Cafe Yolo: a little place with a big heart

by Tajnim Imami

Music, books and good food are at the heart of the little eatery named Cafe Yolo. The acronym for ‘you only live once’ was chosen to spread the spirit of living in the moment and enjoying life that seem to go past at a moment’s notice.

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Brightened by the large grid windows on one side, the cafe is a homely place for reading and relaxing.  The minimal decor of bar stools, benches and armchairs also add to its laid back ambiance. Shelves full of the latest young adult novels and classic literature as well as political and motivational books encourage and seek to provide a place for readers to buy and sample new titles. With a heart for the patronization of arts, Cafe Yolo features artists such as painters and graphic designers who are looking for a place to showcase their work. Currently, the cafe is featuring the brilliant Malena Gomez and her digital art collection of rebellious, uninhibited women.

Opened just a month ago, Cafe Yolo maintains a small menu which focuses on serving fresh, organic food that is both scrumptious and healthy. The crunchy, leafy Chicken Cashew Nut Salad is full of the good red and green veggies and fruits with delicious chicken strips and generous bits of cashews. The Yolo Special Mixed Kabab Platter is a delightful combo of grilled chicken, shrimp, paneer and mushroom served hot on a small barbecue grill. Cafe Yolo uses artisanal cheese from Thakurgaon whether it is mozzarella, cheddar or paneer. The wraps and rolls are full of flavours between the layers of tender bits of grilled chicken, beef, veggies and sauces.

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The drinks here are just as delightful as the savory dishes. Pistachio Delight, inspired by the badamer shorbot of Old Dhaka, is classic and tasty with its characteristic hint of rose and pistachios. The dark green Snow Mint is refreshing with minty, icy magic. Cinderella is a pretty pink mix of orange, pineapple and pomegranate that lends a wonderful sweet, citrus experience to the taste buds. A glass of Falooda is made with decadent rabri to intensify the flavor. The rolls, salads, and wraps are about Tk 220 to Tk 280 while the drinks are around Tk 120 to Tk 260. Their kebabs range from Tk 450 to Tk 1,500.

However, the best attribute of Cafe Yolo is its music nights on Thursdays and Fridays. Performance from artists, both professional and amateurs, keep the place alive with all the joys of life as food and company are added to the revelry. Classical, folk, pop, modern, sufi anything is welcome when it comes to singing your heart out in the warm, welcoming atmosphere of Cafe Yolo. With a jovial staff and delicious food, Café Yolo is a place that makes both the mind and taste IMG_8256buds happy.

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