The Venue Dubai’s high-rise community Barsha Heights (formerly Tecom) is feeling the benefits of its facelift, enticing cooler eateries and contemporary bars to open their doors there. Pan-Asian restaurant and bar Hitchki, designed by Mumbai-based interior designer Shweta Kaushik, takes up a cosy corner of Grand Millennium hotel, and invites guests to dine in a colourful, velvet upholstered living room scene, with jewel tones, spice pops and quirky curios that spark conversation.

The Design Beyond the warm glow of the bar, the restaurant draws you into the comfy, eclectic “home” of a well-travelled Indian, a purveyor of vintage finds collected from all over the world, artfully displayed on old-fashioned “drawing room” shelves and modern marble and brass side tables. Mixed with vintage pieces like gramophones and old telephones, perhaps handed down from older generations, there is a sense of nostalgia and a yearning for the simpler, bygone days of communication and entertainment before the digital boom. While the dining area features clusters of brass-framed mid-century-modern chairs upholstered in tones of saffron and paprika, the space has a sense of the familial, as if you’ve stepped into someone’s plush living room. The windows are draped in elegant gold tasselled curtains, mahogany book cases are stacked with leather-bound books and global souvenirs, and deep, tufted sofas in canary yellow and emerald sit with their arms wide open, set against statement teal walls. While the bright palette draws upon the myriad colours Indian is noted for, the panels of lustrous peacock wallpaper framed by the recessed wall mouldings pay homage to the country’s national bird and adds further drama to the vintage sconces and vibrant walls. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the toffee-orange checkerboard marble flooring looks dated as it’s inspired by old Indian havelis, steeped in history, and highlights Hitchki’s nostalgic design concept. In the bar, the warmth of the bronzy-orange flooring is reflected in the sleek mirrored counter, creating a cosy glow, further accentuated by the mahogany wood panels and the ceiling of bare bulbs, hanging like a galaxy of yellow stars.

The Experience Each fusion dish comes with a story of culinary heritage from various parts of India, taking natives down memory lane, and they are artfully displayed to entice Instagrammers. How can you resist snapping butter chicken bao buns swaying on a mini wooden swing? Despite its bold colours and rich design story, Hitchki is delightfully unpretentious and the perfect eatery for smart-casual diners who want to savour traditional Indian cuisine with a modern twist.

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