Guwahati has witnessed a very impressive growth in the cafe culture with new promising cafe opening almost every month with different concepts and ideas. One such not so new cafe is "The zouq: Resto-café" which enjoyed immense popularity since its inceptions about 2 and a half years ago. We met up with the owner regarding their latest menu launch and indulged into an interesting discussion about the cafe culture in guwahati and how being a "book-cafe" works for them.
Miss Intibah Murtafi, the owner opens up about her ideas to strengthen their ground as the only book cafe in Guwahati, and a new fusion menu that is going to be launched on Monday, the 25th of February. The Zouq promises to bring in an interesting collection of recipes, some of which they claim will not be found anywhere else. Miss Murtafi, herself a home chef and food taster have designed these herself bringing in unique touches to known recipes.
In her words, she says "The Zouq was a dream project for me where I wanted two of my great loves together: food and books. We did manage to usher that concept in but sadly over the years we have witnessed a depressing decrease in the reading population. We see the younger generation clicking pictures with the books but we haven't really managed to make them pick up a book to read. We also lend out the books and we do have a customer base which borrows books from our library but we want the number to increase."
On being questioned how they plan to do that the lady replied that they are ushering in the concept of continental pocket food and scraping heavy Indian mains from the menu. "The romance between books and food is a sorry state of affairs at the moment and I realized that perhaps we were doing it wrong. In the race of getting customers, I believe we got distracted from the original ideal with which we began. We added items we need customers would want without really examining how well they would go with a library set up. Let's admit Indian food demands a lot of attention, so how do we give fitting attention to a book while savouring a butter chicken?" The zouq wants to encourage people to read books and are also open to suggestions for new books that they can add to their collection.
Coming to the new menu, Salma Nasrin, a food reviewer says " Zouq has always been home; a place full of life in itself. Trying out their new fusion menu literally gave me a bubble of tastes. Starting off with the Mexican golgappa, what a concept! Adding to the list, their experiments with the Kullad is a hit. I could never imagine Kullad Wala Brownie Sundae would taste this good. Also I cannot forget to mention the countless new stuff I tried out there. Each item had its own taste brewed totally and all afresh. The taste is incomparable and the balance of every item in the dishes was total blast. Kudos to the team for bringing up such amazing fusion food amongst us. A total hit."
Another popular instagramer and food reviewer, Kabyashree, popularly known as @foodieforever23, writes "Zouq one of my personal favourite cafe is in town giving a whole new vibe with lovely interiors and amazing food. Recently I tried some of their in house special dishes which they have given a whole new fusion experience. They are doing amazing with the Kulad flavours of Chai, pizza, brownies and many more. The Mexican Golgappas are a must; it's lip smacking! Zouq is bringing flavours more active and loveable. It's a foodies paradise."
The new menu promises to be a fusion of indo and cosmopolitan recipes with their signature dishes being the Kulhad Wala Sizzling Brownie, Alfredo Boat Bread, Mexican Golgappa, Clay Oven Pizza and Tandoori Coffee amongst others.
Aneesha from the page @goodfoodghy writes, "The flavours were so new and the taste was awesome. The Clay Oven Pizza, Alfredo Boat Bread, Nuttela infused muffin and the Clay Oven Brownie was the best. Thank you so much for having us."
Writing about their experience with the new flavours in Zouq, the insta page @thefoodculture opines "Food is an art that has been improvised by people over generations. We are introduced to different kinds and ways of making and having food almost every day through various social media. Zouq: The Restro cafe has also tried their hands in making fusion food for their new menu and it looks really promising with its unique dishes in comparison to other cafes in town."
Well, the Zouq and its reforms definitely seem to be promising. We hope it works great for them and helps in their endeavour to change the reading culture. As mentioned, they are open to suggestion for new books and also plan to keep a donation section where they plan to further donate the academic books to needy institutions.