As you enter the premises, you will be instantly mesmerized by the magnificent sight of charming flowers and beautiful backdrops. When you walk through the door, you are welcomed by the fresh aroma of coffee beans, friendly laughter and soft music. Sitting at any table, you can have a wonderful view of extravagant chandeliers and groovy neon signs on walls - a delightful marriage of soft colours, warm coziness and edgy modernity.
O’Play, an Italian bistro and a café situated in the heart of Gulshan 2 Dhaka, is the brainchild of four exceptionally hard-working women who are also dedicated mothers. Their dire need for a pleasant restaurant with enjoyable food and fun play zone brought O’Play to life. Close friends turned business partners consist of - Samira Mussabbir (former accountant), Azrin Alom (managing director of clothing store Scicosso), Navin Ahmed (owner of GALA Makeover Studio & Salon) and Sausan Khan Moyeen (founder of Enchanted Events and Prints). Each lady equipped with her level of expertise wanted to create an amusing and friendly environment where families can unwind.
Navin Ahmed shares, “More often than not parents get stuck with dull places or terrible food when they choose to visit a kid-friendly place. There aren’t many kid-friendly places in Dhaka in the first place! We wanted a site where parents or anyone can drop by, grab a bite and feel exquisite! Our bistro might look like a fine dining ensemble, we made it very Instagram-able on purpose, but we have kept all the prices on our menu quite reasonable. We chose Italian cuisine because it is loved by both kids and adults. We have also given a lot of attention to the freshly brewed coffee available in our café corner.”
The menu offers a wide variety of mouth-watering Italian dishes such as pizzas and pastas along with mains (lamb, fish and chicken) and a yummy kid’s menu. O’Play serves remarkable coffee for relaxed dine-ins and quick takeaways for people on-the-go. The fresh juices and milkshakes come in cute jars and currently the delicious tiramisu is the only dessert on the menu. There are also special desserts available at the coffee counter and the sweet items vary every day. The staff are always cordial and on their toes when it comes to taking orders or cleaning up after customers. Samira Mussabbir mentions, “There will be more additions and subtractions in the menu along the way. We launched O’Play very recently and we’re still learning the do’s and don’ts of food management in the kitchen as well as our service. We are looking forward to more valuable feedbacks from our lovely customers.”
Sausan Khan Moyeen and Azrin Alom, both coming from an architectural background, designed and looked after every outstanding detail of O’Play. “We focused on the unique feature and relevance of ergonomics and integrated that into the design of O’Play. Every furniture, wall piece and cutlery for the bistro were either handpicked or custom-made. All the children’s rides in the play zone have been personally tried and tested for safety and durability by Azrin and I,” says Sausan, “We wanted the interior of O’Play to exude the feeling of comfort and opulence at the same time.”
Navin adds,“It took us a year to find a desirable location with a lawn because we want all the children to experience the excitement of being outdoors as well. Once we found the coveted place, it took us around five months to create our vision. This abode is from the 60s, so it gives a very homely feeling as well.”
If the mesmerizing décor is an eye candy for grown-ups, the play zone is the soul food for kids. The play area above the bistro is equipped with an immaculate library, cushioned balcony overlooking the lawn, a ball pool with slides, an indoor jungle gym, an outdoor sand pit and many more kiddy rides for children below the age of 10. The flashy arcade is an attraction for older kids and parents can be seen playing along with children! The play zone is accessible for a small fee on an hourly basis. There is also a picturesque room for breastfeeding mommies equipped with a diaper changing counter and washroom. The children are under constant supervision of O’Play appointed nannies and the area is monitored by CCTV for safety. All children are required to wear socks for hygienic purpose or disposable feet nets are provided. The founders have made sure that their bistro has all the facilities for children to be comfortable upstairs, so the parents can have a romantic dinner downstairs.
O’Play is also available for booking for children’s birthday parties or hosting tea parties. The in-house designers can bring any theme to life with their astonishing creativity. Launched in mid-April followed by a gorgeous celebration, the new establishment is off to a fantastic start and bringing in more fun in family time!
Photos: Collected from O’Play Facebook Page