Zai adds twist of Mediter­ranean

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

BEAU­TI­FUL Ja­panese-style restau­rant Zai is open once again but this time it has a modern Mediter­ranean twist.

Stephen Yarr, owner of the venue’s neigh­bour­ing Dougie’s Back­pack­ers Re­sort, bought Zai from the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage last year, ren­o­vated it and opened it on the quiet in Au­gust.

Zai man­ager Kosta Yo­caris said the café has been cater­ing to­wards the back­packer mar­ket as a trial while wait­ing for its liquor li­cence to be ap­proved.

“We have this mar­ket al­ready, it would be silly to say no to 250 back­pack­ers and we do quite a few or­ders - but we will be look­ing into dif­fer­ent mar­kets in­clud­ing the lo­cals,” he said.

“Once we get our liquor li­cence we will start off hav­ing a ta­pas bar on the side, we will try not to com­pete with the big boys, and we will have rea­son­able prices.”

Hav­ing lived in Port Dou­glas pre­vi­ously, Mr Yo­caris spent time abroad work­ing on cruise ships mainly in north­ern Europe and then Syd­ney be­fore re­turn­ing to con­tinue with his pas­sion.

“This is my project, I am man­ag­ing the place and also do a bit of cook­ing,” Mr Yo­caris said

“Our cui­sine is Mediter­ranean and our spe­cials board changes once a week ev­ery Satur­day and we also have a stan­dard menu with burg­ers and fish and chips.

“The idea of the whole place is to even­tu­ally have two dif­fer­ent ar­eas.

“We’re look­ing to cre­ate a for­mal din­ing at the front and a more ca­sual din­ing out the back, with nice cock­tails and good lounge mu­sic.”

Zai Café, which is lo­cated on David­son St, is plan­ning an of­fi­cial open­ing party to in­vite ev­ery­one to try the new Mediter­ranean cui­sine.

Un­til then, the café is open seven days a week 8am to 3pm for break­fast and lunch, or for a quiet cof­fee, over­look­ing the tran­quil Ja­panese gar­den.


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Re­open for busi­ness: Zai man­ager Kosta Yo­caris

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