We know for a fact that the food will be fresh, presented with excellence on a custom made platter, the service will be swift and the ambience would be refreshing, every time we step inside Gaia and place our order.And that said, we also know for a fact that it’s just not the food or the service that makes us go back for more. It’s the whole atmosphere, which is contributed by the stunning artwork and artistic décor lining the walls and holding their corners.To be specific, the first thing anyone notices on entering the premises is the enormous colourful painting of a Japanese person, who has her eyes shut with splashes of red, peach, green and black paint covering it. The image is stunning and speaks volumes of the creative minds behind this venture. Good food or bad, it is indeed like they say, the first impression is the last, and so the inside premises reach inside your soul and bring out the art lover in you. One look at the iconic Japanese person portrait, and you know your appetite is in good hands.The portrait is surrounded by hanging dim bulbs and I love the subtlety it manages to create. There’s a miniature piece of Australian abstract artist Marion Parker’s work called the Sakura Tree. It’s a black, red, yellow, pink and brown portrait, which depicts a tree, in its full bloom.Owing to its growing clientele, Gaia has recently opened its basement for dine in, and so one gets to see more artwork and distinct décor covering its area. Another noteworthy painting is that of a woman with a huge auburn bob cut, with a bust. She wears noticeably heavy makeup and just the simplicity of the portrait makes you appreciate it at length.However, the one artwork that actually made me leave my seat and take a picture of it for keepsakes was that of painted blue roses, placed in tube vases and set in a white frame. They have a beautiful shiny blue shade and seem like something straight out from Alice In Wonderland. They are placed right next to the Gaia bar, which itself is illuminated by a flashy royal blue light with statement hanging lights. Right opposite the bar, there’s a huge round mirror with a striking golden frame, with a luxurious appeal and a distinct presence.So while you await your Rock Salt Edamame starter, along with your Tropical Cooler to wash it down with, do also check out a unique structure, that seems like a fountain from afar, but when you get closer you’ll notice four marble slaps, overlapping each other, with a golden dish that carries more marbles along with a flame in between them. This artistic structure is complete with dimly lit hanging bulbs in stunning casing.“Most of the artwork and décor is from Kit & Kaboodle, whereas the customised platters we get from Clayworks,” Asim Malik of Gaia tells me. “The basement lounges you see right here are a perfect place for private events, committee parties, corporate dinners, birthday bashes, engagement functions and what not,” Asim Malik adds.I start with the Prawn Greek Salad, which stands out for me for its freshly sliced tomatoes, olives, cucumber, prawns, feta and oregano mixed together in a bowl, with its lemon and oil garnishing doing most of the talking. However, the USP of the salad is its spicy sauce! I wash it down with the ever-refreshing Strawberry Cooler.The first thing anyone notices on entering the premises is an enormous and colourful painting of a person who has her eyes shut and her face covered with splashes of red, peach, green and black colour. The image is stunning and speaks volumes of the creative minds behind the ventureThe Gaia Maki, priced at Rs 1,600 is the highlight of my food tasting. It’s rich in prawn tempura, a creamy, spicy sauce, salmon and tobiko. I finished the rich helping pretty fast for my record and immediately wanted more.The Teriyaki Glazed Tofu is another delicacy that you can order with the Gaia Maki and satiate your taste buds with the rich flavour that it offers.The Baramundi Risotto and the Udon with Shrimp & Lobster are equally appetising if not more and I cannot wait to go back for more.The Mille-Feuille (thousand leaf) is the newest addition to their Desserts menu. It is made up of three layers of puff pastry, alternating with two layers of pastry cream. The top pastry layer is dusted with sugar, cocoa and pastry crumbs. The top is glazed with icing in alternating white and brown stripes, and combed. It was the first time I was ever trying out the Mille Feuille and simply loved it.Bon appetit! All these delicacies with iconic art lining the walls, Gaia is a sure-shot heaven on Earth! The writer is In-charge Lifestyle at Daily Times. She Tweets at @cheenaagha and can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, October 10th 2017.