Garden in the Sky

In conversation with Ebadul Bin Hoque, Owner & Director of Green Lounge, a 20,000 sq ft rooftop restaurant on the 18th floor of the Rupayan Trade Center. 

Ebadul Bin Hoque
Owner & Director
The Green Lounge
Photograph: Rony Rezaul

How did The Green Lounge come to be? What inspired its unique aesthetics?

The Green Lounge is the brainchild of Green Foundry Limited. The basic idea was to create a garden in the sky. We wanted to ensure that elements of nature are present in all aspects. Hence our slogan-’nature plated’, there are trees and plants everywhere, all the furniture is made of wood, and a soothing sound of water can be found on all corners of this place. The aim was to create the most soothing and relaxing experience possible for our guests to relax and unwind in the midst of nature.

Over the past decade, the number of fine dining restaurants in Dhaka has grown exponentially. What sets The Green Lounge apart from other restaurants? 

The Green Lounge is the largest rooftop restaurant in Bangladesh.  It is a 20,000 sq ft garden of Eden located on top of an 18 storied building. Our environment, scenic views, delicious food sets us apart from other restaurants in Bangladesh.

We specialise in authentic Indian cuisine. Our a la carte menu includes flavourful karahi, oven-baked naans, and fusion grilled meat, seafood and cheese which is a perfect match for our open-air outdoor setting. Our sauces as well as our process of marinating meat and seafood with our secret ingredients are what sets us apart in terms of flavour. We are providing a global buffet lunch and dinner in which each cuisine is prepared by different specialised chefs and they are always working on the research and development of their buffet menu. We like to change our buffet menu every two days to keep it new and exciting for our regular and new guests. The most popular dish from our a la carte menu is the special feast platter, which is a big dish and serves around 5 – 6 people, perfect to share among family and friends. It consists of different types of charcoal-grilled Kebabs, and 3 different types of karahi consisting of Mutton, homemade paneer and chicken and served with freshly baked naan and refreshing lemon-flavoured beverages. From the buffet menu, our special desi bites corner is the favourite among both local guests and foreign guests who want to know about the food culture of Bangladesh.  It is a corner which serves desi bhortas, khichuri, and has a live station where fish is fried in front of the guests. This menu also changes every few days, but the dishes are always deshi ones. 

What have been the biggest challenges you have faced since you started the restaurant business, and how have you overcome them?

The pandemic was the most difficult time for The Green Lounge, but fortunately, we have started to recover. Our cleaning and hygiene costs increased exponentially during this time because we never compromised with the safety standards. We provided personal protection gear to each of our staff members every day for the first 18 months of the pandemic. We set up air purifiers in our indoor dining spaces, lowered the seating capacity to accommodate social distancing regulations, set up sanitiser stands at every corner, ensuring that all our staff members got vaccinated and encouraged our guests to maintain the hygiene protocols.

Having the necessary manpower is integral to running a restaurant with immaculate service. What do you look for when hiring for your restaurants? 

Most importantly, we look for competence and due diligence when we hire. We routinely train our staff in order to meet the food and service standards that we promise to our guests. The minimum educational qualification is high school graduation, and they should have a good understanding and knowledge of the English language. The chefs need to have previous restaurant experience from abroad, for eg, from countries in the Middle East and should have the proper documentation from their previous workplace. 

We also have our own qualified service and hygiene training instructor who works with staff members. The waiters and managers are trained to be able to work well under pressure and be able to provide flawless service with a smile. The kitchen staff are trained in hygienic methods of food production, correct temperatures for the cooking of dishes as well as how to ensure smooth and quick operations. We prioritise the guest feedback card above all and try to incorporate all constructive feedback in order to continuously improve the quality of our food and our services. 

Photographs: Courtesy of The Green Lounge

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