This heritage restaurant heightens the magic that Lake Pichola endures in Udaipur 

Redesigned by mumbai based designer Noorein Kapoor, the Royalty and elegance reflected from Ambrai’s interior in the placid Lake Pichola can cheer up the most sluggish soul ever existed on earth.

Udaipur has been the place that exudes royalty from every pore, the epicureans feast on picturesque fine dining on the lakeside and chic European-style cafes blending with Rajasthani architecture. Ambrai Restaurant at the Amet Haveli is one of the top restaurants in Udaipur.

The heritage restaurant on the banks of Udaipur’s Lake Pichola is given a stunning makeover by Mumbai-based designer Noorein Kapoor using the contemporary interior palette of local materials with local handicrafts.

The facade of the restaurant is perforated by jharokhas or Gokhras as they are locally known – that overlook the lake, making the outdoors an integral part of the ambience.

Image by KirtiRaj/Chitrologer

According to the designer, “The idea was to bring the character and essence and beauty of Udaipur inside the space.”

The interior design incorporates a diverse range of traditional Rajasthani handicrafts, from mother of pearl inlay, or thikri, on the ceiling above every gokhra, to thapai or stippling on the brass bar counter.

“The rippled effect on the ceiling looks similar to the thikri work on the bar counter,” explains Kapoor, “Thikri would be the classic, old school way of creating that mirrored effect on metal, whereas on the ceiling it’s a more contemporary way of telling the same story.”

At the entrance, an old reception desk from the client’s collection was revived with mother of pearl inlay work, and paired with an antique chair, backgrounded by a stunning Pichwai from The House of Things.

The jharokhas bring a strong Rajasthani accent into the aesthetic, while the central bar counter is more contemporary. Still, the stenciled arches and columns carry a cohesive language throughout that allows the entirety of the restaurant to stand as a single, holistic yet dynamic space.

Image by KirtiRaj/Chitrologer

The flooring earlier was distinguished by geometric interplay of local black and pink marble. A customised lime plaster paint, designed in collaboration with Hyderabad-based wall surface manufacturer SuperSurfaces, echoes the pink tones of local Rajasthani stone.

The interesting thing is that it changes colour throughout the day. During the day it goes from pink to peach, at sunset it’s yellowish-red, and at night. As light falls on it, it glimmers.

Customised dhurries, created in collaboration with Jaipur Rugs, have been installed into the ceiling at either end of the restaurant, fitted with colours and motifs that reference the botanical lake-side landscape.

The furniture pieces are constructed primarily of wood, cane, iron and marble and designed in collaboration with Jodhpur-based company Kerning Krafts.

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