Weight Scale

There are many interesting things on the street of Bangladesh.
One of them is "Weight Scale".

Weight scale on the street......
on the crossover bridge....
And, on the street.......
 So I tried.
I didn't intent to cut my face off from the picture.
I asked a Bengali boy to take a picture of me.
At first, he took picture of only me.
I told him to take one more "with scale".
Somehow.....my head was out of picture.
OK, doesn't matter.

I told him scale on the street was not found in Japan.
"Oh, you don't have digital scale in your country?"
"No, we have digital, but not ON THE STREET."

People gathered as usual to see foreigner.
Or, to see foreigner on the weight scale on the street.

People stopped as they see people gathered.
Me on the scale was surrounded by Bengali guys.
"How much weight?"
"What? How much?"
People even started sharing my weight.

It costs only 2tk.
For 2tk, you can get interesting experience.
No way to miss it.


Street Food (2)

Street food, the second part.

Start with my favorite winter snack.
This is the scenery of winter......stone oven for "Bhapa Peetha".
Working outside is basically men's job, but comparatively many women seem working for Bhapa peetha.

This is sweet rice cake with coconut.
It is not super sweet! Slightly sweet, very simple taste.
It's only 5tk.

Can you see white round stuff a guy is making?
That is another kind of Peetha.
It doesn't have any taste, so you add mustard or spicy paste.

This is "Churi".
Beans, potato and boiled egg will be mixed together, sauce added.
What kinds of taste?
You would no longer ask, curry taste.
My memory isn't clear......but maybe 20tk.

Egg Cake isn't very popular, but my favorite.
You will find whole egg in the cake.
It is 20tk for a piece.

As it looks like, it is very simple taste of egg, flower, and sugar.
When you are tired of curry taste, this egg cake calls you.
If you want to eat only egg....
Boiled egg is available (though there wasn't owner at the time)
Any other things?
There must be more, but they are enough to keep your stomach full for a while.


Street food (1)

Trying street food is one of the main attractions in Bangladesh.
Especially from evening, many stands open.
It's time for "nasta", evening snacks!

One the way to home from office, I pass many kinds of stands along the main road.
When I don't feel like to cook, one of them becomes my dinner.

Start with typical street food, "Fuchka".
Inside something like chips, you will find potato & bean paste with spices.
Sour sauce will be added as you like.
This one plate is 10tk.
One of my friends eats Fuchka 6 days a week.
I can't, but she can tell where and which stand serves the best Fuchka.
"Chotopoti" is my favorite.
Ingredient is similar with Fuchka, but more gorgeous :)
Bean soup is poured to the plate, potato paste and some spices are added.
Mixed well, and Fuchka(chips part) & sliced boiled egg are added. 
One plate costs 20tk.
You can't leave Bangladesh without trying this.

"Halim" is also found in the evening. 
It's soup curry.

Beef is often used for Halim.
However, on the street innards is used instead of meat.
If you like innards, that will be very tasty.....but unfortunately, I don't.
I like Halim at restaurant.
You will get beef meat and some toppings though it costs more.
One bowl of Halim is 20tk on the street, around 40tk at restaurant.

Can you see what he is selling?
Noodle called "chow mein".

Fried noodle as you see.

It was good, but I can only say "it was noodle"......
I wonder noodle can be still called as "snack" even though people take it before dinner...
Belly of Bengali people tells the answer.
The plate is half size, 20tk.

There are still more kinds, but I stop writing here.
I will introduce the left next time........so now, I'm going out to find Fuchka.
I haven't had it for a while.


Billal Hotel & Restaurant

I would like to introduce my favorite local restaurant (of course, CURRY!) near my office.
A JICA volunteer Jun Bhai working as cooking instructer took me the restaurant at first, and we regularly visited.(Now he went back to Japan, unfortunately)
His students told that the restaurant was good and cheap.
Yes, actually there is high possibility to run across students or co-workers.

The restaurant looks like thousands of other curry restaurants.
Inside looks like thousands of others, too.
Curry looks like thousands of others.......but it is tasty!

After eating Bangladeshi curry for a while, I can tell some differences.
It is difficult to explain and I can't tell the difference is because of spice or oil, time for cooking and so on.....but something is different.
The taste of this store became our favorite.

Food is sent from somewhere else.
There are quite enough kinds.
 I usually take a look at the kitchen, order what catches my eyes.
Fish curry(60tk), round ball is Botta made from dried fish or shrimp.
 Beef curry(60tk),
 Alu botta(made of potato) is 20tk, dar soup is 5 tk.
One plate of rice is 10tk, so all of these dishes for 2 persons cost 205tk(≒$2.6).

