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Dhaka Tribune

Zephyr: Another restaurant for the instagram generation?

While the place is gorgeous, will the food hold up?

Update : 15 Sep 2022, 05:46 PM

Tucked away on top of a commercial building, Zephyr like its name suggests is like a gentle summer breeze in the middle of bustling Banani.

While that part of Dhaka has many instagrammable places to offer, this new kid on the block has been gaining a following in social media for their ambiance and food.

Whether you are looking for a nice place for date night or a quiet place to catch up with friends, Zephyr seems to be where the young are all flocking to for a quick bite and a cup of coffee.

Ambience

As you step out of the elevator on the rooftop of Catharsis Tower, you are greeted by wrought iron and a wooden dome. The feature instantly puts you at ease along with planter walls, adding a much needed greenery to the concrete jungle of Banani.

They also have an outside dining area, in keeping the green theme, full of wall planters.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The word “zephyr” refers to a breeze, which is an ode to the unique ambience of the nascent restaurant, according to the marketing director Muhammad Amir Abdullah.

The mellow lights on the ceiling help to emphasize the forest-like structure and the shades of greenery.

The strong green and brown luminance gives you the sense of taking a stroll through a mystical forest.

The booth, chairs and tables contain specific shades of wood emulating trees, further adding to the overall atmosphere of the restaurant.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Food

Their menu offers a variety of fusion dishes, consisting of scrumptious continental delicacies.

Their soup selection included a bowl of tomato-based minestrone soup that had aromatic vegetables, chicken, and fresh broccoli.

The broth was rich and tangy, winning your tastebuds over with every spoonful.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Their starters included club sandwiches, where the smell of the fresh mix of capsicum, tomato, jalapéno, and cheddar cheese will make you want to dig right in.

The enormous portion of each individual sandwich will catch you off-guard.

While you appreciate the actual taste of the variety of spread on the sandwich that also includes eggs, gherkins, and the extraordinary house-made silky coleslaw, the enormous size of these, is a challenge when trying to take a bite, but it’s worth it.

Then there was the signature open-house chicken panini that had capsicum, jalapéno, and thinly diced chickens generously stuffed in their house-made panini bread.

The flaky bread instantly reminds you of a home-made pizza.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Although the crust is a little too hard, the fillings are as good as expected.

Their Chicken Nachos have sweet and sour chicken, fresh toppings of tomato, jalapéno, capsicum, and a delectable melted queso dip drizzled atop the crunchy tortilla chips, served with a tangy Mexican salsa, which is a mix of fresh vegetables, and pungent chilies.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The sweet from the Nachos is complemented by the spicy salsa that cuts right through the sweetness and leaves you wanting for more.

Amongst their classic mains awaited a continental staple, grilled prawns.

This plate includes large king prawns, buttery mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables, and a tangy lemon butter sauce.

The first sight of the prawns will make you smile from ear to ear, but after the first unsatisfying and overcooked and chewy bite, you realize that the sides for this dish are quite necessary to minimize the bland flavour.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables and butter sauce work its magic by adding the much required texture to the protein, and are the actual stars of the dish.

Although the big dollop of mashed potatoes was oversized and took up a large amount of space, its well-seasoned taste makes up for the unconventional plating.

Then there was the grilled chicken with mushroom sauce.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The sauce itself is thick in consistency and makes you relish the Umami taste.

However the humble protein is sidelined yet again making you wish they retained the flavour of the actual chicken.

Unfortunately, the mains were a letdown, while the starters were pretty good.

The magic galaxy mocktail is an exotic drink encased by a stilted transparent champagne glass.

The understated drink is a blend of butterfly syrup, lemon juice, soda water and crushed ice.

The contrasting colours of white and purple add enchantment to the scintillating concoction.

The taste of sour lemons settles in your mouth leaving a refreshing feeling after your first sip, but you do think the overindulgence of the ice interferes with the flavorsome taste of the drink.

The price range of a meal at Zephyr ranges from Tk490 to Tk1,090.

Verdict

Abdullah ensures that the hefty portions will provide great value for money.

“We make sure the portions justify the prices,” he said.

While the two week old zephyr shouldered the burden of budgeting constraints initially, the high prices are predicted to decrease the burden of the initial fixed costs, according to Abdullah.

The first stumbling block that Zephyr encountered as a restaurant opening amidst inflation was high-risk budgeting.

Abdullah expressed concern for having crossed the initial budget for the opening.

“We went off-budget right at the beginning of the production process, it cost us more than we expected because of inflation, at least 35-38% more than our initial budget,” he also said.

However, Abdullah remained optimistic about Zephyr, hoping that their distinctive selling factor would be its ambience.

“Our confidence lies in our ambience, the fact that we can provide you with a view to remember and capture,” he added.  

Despite the price range and the required attention to detail, the starters alone satiate the hunger pangs.

And, if you’re looking for a whiff of nature, a sense of serene tranquility, or just some beautiful pictures, Zephyr is where you definitely need to go.

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