The sight of a new eatery is elating: yet another place to hang out, you think, thanking the eating-out craze that has been running rampant over the last decade or so.
The exponential growth of eateries makes us joyous and excited -- and a bit dizzy too! With the staggering and still rising number of places to eat, deciding where to go has become a bit difficult.
In this 'culinary jungle', we need some eateries that absolutely stand out from the crowd.
Platter, a restaurant that has opened its doors recently, has the qualities to do just that.
The culinary jungle we were talking about operates in the realm of the concrete jungle that is our city. But Platter has been generous with space: the entire building that is the restaurant has a lot of space inside and around it that has been used very smartly.
Both indoors and outdoors, the restaurant has a very modern outlook, with the furniture, the overall decor, etc. But there is a very natural feel to it as well.
Outdoors, bamboo trees are in abundance. A fountain covers a major portion. Indoors, many walls and even a portion of the ceiling on a small section are of glass, and hence you can enjoy the beauty from indoors too. Amidst the fountain, there are slabs using which you can go to your table, with water around you.
And the sound of trickling water is of course very relaxing.
The outdoors is also used to host live music shows.
Back inside, as you climb up the stairway bounded by bookcases on the walls all the way to the roof-top, you'll reach a more casual dining scene, with a table tennis board and a very relaxed and informal setting.
"We want the restaurant to be a true hangout place," said Shakila Sattar, one of the owners. "You can spend your time reading or playing games. On the rooftop, we're looking forward to live screenings of matches of the upcoming FIFA World Cup."
Yet another stairway -- a narrow one this time -- takes us downstairs, directly to the outdoors of the building, back to the fountain.
Just beside the fountain, there is a large wood-fired pizza oven installed.
This is an entirely new concept in Dhaka. The wood oven, about as tall as a person, mildly resembles a fireplace. The pizza is put inside a large chamber and is cooked with the fire of the wood. With flames and the overall appearance of this exotic oven, it's an enticing vista indeed.
Platter has a separate menu for its pizzas. Try out their Calzone Pizza. Unlike your regular pizzas, this one has everything (smoked chicken, mushroom, black olives and garlic) stuffed inside the crust/bread.
"Platter serves mainly Italian and continental cuisine," Sattar informed. "We have experienced chefs from many different countries." Platter boasts chefs from Nepal, Abu Dhabi, Italy and Bangladesh -- all with glittering profiles.
If you're looking to have pasta, pizza, steak, etc, this place won't let you down.
Try their Mixed Meat Platter, featuring a small chunk of beef steak, a grilled piece of chicken and a coupe of lamp chops, with vegetable and mashed potatoes on the side.
To drain down the meat, choose from the wide array of smoothies, mocktails, shakes, etc. Have the immensely sweet Cocopine Jumbo, a drink made with coconut water and pineapple. Their yoghurt smoothie is a delight in summer.
A glass of chilled Virgin Mojito is reinvigorating. Syrups make it very sweet; mint leaves make it very 'minty'; and Sprite brings the lemon-lime essence and makes it carbonated -- a splendid drink indeed.
In the sweet-tooth department, try out Lava Cake as dessert, which is much like a brownie, with melted chocolate syrup pouring out with each slice.
If you're just in the restaurant for a drink, you can sit at a small section that has been made distinctive from the rest by making it more like a café -- dedicated for coffees and confectionaries.
Platter brings diversity in their restaurant -- with its chefs coming from different countries, its various sitting arrangements, ambiences, food, music and different activities -- whilst providing a very comfortable, natural and modern setting.
It has what it takes to break the clutter.
Address: House # 108, Road # 3, Block # F, Banani. Facebook page: Platter. Contact number: 01614002345.