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Mumbai: Taj Mahal Palace completes restaurant redesign

Chef Morimoto’s Wasabi restaurant and the historic Harbour Bar will boast new and contemporary interiors completed by the talented team led by Diego Gronda, Managing and Creative Director of Rockwell Group Europe.
 Explaining Rockwell Group Europe’s design approach, Diego Gronda states: “We are so excited about the opportunity to redesign both the Wasabi restaurant and the Harbour bar in such an iconic hotel. I have always been fascinated by the Indian culture and craftsmanship, both of which were great inspirations for our vision. Our designs will blur the boundaries between modern and traditional to create a sophisticated, cosmopolitan environment.”
Since its opening in 1903, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel has become internationally renowned as one of the premier hotels in India and the world. The original Taj Mahal Palace Hotel was commissioned by the famous Indian industrialist Jamsedji Tata and designed by Indian architects.
According to David Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Rockwell Group Europe to bring their extensive experience and expertise in hospitality design to this magnificent Indian landmark.”
The Harbour Bar’s rich history serves as a point of departure for Rockwell Group Europe’s design inspiration, with echoes of its Art Deco legacy seen in the furniture and finishes. Since receiving the first liquor license in India, the Harbour Bar has played host to decades of high-powered meetings and gatherings. Its historical prestige is manifested in the center bar, a solid carved piece of white marble that denotes the potency of a bygone era but boasts a fresh new face for Mumbai’s new generation of movers and shakers. The back bar is framed in cut glass and provides an inviting light, warmth and glow. The renovation also uncovered two historic windows overlooking the harbour, where Rockwell Group Europe installed a new raised seating area to juxtapose the vivacity of Apollo Bunder Road outside with the intimacy of a classic bar setting. Art continues to be a distinctive and significant feature of the space, with oversized carved wood pieces at the entrance that define the room with elegant appliqué elements.
 Just upstairs from the Harbour Bar is Chef Morimoto’s Wasabi Restaurant. where guests are transported into a ‘magic box’ of red lacquer that wraps all the way from the top of the staircase through the restaurant. Traditional Japanese motifs pervade the space, such as an installation of drifting cherry blossoms behind the host stand, and crafted joinery on the restaurant walls. The focal points of activity are the freestanding sushi counter and teppanyaki kitchen defined by a large art piece by Indian artist Sadanand Shirke. The exquisite private dining room for which Wasabi is renowned now centers on a sculptural round table lit by an overscale custom fixture of hammered metal. Eight guests will be able to take part in this intimate private dining experience complete with a personal chef and exclusive sushi preparation.
Harbour Bar and Wasabi restaurant will both open their doors mid-December 2009


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16 December 2009
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