FeatureHeaven on a Plate

Finely Detailed- ORO

Amalgamating contemporary cuisines from Europe, the neighbourhood eatery ORO located at the Gulshan Avenue oozes with glorious personality. With a multilayered and sensible interior, designed by the owner himself, the place takes its guest on an artful journey that is not only a feast for the taste buds but also for the other senses.

The name ‘Oro’ translates as ‘gold’ in Spanish and is indeed a golden find like its name suggests. The flavour profiles of ORO is a culmination of the owner’s travels to different restaurants of the world and his attempt to offer the patrons a taste of these distant places with every carefully crafted and exquisitely plated dishes. Classic recipes from around the world are served using skills and techniques developed in collaboration with chefs from Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Singapore and Japan. ORO gives you the ideal setting to savour an array of scrumptious offerings such as homemade pasta, seafood or steak specialities, fresh salad or the ever-changing weekly specials. Exceptional presentation is exemplified by dishes like the Grilled Snow Fish, Wagyu Steak, Japanese Style Duck Breast, Pan Seared & Smoked Pacific Octopus. You may even spot the owner lending hands in the kitchen which demonstrates his passion to serve the guests tasteful gourmet dishes. “Our balanced menu comprises of delicious entrees and European classics. Besides, our team can even work with the guests to create a bespoke menu suiting their requirements. We invite our diners to pause and linger in the company of family and friends, as we guide them through refreshing culinary adventure, unlike any other in Dhaka”, the owner explains.

As the restaurant is a spatial representation of the owner’s journey, the design is quite idiosyncratic, taking inspiration from eclectic styles with hints of Eastern detailing.

Upon entrance, diners are greeted with a surprisingly light and airy space, spread over an expanse of 1800 sq ft (approx). “The emphasis was given on a natural palette and materials that lends subtle inspiration from Sri Lankan heritage. The dominant warm hues chosen for the walls and floors showcase the shades commonly found in old Sri Lankan architecture”. To his favour, the space was previously laid out in a way he desired. “I always wanted an open kitchen for an immersive dining experience. My work was made easy as this place was set up just how I envisioned it! The creative process was hence quite organic, where I simply translated my taste into the design”, he adds.

Several wooden elements were implemented to create a sense of comfort and warmth. The open-kitchen dining counter at the ground floor adds to the theatrical element, as the chef demonstrates his cooking techniques for the seated guests in the restaurant. A discreet spiral staircase made of brass leads the guests to the upper floor, which can be booked for private dining. An abundance of greenery instils a tropical vibe and is evocative of Sri Lanka’s lush green forests and warm climate.

To create a space that tells a story, many custom furnishings and reclaimed items were used in the space. Vintage chairs and tables were given new meaning within a modern context, embodying both traditional and modern values. In a way, the design of ORO is an ode to local craftsmen and artisans as they were commissioned to furnish every detail that brings the place together. A local artisan built the bespoke brass staircase and partitions while the wooden sculpture at the entrance was made by a local carpenter.

The owner’s admiration for contextual art is demonstrated through the wondrous mural art extended from the walls to the ceilings, skillfully done by artist Ashraful Hasan.

In addition, rattan colander baskets were installed on the ceilings and walls to serve the function of both soundproofing and concealing pipes. Large artworks by young artist Sultan Ishtiaque bring a touch of colour against the warm, earthy setting. All these minutiae add a unique flair to the design of the space. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the front allow a spectacular view of the large circular fountain and the busy city street. All in all, the textures, shapes and colours fused together at ORO create a sensory experience for its guests. 

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Naila Binte Zakaria

Lifestyle/Art Journalist who revels in the joy of eating spicy ramen, painting and watching absurdist films.

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