Aamir Ahmad, Sean Galligan and David Garrett – co-founders of award-winning contemporary furniture retailer Dwell – have made their debut in the restaurant sector with the launch of Indian restaurant, Zumbura. Not only this, but they took on its design themselves …
The opening of this authentic Indian eatery not only marks an exciting change of direction for Aamir Ahmad – who sold Dwell in early 2013, having grown it from a start-up to a £40m empire over the space of a decade – but it also marks the fulfilment of Aamir’s lifelong dream: to recreate the home cooking of his childhood within a restaurant setting.
Intent on bringing something entirely unique to the market, these three highly-succesful entrepreneurs have created a quirky, yet sophisticated 45-cover restaurant in Clapham Old Town, serving up a range of unusual home-style dishes inspired by the traditional cuisine of the Purab region, North India.
“Indian restaurants tend to be lacking in both interior design and quality of food,” says Aamir. “Our challenge was to create a great space that reflected our food, which is delicious simple home-style regional dishes served in a beautiful manner.”
Perhaps the greatest challenge from a design perspective was the compact nature of the restaurant, which necessitated an imaginative and practical layout.
“Space was a great challenge as the restaurant is so small,” says Aamir. “Hence our bar top is a working surface as well as a dining area.
“Every element had to be functional and beautiful. We have no space to hide anything, so all the small elements – from how we store empty bottles to how we hang coats, had to be thought through to look great.”
For a relatively small space, Zumbura nevertheless packs in the character, with artfully selected furnishings and bursts of vibrant colour.
“I wanted to create a space that was relaxed but sophisticated,” Aamir explains. “We have tried to be quite eclectic with a mixture of materials and colours. Lighting was particularly important, as was the length of the bar to help lengthen the restaurant and to break the space up.”
Fit to burst with personality, Zumbura’s interior channels all the passion and warmth of the unique menu and the talented team behind it.