Conceiving of tranquility: ZEN BISTRO & CAFE

Jul 10, 2017 |

TEXT : Tejita Vaidya Amatya Photo : Pradip Ratna Tuladhar

With beautiful amalgamation of down to earth interiors and equally majestic natural green exteriors, there awaits a blissful eatery with exotic cuisines specially tailored from Thailand. ZEN BISTRO & CAFÉ stands tall among the crowd of beautiful eating places in town. It is stationed in Bansbari, Kathmandu, and is connected by the newly constructed wide roads linking the inner Kathmandu city to the suburbs of Budhanilkantha.

The interior ambience is a warm appeal to all, as nature is respected in every form. Forms adapted are far from artificial, natural earthen formulae has been promoted to bring out a bistro feel. The restaurant’s design was conceived together by husband-wife duo Kundal & Tejita Amatya and the energetic team of Conception Interior Pvt. Ltd. It is spread over a serene setting of 11,000 sq.ft. The design theme was perceived such that the architecture of the building would be in a perfect synchronization with the interior space, as the two are too intimate to be thought of separately. Housed on a one and half storey structure, with equal interior and exterior space, its functionality has been planned such that service may never be compromised.

ZEN is another venture of restaurateur Mr. Kishor Pradhan, who is personally very passionate that décor, service and cuisine are in perfect sync. Tamarind Restaurant, Jhamsikhel and Embassy Restro n Bar, were also conceptualized by the same design team.


Parking space is scarce in cosmopolitan cities, but Zen offers plenty of room to rest one’s vehicles. Pedestrian and vehicle entrance has been separately defined, leading to a peaceful atmosphere. The clear glass roof allows beautiful views of the Kathmandu sky. The outdoors is split into different levels, partitioned by an iron structure with potted plants hung on them. One can feel the fusion of materials like iron, concrete, wood, clay and bricks, along with soft leaves and colorful innocent flowers.

The bricked building with black doors and windows stand as guardian to the outdoors. The main entrance invites the patron to a solid RRC structured bar counter with black wooden shelves. The liquor bottles stand proud against the white wall. Accompanied by well laid out interior settings, the entire layout is functional like a well-oiled machine, keeping in mind the positioning of the kitchen, supplier deliveries, toilets, employee entrances, and the movement of employees and customers. For comfort, sofas and cushioned chairs, complemented with suitably heighted tables have also been placed. Many split levels inside the building adds more character to the ambience. The upper floor consists of a combination of indoors and terrace spaces, offering more choices to the diners.

The union of colors is pleasing to the beholder. The color palate is maintained subtly with strong black as the captain, unifying the rest of the players: the gray concrete, robust iron, natural green leaves, and the earthen red. The beautiful cuisines and cutlery are also allowed to play their important part in this entire color pallet.

Sticking to traditional architectural techniques, Vaastu Shastra has also been practiced extensively by respected Vaastu Expert Dr. Madhav Mangal Joshi. Placement of crystal pyramids in allocated positions has enhanced and maintained the positive vibes. Water bodies are placed towards the Ishaan Kone, and tall trees on the southern side guard the place from any negativity. Positioning of important functions like kitchen, cashier, counters, and rest rooms has been placed as per the recommendations of the Vaastu expert.

Effective lighting design and layout in a restaurant is the key to setting the tone, mood and atmosphere of the place. Great lighting doesn’t mean placing lights all over the place; it’s not a hospital or a supermarket. Natural and warm-colored lighting, used sparingly, is specifically positioned to create the tranquil feel.

Acoustic vibes are an added ingredient in crafting this mood. The sound of the soothing melody matching the ambience drifts dramatically through the walls, making the food more appetizing. Special place has been assigned for live musical performance. Indeed, it is always a pleasure to experience good music, good food, and good décor. The environment is not only preferred by single diners, but has also gained popularity in hosting private parties and events. Similarly, a photo wall has added character, allowing people to take home a living memory. People are always passionate to take pictures next to this iconic wall
and share them on Instagram and Facebook.

Interior designing a space doesn’t always mean plastering every wall with decoration. Addition of unique design elements and stand-out pieces reflect the theme of the restaurant.



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