MAAI- The new restaurant in Goa is designed to spice up the Portuguese minimalism

As Goa’s heritage homes in the Mormugao-Vasco belt are in the ill state of repair but traditional beach shacks continue to draw visitors, Maai in Goa, designed by Ashish Kambli, Founder of The Architect’s Office is a stunning example of creating a dream decor by refurbishing an old bungalow with its historic heritage and Portuguese-inspired design.

Apart from its artisanal flavors now you have another reason to visit Goa, as MAAI is set to charm with its food & beverage inspired by the soul of the state.

Standing tall in the clammy lanes of Assagao, MAAI promises to wow you with its Portuguese minimalism yet enigmatic and enticing décor, the food and beverage, and overall ambiance which will leave you wanting more.

Maai meaning motherland is inspired by the artisanal flavors of the motherland and its menu – a delectable mix of the Goan and Portuguese flavors on a plate reflect the same.

Mormugao-Vasco belt run the risk of tumbling down due to the freight trains in the area–the which shudder pass the foundation of heritage homes and refurbishing them anew is indeed the need of the hour,in this context that Maai, a new restaurant in Assagao, might perhaps do what only a few restaurants manage—honour memories.

As per the designer, the concept behind Maai was created specially owing to its location. The team restored the old villa, from the walls to the antique furniture, and from it reignited the taste of Portuguese heritage. With the goal of complementing the old Goan Portuguese house, they worked on a cuisine based on Portuguese expeditions around the world. 

The space is divided into five zones: the exterior has the bar and casual dining, while the interior has the main dining area, a roastery, and private dining.

The outdoor furniture was created by skilled locals to maintain the homeliness inside. The combination of lounge and dining seating created a minimalist yet elevated traditional atmosphere.The trellis framework design, carved as a modern-day pergola in timber, lends a sense of scale to the outdoors.

An amazing island-bar presence becomes the exterior, using traditional materials such as terracotta and local timber that lend an inviting yet unobtrusive element to the existing structure.

The designer simply wanted to retain and explore what was existing—from up-cycling old antique dressing tables and reusing them as desks and even side stations, to further refurbishing and re-upholstering the existing chairs and couch without stealing the grandeur  of a time gone by.


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