SOMEWHERE IN AN OFFICE IN BANANI ROAD 11, 10 AM.
Shawkat barely managed to clock in on time on Sunday. If only there was a way to take care of breakfast before coming to office. Brunch would not be bad either — he can make do with something hearty at around 11:30 AM.
For the busy corporates to sleepy students, Tastebud opens at 8 AM with its amazing set of breakfast menus for all. Eggs Benedict with in-house hollandaise sauce, bacon (beef) and eggs, waffles, Spanish omelette — for the hearty breakfast that keeps you going till late lunch, this is quite the line-up!
Coffee lovers need not fret as they have the choice of having an espresso con panna, a caffe filtro or a latte macchiato to add to their morning caffeine kick-start.
Aside from the food, the first welcoming sight is the waterfall window adorning the front of the eatery. The interior décor too matches with the hearty meals that are forthcoming!
Breakfast sets are ranged between Tk 180 to Tk 450 while the various coffees are priced between Tk 190 to Tk 290.
The White Canary Café
For comic fans, enter the White Canary Café, serving the need of fans with meals and coffees named after Marvel and DC characters while providing a view of the city from a gigantic glass window. This is a joint that serves brunch and does it all day, proudly stated in their menu as “All Day Brunch”. Their Croissant Eggs Benedict, waffles, French toast with fruit filling, and variety of pancakes are hits all around. White Canary has named their 'perfect coffees' as Bruce Wayne, the Flash, the Hulk etc. For the post-brunch energiser, their signature blends are waiting for you. Brunch prices range from Tk 350 to Tk 550 with signature coffees falling between Tk 320 to Tk 420.
THE OFFICE, 12 PM
Kaniz has a set of foreign clients coming and she wants them to have lunch at a good restaurant, particularly one with a good Trip Advisor rating. She also needs some places that are nearer to her office for future reference.
As a one-and-a-half-year-old eating joint, Busy Beans is already making a place for itself as a popular choice for the corporate and the student bunch. With appetising quick meal sets including fried rice or chow mein, mixed vegetables with chicken, beef or prawns to platters accompanied by desserts and drinks, the menu is set to please the taste buds of the hungriest!
Busy Beans offers a unique view including outdoor seating as well as large glass windows looking out. From refreshing lemon ice teas to hot espressos to affogato, this place is bound to keep your palate busy!
Price for sets range from Tk 299 to Tk 499 while drinks range from Tk 170 to Tk 360.
All characters are fictional but their eating related dilemmas are very relatable! As for the, eateries you can locate them here —
Tastebud, House#52, Block H, Rd No 12A, Banani Model Town, Dhaka 1213.
Dhaka's eating scene had quite a splash with Treehouse's 'Turkey Steak' and they have not stopped there. They are serving up Lobster Thermidores, Chicken Steaks and Sirloin Steak Bentos in generous portion sizes and in style. Paired with their fruit drinks bar ROOTS, you have the option of having a healthy drink after the protein fest!
Those not in the mood for the ginormous platters and sides can opt for their Single's platters or try their Lemon Chicken or Mr. Crab Salad.
Aside from their typical offers, look out for specials like Bento Week or future Turkey Steak offers if you are looking to add to your eating repertoire.
Their Chicken Steak is priced at Tk 447, Seafood Platters are Tk 987, Sirloin Bentos will set you back by Tk 1089 while regular Lobster Thermidor's are priced at Tk 1987.
Awadhi cuisine is no longer that far away for the foodies in Dhaka. Lucknow is here to serve the best of the Mughal Cuisine, whether it's nehari or Galawti or Parda biriyani — they are here to take your taste buds on a journey you will want to repeat over and over again.
Not in the mood for meat? They have you covered with their delectable vegetarian section including Naushijaan vegetable biriyani, dal makahni, panir tikka — to name a few.
After a hearty meal, Lucknow recommends their shahi tukra or their range of iced teas for the perfect finish.
Their biriyani ranges from Tk 550 to Tk 750, mutton dishes are in the Tk 325 (galawati) to Tk 600 (nihari) range, vegetarian dishes are between Tk 350-400. Drinks and desserts fall in the Tk 120-200 range.
AN EVENING WITH THE JUNIORS, 5PM
Rafi is leaving early. Some of his university juniors are coming over. His alma mater being in Banani, he has quite a good grasp of the evening hang-out joints. Since he will be leaving through Gulshan, he's planned ahead for a stopover on the way. He's also tempted to mark out some other places for later visits.
Gulshan Avenue welcomed Tabaq this June after much waiting from the fans. The all-time-favourite coffeehouse of the city offers their popular fare of coffees and drinks with a variety of treats for the whole day and well into the evening.
Their cheesecake brownie is one of the most popular picks. Don't know your coffee? They have you covered with very handy diagrams on the menu! Not in the mood for dairy? Tabaq has smoothies for a change. Dessert not your thing? They offer a quaint selection of sandwiches and wraps.
Tabaq's drinks, shakes and smoothies are between Tk 150 to Tk 380. Their desserts range from Tk 50 to Tk 200 with the option to add ice cream for selected desserts.
The name is catchy enough to tempt people to try the cafe out; and once you have been there, it will keep pulling you back to it every time. Peyala has a very cosy environment which creates a welcoming and homely ambience. But it's their food creativity that sets them apart.
Their meaty Jamaican chicken wrap is out of this world. It will melt in your mouth with each bite while a cup of 'masala tea' is equivalent to an ayurvedic Indian head massage. And who could have thought that gulab jamun could be incorporated into a cheesecake! Well Peyala thought of that as well.
Their hot and cold drinks (aptly named 'gorom peyala' and 'thanda peyala!') are between Tk 80 to Tk 220 (in small/choto portions). The various wraps are priced at Tk 180 with options for adding toppings like sour cream and guacamole. The desserts are between Tk 120 to Tk 250.
Tea drinkers and beverage lovers can rejoice as Chatime, the Taiwanese global franchise finally set up shop in Dhaka back in January this year. Coming to the menu, there is a huge variety of beverages — about a dozen kinds of milk tea, some mousses, fresh tea, smoothies, fruit tea, 'oriental pop' tea, QQs, juices and many more.
Aside from their variety of drinks, they are also very much into pop culture. Their latest feat was screening the latest Game of Thrones Seasons Finale with limited edition drinking cups.
Chatime's regular fresh teas are priced at Tk 60, juices and fruit teas between Tk 150 to Tk 185, QQ, Oriental Pop Tea and Milk Teas fall between Tk 100 to Tk 300 — all regular sizes. There are also options to add (or not add) extra sugar, ice and a variety of other toppings with L size option.
SEALING THE DEAL AT DINNER, 7PM
Shawkat is now taking over the dinner planning for their foreign clientele. Their guests are staying at a 5-star and want to visit something Thai. Also, next week he wants to entertain their CEO with some biriyani, and he's been going on and on about how the best biriyani are made only at the weddings.
Not been to a wedding for a while? Are you craving some 'biye-food'? Do not fret because Salam's Kitchen in Banani has you covered with an added plus — no camera man hanging over your shoulder as you eat!
You no longer have to wait for that coveted wedding invitation for scrumptious biriyani and delectable chicken roast. Just drop by Salam's Kitchen and you are good to go. Serving up 'shahi mutton kachchi' and the best of mixed kabab platters, they have brought their delectable catering for everyday eating.
Set meals are priced between Tk 180 to Tk 280. Their kabab platter is set at Tk 680 which serves four. Various edibles like jali kabab, mutton rezala are there as sides. And what's a full biyebari eating experience without borhani? Priced at Tk 50 per glass, you can choose between their signature or regular borhani.
While Dhaka is on the bursting point of having way too many east-Asian eateries, quality places are still a hard find. Enter Thai Emerald, with their authentic cuisine served up by original Thai chefs set in a comfortable ambience that adds to the taste.
Price wise, this is one of the premium restaurant experiences, but as far as quality goes, their reputation banks on their consistency from day one. With a hefty selection of soups and salads, paired with a mouth-watering selection of prawn dishes, Thai emerald is sure to leave the pickiest eaters satisfied. Even dessert is tantalising affair with their special coconut ice cream that imbues traditional Thai taste with indigenous delicacy.
Appetisers, soups and salads are between Tk 375 to Tk 675. Chicken, beef dishes are between Tk 425 to Tk 575 while fish and prawn dishes are between Tk 525 to Tk 825. Patrons can also check out their platters and set menus which vary seasonally.
While the Michelin Guide is yet to feature Dhaka (or Bangladesh as matter of fact), these eateries are few of the many that are vying for your next visit.
By Sumaiya Tasnim, Nafisa Faruque and Ali Sakhi Khan
Photo: Toukir Ahmed Tanvee