The 150-seater space features a mix of long communal tables, plush sofas, an island bar and two intimate private dining spaces—The Eliot Room and The Jade Room
The expansive two-storey space, spread over 6,000 sq ft has been a passion project in the making for co-founders, Pawan Shahri, Dhaval Udeshi and Nikita Harisinghani in partnership with Afsana Verma. Photo Courtesy: Gigi
Gigi, a new cocktail bar and restaurant opens in Bandra by the folks behind Chrome Asia Hospitality. It blends Japanese and European culinary influences, seamlessly translating from the food to craft concoctions and even the interiors that reflect a relaxed lounge-like setting. The expansive two-storey space, spread over 6,000 sq ft has been a passion project in the making for co-founders, Pawan Shahri, Dhaval Udeshi and Nikita Harisinghani in partnership with Afsana Verma.
The ground floor features vintage accents, exposed brick walls framed by gilded mirrors and a retail wall housing a changing list of homegrown labels. A sweeping wooden staircase illuminated by hundreds of flickering candles leads you upstairs, where you’re ushered into a different era that exudes refined but relaxed luxury. Here, conversations and cocktails are meant to be easygoing and free-flowing. The 150-seater space features a mix of long communal tables, plush sofas, an island bar and two intimate private dining spaces—The Eliot Room and The Jade Room. Wooden accents, patterned floors, lime-washed walls, tasseled fabric lamps, velvet furniture, and a curation of knick-knacks and ceramics come together for a cozy setting that blends vintage charm with modern sophistication.
The large island bar is a focal point—a perfect spot for patrons to unwind and share a drink or two. There is also a smaller cocktail and coffee bar, where you’re encouraged to make your own DIY cocktails. Inspired by the four seasons, this bar will spotlight one particular spirit each season, starting with a tequila bar and then showcasing others such as the Indian craft alcohol revolution, a rum bar and a whisky vault. This space will also play host to bar takeovers and collaborations.
Designed by Nikita Shahri, co-founder of Chrome Asia Hospitality, Gigi is the first full-fledged design project undertaken by her for the firm. Speaking about Gigi’s design narrative, Shahri says that they spent time scouring antique markets, old warehouses and even collaborated with collectors. “While searching for vintage chandeliers and lighting fixtures, we stumbled upon hidden gems that had been tucked away in forgotten corners of old buildings. We collaborated with local artists and designers who contributed some unique, handcrafted pieces that have enriched the overall design,” says Shahri.
The kitchen and mixology at Gigi are both headed by a women-led team with chef Beena Noronha curating the menu and Fae Baretto helming the bar programme. Indulge your taste buds in delectable cuisine, with a convergence of European and Japanese flavours, from handcrafted sushi rolls and Japanese-style pizzas, to artisanal charcuterie boards to elegantly-plated pasta and fiery ramen. There is a strong emphasis on using the freshest local produce, seasonal seafood and exquisite cheeses from around the world, as well as local, homegrown brands—be it a delicate lavender and ricotta cheese from Southern India or the freshest burrata in Mumbai.
Some signature dishes include Aviator Salad, Tropical Ceviche, Ramen Lasagna, Japanese Ahi Tuna Nachos, Beetroot carpaccio featuring golden beetroot, and Purple Potato Gnocchi. Chef Beena Noronha takes an ingredient-forward approach with each dish, bringing her signature flair for flavour combinations such as using wasabi cream for a classic risotto, a miso-infused beurre blanc, and matcha-inspired flavours for the desserts. For a truly sweet finish to the meal, indulge in Tres Leches with a twist, soaked in guava cream and passionfruit, Japanese Black Rice Pudding with Thai Mango, Baked Alaska that’s flambéed tableside and a selection of Asian-inspired ice creams.
The cocktail programme
Drawing inspiration from different eras, be it pre-dawn and punch cocktails dating back to the 16th century to the Prohibition Era, Golden Age cocktails, the speakeasy culture, cocktail revival and rediscovery to molecular mixology, along with a section dedicated to the Japanese cocktail revolution—Gigi’s cocktail program is truly unique. The menu features eclectic libations from signatures like clarified Bloody Mary infused with an in-house miso syrup, clarified Piña Colada with lemongrass, white rum, and homemade pandan syrup as well as a Spicy Margarita featuring jalapeno and oleander shrub with celery oil, tipples like Butter-washed Whisky Sour, negroni with umeshu and absinthe, and an extensive selection of wine cocktails. A surefire hit is the Rosé wine cocktail infused with homemade vanilla soda and rhubarb syrup.
There is a concerted effort to make everything from scratch, including the in-house sodas with unique Asian-inspired flavors such as tom yum or sancha tea soda, as well as syrups made with natural sweeteners like cherry blossom or Thai basil syrup, right down to the tinctures and bitters. Teetotallers can indulge in a range of handcrafted concoctions as well.
A lot of inspiration and thought has gone into making Gigi stand out from the crowd. The design is timeless yet elegant, telling a story and allowing guests to truly immerse themselves in the relaxed but luxurious setting. It’s apt for catching up over drinks, coffee or simply savoring a unique concoction of flavors drawing from the East and the West. With a warm ambiance, thoughtful menu, and eclectic vibe, Gigi, the new cocktail bar and restaurant opens in Bandra in style.