This day, we ordered a little more than usual for picture.
We usually order vegetables......then, it costs less than 100tk for 2.
Meat or fish is big meal especially if people have money.
Bengali people wondered why these foreigners who must have money only eat vegetables.
"Don't you eat meat? Chicken? Beef??"
Staff asks in the beginning, but doesn't these days.
Yes, please understand. I just like vegetable!

I doubt anyone tries to go to the restaurant, but in the case...
How to go
1. Go to Mohakhali
2. Find Hotel Abakash
3. Go one more southern street running parallel to the main road.
   then you will find on your left.

Bangladeshi curry makes us have sweet milk tea.
Don't worry, there are a lot of "Cha dokan"s near the restaurant.
Enjoy as Bangladeshi style.

*Pictures provided by Jun Bhai.


New Bhai Bhai Fressco Food Products

There are cookie factories near my house.
Bread and cookies are baked there, and delivered to "Cha dokan" or sweet shops.
I visited one of the factories.
You will never find the entrance by yourself...!
Staff welcomed and let me in the factory.
Near entrance, mountain of cookies and and bread.
Rugged guys making dough betray your image of "cookie factory".

He cut cookie dough.
Baked bread looks good.

It will be cut into pieces and baked again.
Young guys are putting bread pieces on oven plates.....with talking on the phone.
Or, young guys talked on the phone with working.
This process was amazing.
He put plates into a big oven with a long stick. 

After he's done, all the plates were placed in order.
It was beautiful.

The last part was packing.
A man scaled the weight, another man closed the package using fire of candle.

It is interesting to see all the process.
In fact, bread and cookies have quite high quality in Bangladesh.
Luckly, I got a bread when I visited :)
(Though not always expected!)

If you want to visit?
Get off "Uttar Badda Kacha Bazaar", and keep asking people "where is cookie factory?".
They operate 8:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m.

New Bhai Bhai Fressco Food Products
Address:#167, Uttar Badda Bazaar, Tetultola, Badda, Dhaka


Sakura Golden Rice Restaurant

Sakura Golden Rice is one of restaurant where Japanese food is available.
Shef had been in Kichijoji, Japan.
If you REALLY REALLY need Japanese food, then visit here.
doesn't look either Chinese nor Japanese restaurant...
There are tables & chairs, but also low table (Japanese style) is available.
So, let's start Japanese dinner!
Begin with "Eda-mame(boild beans)".

It surprised me to have this beans in Bangladesh, but 450tk for this plate also surprised me.
450tk will do for 3 or 4 people if they have curry in local restaurant.
Karaage/fried chiken(930tk),
Yakitori (assorted, 1050tk)
Sashimi in Bangladesh!
Like all sashimi abroad, salmon was the best. (somehow salmon has stable quality.......)  
and, my dear chub mackerel.
(though it has to be served with ginger, not wasabi)

Unfortunately, sashimi costs 1100tk(≒$14) for a plate which is clearly crazy.
But if you can't live without Sashimi, then it is necessary cost.

Maybe not daily use, but if you know anyone who is starving for Japanese food, then tell him/her to visit the restaurant.
They can enjoy Japanese food (and Chinese food, too) in quiet fancy place.
Sakura Golden Rice
Address:House 15/B, Road118,Gulshan - 2, Dhaka
TEL: 01772-423323, 02-9856207~8
Time: 11:30 am - 3:00 pm, 3:30 pm - 11:30 pm


Old Dhaka City (2)

Second parts of Dhaka city tour.

After walking around wholesaler market, we went to Buriganda river for boat ride.
Thousands of boats go and come over the river.

I haven't introduced my co-worker.
It's he!

He was wearing Campain T shirt for World Tourism Day.
With a close crop haircut and sun glasses, he may look...should look Mafia, but he isn't(maybe).

People watched us, but me or him?
Maybe him?

After boat ride, we went to the oldest restaurant in Old Dhaka whose name is "Beauty Boarding".

The list of famous people who visited the restaurant was put outside.

This is inside.

A man served rice from a big bowl.

And......here are dishes!

They were different from the ones I usually eat.
It is Hindi style.
Banana curry, fish egg curry, bean soup...
They use less oil , so I felt it is more watery.
I like Bengali curry, but I always feel oil stays in my stomach after 2 or 3 hours.
At the day, I didn't.
It must be good for your health.

There were tourists taking pictures.
These days, many fancy restaurants are found, but rarely found the local restaurant where tourists visit.

The restaurant is in Old Dhaka.
Find and visit the oldest restaurant in Old Dhaka!

"Beauty Boarding"
1, Shirish Das Lane, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka