Dhaka: In Search of Good Eats – Part 3

Did I mention how friendly everyone in Dhaka is? So nice in fact that nothing seems to bother them.

Exhibit A:
[Sitting in traffic. Car turns off main road and nearly hits two pedestrians.]

Me (slightly anxious): Are there many accidents?
Colleague: Accidents? What do you mean?
Me: Like how often do cars hit things?
Colleague: We do not go fast enough to ever have an ‘accident.’
Me: Yes, good point.
Colleague: And we do not call them accidents. We call them gentle pushes – they are enjoyable.

What? That’s crazy! Maybe living in the United States has made me weak and more susceptible to completely freaking out if I got in a car accident.
Enough wishing I was stronger – onto the food of Dhaka! Sadly, the food “scene” here is lacking. Plus, there are only a limited number of restaurants I could eat at and avoid spending a night with a bottle of Pepto Bismol and cursing at the gods.

We tried Japanese and Italian and it was not bad but not good either. The safest bet seems to be local food. Bangladeshi cuisine is similar to that of surrounding South Asian countries. I’ve found the food in Dhaka to be somewhat a mix of both Indian and Pakistani staple dishes; lots of rice, lentils, kebabs, etc, all very aromatic and spicy.

My favorites included:

Dhaba, House 104, Block E, Road No 12
South Indian street food. We ordered a bunch of dishes to share but one of my favorites was this chickpea dish, aloo chaat, that was just the right amount of sweet but spicy.

Their garlic naan was fantastic. I could eat this everyday. Of course, I would be sacrificing close encounters with friends and loved ones, strangers too.

Star Kabab, Road 17, Banani
This place is a huge whole-in-the-wall. We asked for local favorites and I think we got it. Their no frills menu and prison-like stainless steel tables and chairs might have sent us running, but my coworker and I are all about the food.

Chicken Tikka

We ordered chicken tikka and chicken jhal fry. The spices were just right on both and I think the whole dinner cost us $5 (that’s for two)!

Mövenpick, 121-C, Gulshan Avenue
Not at all Bangladeshi but I have to include this. First, it’s ice cream. Secondly, it’s a Swedish Swiss (oops, thanks Daniel for catching that!) chain that is surprisingly in Dhaka. This ice cream is so freakin’ awesome. Dare I say, it’s as good as Bi-Rite?

Mint Chocolate and Espresso Croquant

I tried close to 15 flavors! (I know, that’s a lot of ice cream in 3 weeks, huh?) The ice cream is very creamy and rich with spot on flavors. The strawberry had chunks of frozen strawberry which was fantastic.

Sajna, House 14, Road 11, Block H, Banani
We tried the masala dosa, a fish curry, palak paneer and the mango kulfi.

I wish I had a picture of the masala dosa but we were too busy stuffing our faces.

Rosh Sweets, Gulshan 2
I really like the sweets or “misti” in Dhaka. They are more or less globs of sugar, milk or flour that are usually fried. Gulab jamun and laddu are my favorite globs. I cannot tell the difference between them however.

But they were good. The desserts here are just the right size so you don’t feel like you’ve overindulged. Also, despite the fact that most of these are drenched in a sugar syrup, they are not too terribly sweet which is nice. I want to make these back in SF!

The food here is good but there is only so much curry a girl can eat. I am super excited to go back home. Off to catch my flight! Bye bye Dhaka. 

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3 thoughts on “Dhaka: In Search of Good Eats – Part 3

  1. Ahem, quick clarification: Movenpick is Swiss, not Swedish. But you're right about it being delicious. I haven't seen a Movenpick shop here in Geneva but they sell the ice cream everywhere. I wonder if it's cheaper in Dhaka… you know those tiny little ice creams containers you got as a kid with like 4-5 tablespoons in them? One of those of Movenpick costs about 5USD here.

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