While restaurants, cafes and every other establishment in the food and beverages industry compete with each other using location, prices and promotions, very few can win the hearts of the customers with the aesthetics of the restaurant's interior design.
Often ignored, but well-decorated interior spaces impact the customers' behaviours. It even decided the duration of their stay in the restaurant.
Interior design has always been the first priority for one of the most classic cafés in Dhaka - Café Mango, as it is the interior that catches a customer's attention upon first entering the premises.
"I never only wanted to make Café Mango a place where people will just come to dine in. It is impossible to invite everyone to your house but with Mango, I tried to provide the residents of Dhaka some relief from their monotonous life. I wanted it to be something where people would come and stay for hours," said Architect Salauddin Ahmed, owner of Café Mango.
Immediately after walking into this café situated at Gulshan, a customer will understand why the owner said he wanted it to be a living room. The first thing they will notice is the vivid presence of Bangladesh's rural heritage all over the café.
Looking up at the ceiling of the restaurant, you will be able to see the headrest of old beds. On the first floor, you will be able to see the wooden windows of tin-shed houses from the rural part of Bangladesh, which has now become a rare sight to catch.
The architect has collected these artefacts through one of his long time vendors and friends, whose name he did not disclose.
The ambience of Café Mango will take any middle-aged person down the memory lane in an instant and younger people will be able to get a sneak peek of how Bangladeshi village houses used to look like in the past.
"I wanted people to connect with our heritage, and show the youth what our countryside used to look like. Deep inside our minds, we cherish the good old past. However, with time, we often cannot find what we used to have," said Salauddin.
Apart from the headrests and the windows, other items such as chessboard, old steel chairs and wooden logs have been restructured to make it a part of the café's seating arrangement.
The café is very well lit and the lights have been installed in a way that does not hurt the eyes. Every light has a shade and it has been set on the tables in a way so the light spreads everywhere softly.
You will also see a lot of indoor plants placed throughout the café.
These plants do not only bring a gust of freshness in the café but it also gives it the look of a modern living room as many people enjoy keeping plants in their living rooms these days.
Furthermore, the green of the plants helps calm people and relax their mood.
But why does the café's name have "Mango" in it?
According to Salahuddin, Mango is a very versatile fruit. From the poor to rich, everyone knows about it. It also has a unique flavour. An unripe mango tastes sour and can be made into savoury dishes but the ripe one tastes sweet. The owner wanted his café to be as versatile as the mango fruit.
Salahuddin also has a personal connection with this fruit.
His mother died in 1993 and the last thing she ate was a mango. While naming the café, these two factors worked as an influencing element for Salahuddin.
Café Mango has a menu from which you can order delectable dishes. You can order a cup of coffee from their wide selection and snacks to go with it. In case you are very hungry, there are options for several main courses as well.
Café Mango is not a new restaurant. Rather, it has been around since the early 2000s. Till now, the café has been renovated around ten times and the name has taken a 360 tour of our beloved capital.