Marinated Chicken” with carrot and ginger mash, herb-crusted lamb chops served with pink pepper, pomegranate glaze, caponata, and Gambas cooked Spanish style, served with a baguette.
The food is delicious but its presentation – like a raised stage illuminated with light – is magnificent. Cocktails are created by renowned mixologist Shatbi Basu. Bhatia turns out some of the most sophisticated finales in Mumbai. You will never look at sooji halwa the same way after tasting his lovely coffee-infused halwa – it arrives in a cup that resembles a camera lens. Bhatia calls it Photo Finish! It’s all very fashionable and elegant.
The F Lounge Mumbai has a decidedly more subdued feel than its blingy Delhi counterpart. The space has been designed by architect Sameep Padora whose projects include the Palladium outlet of Indigo Deli, and Opa and Le Monde in Juhu. The main attraction at the venue is the immaculately designed staircase lit up from within that seemingly merges into the ceiling, creating a stunning impact. The structures are predominantly made of wood, right from the floors to the high ceilings. The lower level comprises a lounge area and a spacious bar done up with style and élan. It extends on to an open deck terrace surrounded by water bodies and foliage.
The upper level is designed as a dining area with a seating capacity of about 100 people. A section is cordoned off on both levels as a private dining/party area. The upper floor also houses an exclusive Dom Perignon lounge. Fashion TV screens are a key element, innovatively adapted across various areas of the restaurant. The dominating materials are
black slate, teakwood, black mirror, brushed steel, shenile and leather. The unique pattern on the ceiling is a deviation on the otherwise straight lines and creates concealed, soft and seductive lighting for a party mood. Most of the space is intentionally left bare to accommodate more people who enjoy lounging and listening to music and spending good time with friends. The lighting is designed to create a romantic and intimate atmosphere.
Talking about the design of the outlet, Rajan Madhu, Managing Director, F Lounge, Diner, Bar reveals that the design of the property changed on many occasions when the management felt it was not aesthetic or practical enough.
Kris Correya (of Zenzi Bandra fame) is in charge of the music and programming and describes the music at F Lounge as a pleasant mix of jazz, lounge and world music during the afternoon, enabling guests to enjoy their meal amidst light conversation. As the early evening progresses, the music leads to a mix of nu jazz, chic lounge and classics. The acoustics have been designed in a manner that the music can be played at different decibel levels, and while it can be louder at the lounge level, it is more subdued in the dining area. The choice of music is again planned keeping in mind the profile of the customers, as also the theme for the evening.
Live gigs are likely to be held on Sunday afternoons, and a slew of non-music-related activities are also on the cards. These include fashion shows, workshops for aspiring visual jockeys, art exhibitions, and film screenings.