Zai adds twist of Mediterranean
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