The heritage pathways and the golden sands of the Juhu locality have been no stranger to some of the most memorable moments and spots that give this beloved uber-cool suburb its legacy reputation. The brand new up-and-coming and one-of-a-kind casual dining and bar space called ‘One8 Commune’ is all set to open its doors for its patrons, but make no mistake, this is not just your regular restaurant, but a place that makes you feel a sense of belonging to a community.
Every one8 Commune property is designed specifically for its context… the city, the surroundings, the people. That being said, the restaurant is homage to the late Kishore Kumar. Located at his old house, it celebrates the pluralism and humanism that being in the “commune” implies. It’s a space for everyone, to relax, chill, hang out and just unwind, and is literally designed with a “homely” yet elegant social vibe. It is helmed by the former captain of the Indian Cricket team Virat Kohli. The hint is in the name! He was aptly inspired to take up this flawless project after his years of touring, where he discovered that dining meant a million things to a million people, but the larger part of the experience consisted of “going out”.
Commenting on the reason behind choosing Juhu as the location for his dream venture, Virat Kohli says, “Nobody can offer much to Juhu that Juhu is lacking in, it doesn’t. It has a beautiful and unique identity that I adore. It’s why I chose to live there as well. Launching One8 Commune in Juhu can be best said as a missing niche moving into Juhu and making friends. That’s the real nature of One8 Commune coming to Juhu.”
As the name implies, One8 Commune is all about community- a community that is ready to appreciate, welcome, and stand by humanism, a tribute to the human spirit and its resilience while also finding its excellence. Doing justice to the fact that Mumbai comes from a uniquely diverse architectural and urban design language, One8 Commune focuses on a singular aura of togetherness. This led to a design that kept the space fluid and free-spirited in its feel and invokes nostalgia, creativity, and inspiration.
Add to this the fact that the property is itself located in Juhu, the heart of a dynamic neighbourhood which is always looking for the next happening place. The intent, therefore, is to remain relevant by encompassing the entire spectrum of what it means to be “happening”, through the day and into the night. It also brings calmness to the experience by using a generosity of space, and a conscious choice to not have rigid visuals, physical space dividers and obstacles, and in turn bringing the feeling of being connected to one’s surroundings, allowing for visual and emotional interaction and interplay of inside-outside areas for both contemplation and inspiration.
All this in a space that’s as “organic” or as dynamic as its surroundings, changing through the day from people sitting with friends for a brunch, to a pitstop for coffee on the way back from the beach, to the cozy neighbourhood establishment – especially since Juhu seems to create an ambience that’s conducive to walking around and exploring – and as the night progresses, to a great dining and drinks venue, and a lively nightlife destination.
Commenting on the inspiration behind the name ‘One8 Commune,’ Vartik Tihara, Co-founder, of True Palate Pvt. Ltd. commented, “The whole idea was about creating a comfortable space to bring together friends of different communities and age groups- all under one roof. Along with this, it also needed to do justice to arguably India’s most dynamic and thriving cosmopolitan crowd, openly accepting people and varied cultures. We wanted to create a space that is fluid and free-spirited, one that instantly creates a sense of belongingness and lasting memories.”
One8 Commune’s kitchen unveils a memorable feast of global cuisines, all created with passion, refinement, and precision. At the helm of all these culinary affairs is Corporate Chef – PawanBisht. With an experience of over 12 years, he has whipped up some authentic dishes full of flavours and packed with versatility and innovation. The One8 Commune kitchens chose to bring to Juhu, something that one would usually turn to Bandra for; a highly designed venue with a globally recognizable menu, focusing on light and healthy food with eclectic yet subtle experimentation of “comfort classics” and light cooks that retain their original flavour giving a few favourites to every kind of palate along with a focus on as-fresh-as-possible organic produce.
The menu is pleasantly vegetarian friendly; loaded with cult snacks, and leans towards both old favourites and our variations to them while also retaining a promise of refinement in plates inspired by global tastebuds. It is democratic to a larger than the normal variety, as with Juhu itself. It caters to all the flavours, preferences, and demands of Mumbai’s always-fascinated tastebuds. It specializes in delicious food featuring fresh ingredients such as Poke Bowls, Taro Leaf Wadi, Cottage cheese steak with fennel stew, and Maharashtrian lamb curry, spices of which have been sourced from the native of Kolhapur, Bhavnagri Mirchi sourced from Gujarat, and the pickle from Nepal. These exquisite ingredients have been gathered to cater to all communities. They are procured organically and effortlessly made with a perfect combination.
Whether you’re ordering a multi-course meal or grabbing a drink and some Buffalo Wings, One8 Commune’s lively, casual yet upscale atmosphere makes it perfect for dining with your loved ones. In a way, one could call it an ideal go-to spot that is unique, throughout the day and adheres to its multitude of moods.
Talking about the menu and gearing up for the big launch of One8 Commune, Chef Pawan Bisht commented, “The destination of one8 Commune is sitting on the property of a man that admired world culture and arts. As a tribute, it’s only fitting we offer the world’s cuisines from behind the doors of our kitchens.”
Talking about his favourite dishes and the avant-garde menu, Virat Kohli comments “Our main focus was to experiment with all sorts of greens & grains and turn them into dishes that are not only healthy and light but also packed with bold flavours. So at the commune, we wanted to push the concept of “good for the soul” cooking, to focus on something that’s not just more wholesome in nature but serves a gourmet experience. You’ll find the menu pleasantly vegetarian-friendly – retaining a promise of refinement in plates inspired by global tastebuds.
One8 Commune has a section on the menu called ‘Virat’sFavourites,’ which includes top picks from the menu like the newly added Pearl Barley Risotto to the old favourite SuperfoodSalad. It is light and has a touch of Virat’s preferences. Avocado Tartar, is also something you don’t want to miss, consisting of sliced avocado topped with tempura avocado, sweet corn sriracha mayonnaise, scallion, and ponzu soy. Mushroom Googly Dimsums made with assorted wild mushrooms, cream cheese, vegetarian broth, and truffle oil; and Pearl Barley Risotto, made with mushroom pate, truffle oil, parmesan, baby cress, and fresh herbs also make it to the list.
“If I were to pick one dish from the One8 Commune Juhu menu, it is Avocado Tartare. I remember the first time I tasted it. I specifically asked our chef to set aside a portion to take home with me. It is really THAT good,” quoted Virat.
Complementing the elaborate food menu, the beverage program, especially curated by Beverage Manager, Saurav Samanta is a modern reincarnation of exquisitely crafted cocktails, inspired to help drinkers discover multi-dimensional cocktails from the bold down to the subtle. One8 Commune has created a well-balanced mix of new experimental creations like Deconstructed Picante, which is more like a liquid appetizer. They are deconstructed in a manner that taps into different umami that elevates your experience and White Chocolate Punch, an in-house special with earthy, grape, and smooth white chocolate flavours.
At One8 Commune, special attention is paid to the presentation of each cocktail, by mixing and matching contemporary with a touch of elegance backed up by loads of fun and remarkable experience. Along with that, a light bar snacks menu is available throughout the day, adding the perfect cherry on top and making this bar “noon to moon” venue. Informal but elevated, One8 Commune strives to serve the best kind of experience and add the perfect wow factor to every lovingly mixed drink, shaken, or poured.
Looks like you can expect nothing short of a spectacular dining experience by day and a modern, varied, and constantly evolving dinner affair with the most sought-after food and drink pairings – something that this sophisticated restaurant prides itself on having mastered. I don’t know about you but I am booking my table to order from Virat’s Favourites.
P.S – To eat here comes with a caveat – know that you have to save room for pudding!