HEADINGTON's high street has a new eatery and the owner describes the restaurant as a 'UK-first.'
Yasir Hanif, who is originally from Pakistan but has lived in Headington for 13 years, opened the Desi Lounge restaurant at 146 London Road on February 10.
The 36-year old said that the concept of serving 'thali' – an Indian style platter with a variety of dishes – to order is one that no other Indian or Pakistani restaurant in the UK has yet attempted.
Mr Hanif said that he discovered the idea while in his native Pakistan and decided to bring it back to the UK to try something different.
He said: "People are enjoying the food and the concept which is very new: the idea is that you can buy several dishes, or thali, in a platter.
"It is like a platter of different dishes. What we are offering is that you can buy different thali within that platter.
"It isn’t like in a restaurant where you have a platter but with what the restaurant chooses, here you can choose yourself what is in the platter.
"The concept is in India and Pakistan in a few places but not here. It is unique in the UK I think."
Popular in Nepal and Bangladesh, the idea for thali, which can be translated as 'plate' in English, is to serve six different flavours of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, sharp and spicy food all on a single plate.
Since opening last week Mr Hanif said the unique offering had already proved popular.
He said: "After opening the restaurant it has so far been very good.
"We had a lot of people come in for the opening and have had a steady stream coming in since then."
Mr Hanif praised the community of Headington as a fertile ground for new businesses like his to flourish.
He also said the restaurant scene was buzzing and that had formed part of his decision to set up in the area.
He said: "It is a thriving area. Headington is unique in so many senses, it is popular and people also like different and new ideas.
"Because of that people are keen to come and try out new things, and then people come in and see the quality and then they definitely come back.
"So that is why we chose to set up in Headington."
The opening of the new restaurant follows a number of new eateries to the area including C.R.A.F.T. Burger at Windmill Road and Buongiorno E Buonasera at London Road.