By Marina Correa
Photography: Courtesy Studio Osmosis
Working around the palates of the two cuisines it fuses – PunChin restaurant within the Citrus Hotel in Pimpri, Pune uses a kitsch-industrial approach that is very in-your-face…
Designed by Studio Osmosis, the approach to the restaurant is through a plush lobby finished in Italian marble; while the chequered clear and ‘tatooed’ glass panes create a peek-a-boo effect with the colourful interiors evoking one’s curiosity.
PunChin, which offers Punjabi and Chinese cuisines has its subtle fusion nuances translated into the décor as well: in the ‘Chinese-ized’ placemats, rustic and multi-coloured dhaba-type ambience, steel and heavy glass crockery and cutlery and use of village-esque bucket and tumbler décor elements. The icing on the cake takes the form of a Royal Enfield bike that stands smartly at the entrance of the restaurant – an ode to Punjab da Puttar. Nostalgia also reigns high as the epoxy IPS flooring has ‘hopscotch’ painted on it – a true picturizing of a prime dine out with a quirky feel!
An open brick wall, yellow diagonally painted lines on the floor, nude bulbs hanging over the bar and a cluster of empty beer bottles as a chandelier etc. add just the right dose of quirkiness to this multifaceted space. Lending a fun and casual feel are the brightly painted corrugated metal sheets that wrap the bar counter, open kitchen and teppanyaki counter.
A suspension of metal chain-link fence and rustic corrugated sheets adorn the ceiling imparting a strong masculine vibe to the space. Interestingly, this treatment is born out of a challenge in concealing the service cables of the above floors under the restaurant ceiling.
The maxim ‘reuse, recycle’ has been achieved with aplomb through reuse of empty bottles, old wood, chain-link fence, corrugated sheets, old window frames, ladders etc - making it a green project as well.
Overall, the architects must be credited for their brave job in skilfully using rudimentary elements to define a dhaba-styled setting within the larger plush hotel environs.