Indigo (restaurant)

Coordinates: 18°55′19″N 72°49′55″E / 18.92194°N 72.83194°E / 18.92194; 72.83194
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Indigo (restaurant) is located in Mumbai
Indigo (restaurant)
Location within Mumbai
Restaurant information
EstablishedApril 30, 1999 (24 years ago) (1999-04-30)
Closed29 April 2018 (5 years ago) (2018-04-29)
Head chefRahul Akerkar
Food typeEuropean, Mediterranean
CityMumbai, Maharashtra
Coordinates18°55′19″N 72°49′55″E / 18.92194°N 72.83194°E / 18.92194; 72.83194

Indigo was a restaurant founded by the Indian chef Rahul Akerkar in 1999 in Mumbai, India, which was in a restored colonial bungalow behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.[1] The restaurant gained iconic status as it was one of the first standalone fine-dining restaurants in the country to serve quality European cuisine, while functioning independently outside the luxury hotels industry.[2][3] It is credited with influencing the Indian restaurant industry in the country's post-liberalisation era.[4][5] Food critic Vir Sanghvi called the restaurant "one of the most important establishments in Indian restaurant history".[6] It was included in the top 60 restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.[7][8]

The restaurant closed on 29 April 2018, following the expiration of the property's lease and failed renegotiations.[3][9]

History and significance[edit]

Fig tart at Indigo

Akerkar worked in restaurants in the United States for a decade before returning to India in 1989.[10] He ran two influential eateries, Just Desserts and Under the Over, in the 1990s before founding deGustibus Hospitality and opening Indigo in 1999.[11] At a time when it was difficult to find high quality Continental food outside five-star hotels, the restaurant came to be noted for its innovation in the industry, by relying on carefully sourced ingredients and ever-changing menus.[12] The restaurant often had a waiting list of more than three months and was frequented by noted personalities.[10] The Rolling Stones dined at the restaurant after playing in Mumbai, and the restaurant played host to David Cameron, Salman Rushdie, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie.[13]

In her 2019 book that surveyed the Indian restaurant industry, Business on a Platter: What Makes Restaurants Sizzle or Fizzle Out, food writer Anoothi Vishal wrote: "Indigo...ushered in a new type of restaurant in India. These can be defined as experiential restaurants, where a younger lot of diners went not just to satisfy a basic need for food, but to meet an aspiration for a certain lifestyle the restaurant symbolized."[14]


The lease of the colonial bungalow, where the restaurant was housed, expired in April 2018. After the extension negotiations with the landlord failed, the holding company, deGustibus, decided to close the restaurant, and the last customers were served on 29 April, 2018.[15]


  1. ^ Garfinkel, Perry (24 November 2011). "An Indian Chef Questions Whether 'Indian' Food Exists" – via; "A plateful of problems". 30 September 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Mumbai: Colaba's iconic eatery Indigo to shut down on April 30". Free Press Journal.; "Chef Rahul Akerkar and investor deGustibus go their separate ways: Sources - The Economic Times". 4 March 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Mumbai: Colaba's iconic fine-dine restaurant Indigo to shut down on April 30 - news". 21 April 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  4. ^ Vishal 2019, p. 34.
  5. ^ Vishal, Anoothi (13 September 2019a). "Ritu Dalmia: Conquering Italy with kadhi" – via
  6. ^ "Rude food by Vir Sanghvi: The new wave of restaurants - brunch columns". Hindustan Times. 6 July 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  7. ^ Lyons 2010, p. 186: "Indigo's chef, Rahul Akerkar, is a superstar throughout India and beyond. In his kitchen, amid the pots and pans, hang the many awards he's been given over the years by international food critics and publications, among them Conde Nast Traveler, who named Indigo as one of the 60 finest restaurants in the world."
  8. ^ Sudha Menon (7 November 2007). "Indigo's Akerkar talking to VCs, others to raise Rs20 cr". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Restaurant Man: AD Singh talks about 25 years in the industry, plans to expand overseas - more lifestyle". Hindustan Times. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Food, love and 15 years of Indigo". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Qualia is all you'd expect from the original masterchef, says Kunal Vijayakar - mumbai news". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 24 May 2020.; Prerna Makhija. "Q&A: Rahul Akerkar". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Chef Rahul Akerkar Looks Back On The Milestones That Made Him A Household Name | Verve Magazine". Verve (Indian magazine). 24 July 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Indigo turns 15: Founder Rahul Akerkar on the journey so far - The Economic Times". 23 April 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2020.; "It's been a decade of fun: Akerkars'". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  14. ^ Vishal 2019, p. 79.
  15. ^ "Chef Rahul Akerkar: How I started all over again". 7 June 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2020.


  • Lyons, Nan (2010). Around the World in Eighty Meals. Red Rock Press. ISBN 9781933176444.
  • Vishal, Anoothi (2019). Business on a Platter: What Makes Restaurants Sizzle or Fizzle Out. Hachette UK. ISBN 9789350095911.

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