Bangladeshi cuisine is all about strong tastes and flavors, the key to an ultimate gastronomic experience. The traditional staples include flat bread and rice. But the regional variation is what makes each meal an adventure. One may have Indian chutney and some sweet milk curd balls at lunch, and then munch on Asian-inspired samosa for snacks. There is a significant amount of British influence in the cuisine, evident in the yearly British Fusion Food Festival held in Dhaka. Here are some of the best must-eat places when in Dhaka.
Bashundara City Food Court
Bashundara City Food Court will have all the Bangladeshi treats that one could ever hope for. Tourists are strongly advised to steer away from the food carts found on the streets. Unlike Bangkok, the hygiene practice in Dhaka is not exactly first rate. Although the street is where one can have an authentic Bangladeshi food experience, it’s best to do that in a mall food court.
Gulshan Plaza Restaurant
Gulshan Plaza Restaurant is a pool of kebabs, roast chicken and hundreds other Bangladeshi favorites. The place is relatively clean and cheap. The English-speaking owner is quite friendly will take time out of his busy day to talk to guests. The restaurant is open from 7:00AM to midnight which means tourists can have some midnight kebabs and yogurt drinks for a night cap.
New Café Jheel
New Café Jheel is where one can get authentic, fiery, curried food. For $2.00, one can already enjoy some curry, rice and nan bread. The flavor of the thick curry explodes in the mouth, and it can be balanced by the sweet milky cha, which is very popular drink in Bangladesh. The Lonely Planet guide includes New Cafe Jheel in its list of restaurants to visit in Dhaka.
Spitfire’s Barbeque and Grill
There are people who can’t eat curry and spices every day. Spitfire’s Barbeque and Grill is a place where you can get away from the traditional food that you’ve been eating since the day you arrived. The place can be found in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka. The restaurant is a bit pricy as it is the place where steak-craving tourists go. The steaks are of Bangladeshi standards, so don’t expect too much. But the service is good and the place is clean enough for a decent un-curried, subtly-flavored meal. On the second floor of the same building is Saltz Restaurant which is said to be the best seafood restaurant in all of Dhaka. Should you want to order some fish or prawns, the crew from Spitfire can just get it from Saltz.