The phrase 'Bon appétit' from French not only encapsulates the love for food in French culture but also goes way back to our childhood days where story books or movies had created a vivid picture in our head of the buzzing French cafés on the streets of Paris.
Délifrance Bangladesh has brought that picture to life by opening its branch in Gulshan, Dhaka.
For more than 30 years, Délifrance has been developing and serving sweet and savoury French delights in about 100 countries around the world.
Délifrance Bangladesh started its journey in September of last year and did not have to look back ever since.
Located at 114 Gulshan Avenue, the café stands with its charismatic ambience spreading the rich and buttery aroma of its fabulous croissants for its local customers on the first floor of Casablanca Tower.
The Instagram handle of the café quotes on its bio - 'From Paris to Dhaka, with Love' and 'with a little joie de vivre' where the phrase 'joie de vivre' in French refers to the joy of living that astutely aligns with the purpose of the café.
While visiting the French café recently, we had a little chit-chat with Abid Mansur, the Managing Director of Les Bleus Ltd, about the story behind the franchise and how the café has been doing really great despite its opening amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The food scene is really growing recently in Bangladesh. Like my father, many Bangladeshis got introduced to the delightful tastes of fresh croissants and French savouries around the late 90s. And Délifrance is a brand that is loved around the world. We started this franchise to bring the authentic experience of a French café to serve our local customers," Abid told TBS.
Speaking of the experience, the café's interior is ornamented beautifully with a touch of French aesthetics to set just the right ambience for its customers. The classic picks of the French jazz music playing in the background does the proper justice to the ambience leaving one with a lingering feeling of the experience from the café.
The lanterns hanging from the ceiling and the overall lighting setup will remind you of the streets of Paris or some French café from a favourite movie.
The seating arrangement ensures a relaxing set up suitable for any evening gathering with your friends and family as well as for a sudden lunch meeting with your colleague.
"During our initial soft launch of the restaurant in July this year, we received several feedback and suggestions from our prospective customers and that really helped us to play around with the menu to tickle it a bit", said Abid Mansur, adding that the tongue-tantalising menu of Délifrance can be enjoyed throughout the day.
You can start your day fresh by grabbing a cup of regular espresso (Tk220) and a moist, buttery croissant filled with vanilla cream (Tk320) with all its crispy and flaky goodness outside.
It is okay to get caught up in the process of choosing from all the delicacies of 'Viennoiseries and Danish' items. In such moments, you can always go with the Cinnamon Roll (Tk320) as it can never go wrong.
Whether you like your coffee bitter, sweet, or rich with cream, you can find your perfect cup of coffee here with an 'All Day Breakfast' menu.
You can pick their French Toast (Tk420) on the go or the Bacon Omelette with Croissant (Tk660) to have a fulfilling meal for your breakfast.
If you are looking for a light brunch or a late dinner, then you can try out their French-inspired Beef Wrap Sandwich (Tk490) or add some twists to your brunch menu with Garlic Bread (Tk200) and Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Puff (Tk260).
Nothing can beat the feeling of having a delectable, satisfying lunch. One Chicken Wrap (Tk470) for you, served with a side of their signature french fries (Tk180), and one succulent Beef Burger (Tk490), topped with a slice of melty cheesy goodness to go if you are having a friend with you. A Virgin Mojito (Tk260) can add a nice flair to the meal and a café Latte (Tk240) for after, to give a nice finishing touch.
Although you cannot have enough of their mouth-watering Beef Lasagna (Tk620), the restaurant will still expose you to a variety of wraps & sandwiches with a series of hot dishes and savouries to go about the day.
If you can not think of a meal without a dessert served at the end, then you might want to indulge in a Chocolate Tartelette (Tk350) or a Choco Lava (Tk350) for the sake of your sweet tooth and a nice Instagram-worthy shot.
If you are in the mood for some freshness, then a Cashew Nut Salad (Tk380) or a Chicken Caesar Salad (Tk430) will give you a boost of energy with exuberance in any part of the day with an adequate supply of protein and nutrients.
Besides the rich, dark chocolate enveloped in layers of flaky pastries, the cakes here also have the heart of most customers. Their best-selling cake items like Blueberry Cheesecake (Tk360), Chocolate Cake (Tk300), Double Chocolate Muffin (Tk270) etc. are sold almost throughout the day.
"We have six to seven kinds of flours imported straight from France to prepare different items of breads, baguettes, and viennoiseries to preserve their distinct qualities and tastes", the General Manager of the restaurant, HM Ali Hossain Raju, informed us.
The café opens its door for its customers at 8 am in the morning and remains open until 11 pm of the day.
The restaurant's motto - 'Life is Delicious', is written on a wall right at the corner of the entrance with a vibrant red light - inviting its customers to experience a world of French food and delights.
All items on the menu are exclusive of 10% VAT.