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21 April, 2017 00:00 00 AM

Different Cuisines

By Limana Solaiman Mridha
Different Cuisines

Not long ago, when it came to selecting a place to go out for dinner or lunch with your family or friends, the choice was between a Bangladeshi-style Chinese or Thai restaurant, or the few decent places that served local favourites like biryani or kebabs. Now, with new food places opening up every day and with international franchises taking an interest in our city, we have the opportunity to try out different cuisines right here in Dhaka. 

Italian food is highly popular among restaurant-goers and pizza is one of the top selling items wherever it is available. Spaghetti Jazz is a well-liked restaurant that has good pizza, steak, spaghetti and other items to satisfy your craving for Italian food. The restaurant is located in Gulshan-2 circle and has great ambience, say its customers. Another good Italian place, Veni Vidi Vici, happens to be in Uttara Sector-3. According to regular patrons, the best items served at the restaurant are their ‘Tiramisu Classico’, ‘Tortini di Ciocolato Con’ ‘Gelato di Vanillia’ and ‘Pizza al Pollo’. 
Bella Italia, which has branches in both Gulshan and Dhanmondi, is also very popular for its thin crust pizza and ‘Fettucine Alfredo’ and a good ambience. They also have good tiramisu and cream caramel for you to try and customers are satisfied with their service. Restaurants such as Oregano, Pimiento, Bellagio and many other also serve Italian food along with other cuisines, which goes to show that Italian is well liked by our city residents.
When Nandos opened its branches in Gulshan and Dhanmondi, it won over our hearts with its peri-peri deliciousness. That explains why the franchise decided to open up in a few other locations in the city. Originating in South Africa, with a Mozambican-Portuguese theme, the restaurant has a fun décor with African artefacts to bring about an exotic ambience. They have been introducing new items in their menu every now and then, and have interesting affordable offers for every festival and celebrations. Recently, the restaurant has added a new mango-and-lime flavour to their existing list of mild, hot, extra-hot periperi and lemon-and-herb spices, and it is as delicious as the rest of them. They have great service and the staffs are simply amazing with the customers and try their best to accommodate all requests.
Quite a few Korean restaurants have opened up in the city, which goes to show that our citizens are enthusiastic about trying out different cuisines. Dae Jang Geum in Gulshan-2 has a nice setup and is popular for their table top cooking. A few of their best items include ‘Galbijjim’, ‘Gang Daenjang Bibimbap’, kimchi and beef bulgogi. Arirang, also in Gulshan-2, is well liked for its ambience and consistent service. Customers love their prawn tempura, dumplings, shrimp sushi, norimaki, beef, chicken and seafood bulgogi. Pyongyang restaurant in Banani is also a good place to try out Korean cuisine and their blue crab and rice paper steamed rolls are quite popular among customers. The tables with rotating centres and karaoke create a fun environment and you will be served by Korean staff. 
Sashimi and sushi is available in a lot of places nowadays and is very popular, especially among young people. Many have taken to the social media restaurant review pages to praise the quality of food available at Japanese restaurants in the city and eateries such as Tokyo Express, Izumi, Samdado and Wasabi have really high ratings. 
Izumi is in Gulshan- 2 and one might wonder at its modest exterior, but the experience truly begins once you enter the restaurant through a big wooden door. The seating arrangement offers privacy as one table is spaced far apart from another and their service is smooth. According to the owner, Sadat Mehdi, the chef is Japanese and has been working here for the last seven years. “Our selection of sashimi is really popular among our patrons and one should definitely try out the wagyu steak when at our restaurant,” said Mehdi. If you check out the reviews of the place, you will see that this is a place where customer satisfaction is a priority.
One thing is common when it comes to Japanese restaurants in Dhaka, all the places are high-end, explains Amer Khan, one of the owners of Tokyo Express. 
“Food in Dhaka city can be expensive, especially if the cuisine is Japanese. We found a gap in the market, and since we love the food as well, our core idea was to make fusion Japanese cuisine available to all. ‘Nanban Chicken’ is the hot choice among all the items available on the menu. All the owners are food lovers and one of them is what we call a ‘super chef’, who is always experimenting with recipes to maintain the quality of food. We are able to cater to three generations who seem to love our food,” said Khan.
