Smaller towns in India till date enjoy a thriving street food culture. Nondescript stalls and eateries serving up the best local delicacies for a reasonable price, families all dressed up savouring their favourite roadside snacks and students out for their after-tuition binge are normal sights to be seen every single day. Thus, cafe or restaurant culture especially the ones that are different or themed still largely remain a niche affair in these areas. Here, most restaurants remain basic in ambiance and do not experiment too much with food. But the times are changing and so is the culinary landscape of small towns. And perhaps the pioneer of this is Kanpur’s new quirky, Wes Anderson-esque modern restaurant - The Feast India Company’s Pink Zebra.
Think bold pink hues, punched with daunting black and white stripes that run along the ceiling, walls and floors, a style drawn from the owner’s love for Wes Anderson’s films. Designed by Renesa Architects inside one of the oldest buildings of Kanpur, they have merged the funk into details to create a visually stimulating environment that takes the diners into a whole new world. The name ‘The Pink Zebra’ plays upon the imagery of a zebra being dipped into a deep pink sea. The terrace has a very relaxed casual vibe whereas the dining room bears wacky graffiti of India’s Colonial Times that tells a story.
The Pink Zebra is a take on the bygone extravagance of the European grandeur during the 19th century British Raj in the city of Kanpur. The clients needed something that was never seen in the city, to catch the attention of the audience by making an immediate impact,” Sanchit Arora, Head Architect at Renesa Architecture Design Interiors Studio told Lonely Planet Travel News.
The city of Kanpur for a long time has managed to excite foodies from across the country. Be it drooling over authentic Awadhi food at hole-in-the-wall eateries of Chaman Ganj, savouring the variety of chaats at Birhana Road or brushing shoulders with Kanpur’s elite at the posh Italian Restaurant, Status Club; the list of gastronomical delights at the Manchester Of The East remains endless. The Feast Company with it’s ‘progressive modern food’ and tropical cocktails to match the vibe of the place is just another feather in their cap.
On their Instagram page, Renesa Architecture says that the purpose of making “The Pink Zebra” was to speak of a complex and contradictory architecture based on the richness and ambiguity of old and modern experience including that very experience which is inherent in art. The core idea was to create a hybrid rather than pure, compromising rather than clean and leave the visitor hanging in the middle of an artistic sea.
All Photographs by Saurabh Suryan , Lokesh Dang/ ArchDaily
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