An All-Day Pet-Friendly Cafe at Jio World Drive features a Nature-Inspired Palette to echo its fresh, homegrown menu.
See-Saw is an all-day cafe located at the swanky Jio World Drive in Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). The eatery offers full-course gourmet fare and features a grab-and-go section for office goers who work in proximate buildings in the BKC. The cafe's design is a balancing act that provides guests with the option to dine indoors as well as enjoy meals al fresco. Besides the focus on creating a casual, community-oriented space contributing to the neighborhood's collective culinary experience, the cafe is pet-friendly, with a dedicated outdoor zone accommodating diners and their pooches for exclusive, curated gastronomic indulgences.
The site was originally not designed to be an F&B space, hence accommodating services within this tight footprint proved to be a significant constraint. This included planning the kitchen's workflow and the HVAC requirements while maximizing the eatery's frontage - an intervention that admits plenty of daylight into the space and enables the space to transition seamlessly from the inside to the outside. The facade also accommodates a column that abuts its exterior, with six glass 'frames' establishing a uniform frontage for the cafe, enhancing the dialogue between the inside and the outside.
The design echoes the refined, homegrown nature of the menu - wholesome and nutritious yet delicious and flavorful, it is characterized by an earthy yet chic and sophisticated material palette that prevents it from being either too rustic or kitschy. Timeless, all-natural materials imbue the space with a sense of comfort and coziness. In addition, the use of warm neutrals and earth tones lends itself to the idea of the cafe as a comfortable communal space that promotes social cohesion. At first blush, The simplicity of the space belies conscious attention to detail - an implicit celebration of meticulous craftsmanship.
The open kitchen and bar are clad using terracotta tiles, while the walls are treated with light green textured paint with a darker shade above the datum and across the ceiling. Multiple Indian stones - Greystone, White Quartz, Dark Tan, Light Tear, and Caro Dust - have been hand-laid in a mosaic pattern on the floor by Greenheart Floors, acting as a subtle counterpoint to the colors on the ceiling and walls.
The ceiling is a latticed tapestry of false coffers using timber and a hand-woven mesh of fine jute rope has been created above the seating area. Acoustic matterwall panels installed above this framework attenuate noise and enable the cove lights installed within to animate the space with a diffused glow while also concealing the services.
This timber and jute installation becomes an intrinsic architectural element that extends to the overhead display for the open kitchen gantry, harmoniously tying the spaces together. Moreover, the mesh of hand-woven jute doubles up as a semi-permeable screen for the gantry, diminishing the globe-shaped pendant lights' direct glare and creating a subtle more pattern that lends a soft ambiance.
Two-seater tables sit along the glazed periphery, offering diners the perfect vantage point to observe and experience the indoors and the outdoors in equal measure. From the tropical wall art and the kitchen and bar inside to the lush landscaped area outside, this spot gives one room to soak in both experiences the cafe offers. Bespoke, solid-wood furniture manufactured by Lap and Dado punctuates the space, thoughtfully finished with fine details such as woven leather straps on the backrest in the peripheral banquet seating and custom prints on select seating clusters developed especially for the project.
The outdoors feature a landscaped garden with an expansive shaded canopy, equipped with furniture manufactured by Loom Crafts, where diners can relax with their pets. Furthermore, the eatery has a gourmet dog menu and a water station with two levels for large and small breeds. The garden is filled with potted plants of different scales, including a selection of citrus varieties that enliven the space with bright colors and fragrances.