Housed in a former Parisian bistro, the restaurant mixes French and Indian influences for a bright, contemporary space that respects heritage and culture.
By Rachel Gallaher
Jugaad restaurant in Paris. Architectural designer Marine Castanier crafted the interiors, taking inspiration from both classic French eateries and southern Indian aesthetics.
At Jugaad—a jewel-box of a restaurant in Paris’ 2nd arrondissement, just across the Opéra-Comique—customers can choose from three different seating arrangements: a small lounge upstairs, the chef’s tables in front of the kitchen, or a more socially driven space around the bar. Each is meant to evoke a different experience, and each is built with custom furniture designed by architectural designer Marine Castanier (who was in charge of the interiors program for the restaurant) and developed with Kann Design.
Opened over the summer of 2021 by chef Manoj Sharma, who is from New Delhi and steeped in British culture, Jugaad celebrates the culture and cuisine of India, using local ingredients to create dishes with a contemporary twist. This hybrid approach inspired Castanier’s design, which respects the history of the classic French bistro, while also drawing from the palette and aesthetic of hybrid modernism, a style that appeared during the 1950s and 1970s in the design of many cinemas in southern India.
The bistro tables used throughout the space were designed by Anthony Guerrée and crafted by Kann Design.
“My architectural objective was to create a unique and resolutely contemporary place,” Castanier says. “Neither entirely Indian, nor entirely French, which brings together heritage and modernity and which makes the link between Paris and India. It was important to create a place in line with the cuisine offered by chef Manoj Sharma. The challenge was to make these traditional Parisian codes coexist with the ambition of a resolutely contemporary Indian restaurant project.”
Housed in a former Parisian bistro, Jugaad has rich bones and Castanier opted to keep some of the original architectural details including the wood bar, vintage mirrors, and ceiling moldings. Elsewhere, she drew on the bright colors and geometric shapes found in hybrid modernism in a move that gives the space a warm, lived-in feeling but keeps things contemporary with texture, pattern, and décor.
The colors and shapes seen throughout Jugaad were inspired by the hybrid modernism movement. Central to the restraint are two large Tandoor ovens.
“The place had to be inhabited by color,” the designer says. “At Jugaad there is no white, the color is found everywhere from floor to ceiling!” A mix of mossy greens, saffron yellows, deep marine blues, and poppy red work together to create a dynamic space, imbuing the interiors with fresh energy much as Sharma’s food showcases a selection of spices.
Working with Kann Design, Castanier created custom furniture for the space. Paris-based designer Anthony Guerrée was tapped to designed and developed an updated take on the bistro table, called the Toucan table, for the project. These tables dot the room, their dark wood bases and rusty-orange tops falling aptly into the color scheme.
The sophisticated and vibrant interiors of Jugaad.
At the heart of the restaurant is the food, and in homage to the herbs and spices used by Sharma (and the greater genre of Indian cuisine in general) two Tandoor ovens with golden finishes stand in the middle of the room, the rest of the kitchen arranged around their central positioning.
“Eclectic and surprising, Jugaad’s decor plays with graphic daring, the shock of colors, the mix of material effects, between leather, zellige, and black parquet,” Castanier says. “It is a well-mastered explosive cocktail that makes the experience even more joyful.”