Interior designer and founder of A Square Designs, Ajay Arya, has designed a restaurant Jalsa in Kolkata with an innovative twist.
Established in 1999, A square designs specializes in interiors for residential and commercial spaces. Founder Ajay Arya has conjured up delightfully modern and contemporary interiors for various properties. Transforming urban spaces into visually stunning creations has been his forte. Creative by nature and an interior design consultant by profession, Ajay have an unparalleled passion for creating space perfection.
A restaurant dedicated to modern Indian cuisine that is rooted in ancient recipes with an innovative twist, Jalsa, Kolkata, boasts interiors that extol its unique philosophy, as well as the majestic architecture of the building it is located in. Ajay Arya of A Square Designs, the designer, conjures spaces that magically transport the patrons to a distant era, yet sport contemporariness. The colonial time structure located in the heart of the city on Ho Chi Minh Sarani, opposite the American Consulate, features exquisite architecture with high ceilings of up to 16 ft, arched windows and some quaint details. As you step into the restaurant co-owned by Harsh Sonthalia, Apurva Salarpuria and Aman Chitlangia, an old-world charm laced with glamour envelops you.
Ajay Arya fuses the old with new, classic with contemporary to achieve vibrant and timeless spaces that become unique venues for an elegant dining in, or celebrating special moments or simply creating ever-lasting memories.
The restaurant features three parts – a central main dining hall for everyday dining, a private dining area with an intimate atmosphere, and an events and party space complete with live cooking, buffet station, lounge, etc, that is set aside for celebrating special occasions.
While a common thread of rich classic-contemporary style runs through the restaurant, the three separate areas receive distinctive treatment.
Just like the cuisine it offers, the restaurant interiors create a nostalgic world of art and design that take you straight to royal dining rooms. The designer enunciates a regal atmosphere using hand-painting techniques, old lead work on glass used in the churches of yore, and a captivating colour palette.
The narrow entryway incites much enigma and interest with its walls painted in a deep red shade, a black-and-white striped flooring and concealed lighting.
The concept of Jalsa is inspired by the urban woman who has her feet firmly planted in tradition, yet is modern, with an independent mind and loves to celebrate. A seven-ft painting of a woman on the wall behind the 27-ft-long bar in the central dining hall aptly personifies this idea. The adjacent wall is decorated with paintings of women in various moods. The wall opposite is hand-painted to depict imagery of royal architecture featuring arches bringing about an other-worldly grace to the space. The dazzling chandeliers add a hint of opulence.
A striking black-and-white ceramic flooring is common to all areas, laid out in different patterns in different spaces, and evoke an unmistakable glamour. In the long central dining hall, they sport an intricate pattern. The metal screens in gold finish too reinforce the theme of arches. Custom-made vintage seating adds to the mood of the environment.
The design of the private dining room further accentuates the arches. An old door, hand-painted by a local Kolkata artist, enhances the theme on one wall, while a series of small arches, like ‘aalas’, in pastels repeat the pattern. Old arched windows are given a face-lift with hand-painted patterns that resemble the black lead work done on glass in old churches.
The cushions in rich fabrics and vibrant florals add just the right dose of exuberance.
The event venue for private parties features lounge-like seating and high tables. It’s a warm space with walls covered in wood and decorated with moldings. The chevron black-and-white flooring and stained glass effect details on the windows create an alluring environment.
The interiors, along with the cuisine, make dining and entertaining a magical experience.