If you like a good spicy taco, burrito or nachos, you can check out Mexican food joints such as El Toro, Quesadilla and Fajitas that offer Mexican items. A food cart called Street Kitchen, located at Banani Block-D, has great sliders and burritos that are highly rated by its customers. The quality of food is supposed to be good as well as affordable, with a variety of items available. Fajitas is another Mexican food joint that has several branches in areas such as Uttara, Dhanmondi, Banasree, Malibagh and Banani and is very wallet friendly. 
Indian food is perhaps the closest to our cuisine and there are many eateries in Dhaka city that have successfully mastered the exquisite tastes. Lucknow in Banani serves amazing chicken tikka butter masala, handi biryani, palak paneer and chicken tangri. The décor is very neat with artworks adorning the walls. Every customer is greeted with complimentary drinks and crispy papadum with green chilli and coriander chutney. They also have outdoor sitting arrangement. If you want to try out a good murgh musallam and tawa lacha paratha, the Dhaka branch of Kolkata-based Shiraz Restaurant in Gulshan-1 is the place for you. It offers Mughal cuisine and has adopted the secret recipes of the Mughal kitchen called `Dum Pukht’, a style of cooking using aromatic ingredients. They had Indian chefs train local cooks here and will be opening a branch in Uttara soon. According to Adi Mofazzal, a staff at the eatery, their best selling items include dum biryani, chaap, gulabjamun and kebab items. 
If you are into Cantonese cuisine, Chows, a high-end eatery in Banani serves traditional Cantonese dishes and their menu is quite elaborate. The place incorporates both traditional and contemporary Chinese décor. It has multi-purpose private dining rooms and lounges, as well as a second floor balcony space overlooking Banani Lake that is popular with brunch and afternoon tea crowds. The head chef, Lam Shifu, has been in the food industry for quite some time and his experience certainly ensures the authenticity of the dishes served at the restaurant. According to the staff, their most popular items are ‘Peking Duck’ and dim sum items.  
Bamboo Shoot is another Chinese restaurant that offers authentic Chinese food, with their sesame rice balls and steamed chicken dumplings being highly popular among customers.  The ambience is very Chinese and you will get a similar feeling to restaurants in China. It also has a few private dining rooms, perfect for special occasions. Some of their most popular items include ‘Oyster Sauce Beef’, ‘Sweet & Sour Chicken with Pineapple’, ‘Stir Fried Chicken with Ginger’, and their ‘Sweet Corn Soup’. The quality of food served is very good, but that is to be expected for the high price tag.
Thai food is another favourite with diners in Dhaka and there are numerous places that offer real Thai dishes along with other cuisines. A few good eateries include Thai Nation, Absolute Thai, Nomads, Food Republic and Fools Diner. All these places try to maintain the authenticity of the flavours that make Thai food popular among people all over the world. 
If you want good Thai items within a reasonable price range, Nomads, located in Dhanmondi, has quite a few scrumptious salads and curries that they serve with steamed rice. Their ‘Pad Thai Noodles’, ‘Fish Cake with Thai Spice’, ‘Bangkok Beef Salad’, and ‘Kangkong with Wild Thai Mushroom’ will have your taste buds tingling with the taste of Thailand.
Monami Haque, a lecturer at a private university who loves Thai food, says that her go to restaurant is Thai Emerald. “They have genuine Thai cuisine and I really like their crab meat fried rice, sticky rice with mango, coconut ice cream, 

 

green papaya salad, fish cake, chicken with ginger, and chicken with cashew nut. Also I love the fish and prawn items,” she told this correspondent. 
If you want to try food from other parts of Bangladesh, Mezbaan Bari and Nawab Chatgaare two restaurants that serve Chittagong cuisine, especially the famous ‘Mezbani Gosht’. At Mezbaan Bari, located at Bhatara in Baridhara, the guests are greeted with a welcome drink of Roohafza with a unique twist. You can also get ‘Badaam Sherbet’ which is rarely found outside the Old Town in Dhaka. Half the place is under the open sky, keeping with the tradition of holding mezbaan (feast) outdoors. When it comes to Nawab Chatga, they have the best ‘Kaala Bhuna’, ‘Chonar Daal’, ‘Jhura Beef’ and ‘Loitta Fry’, according to its regular patrons. The restaurant now has two branches, one at Gulshan-1 and another at Dhanmondi. The décor and ambience have been created keeping the port city in mind and it is a family owned business. They are prompt to respond to customer’s request and have friendly staff. 
Photos: Internet

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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