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


Old Dhaka City (1)

Old Dhaka is south part of the city.
It is interesting place to stroll around, but I hardly go because it can take forever if traffic jam catches me.
But one day, my co-worker showdc me the Old Dhaka city where he grew up.
I have been there before, but it was a little different with a special guide.

So, let's start from Shakari Bazar.
Rikshaws come and go through narrow crowded streets.

There are variety kinds of stores, stores, stores.......

Music instrument

wedding stuff

Hindi T-shirt
Passing through the streets, we came where many Cha dokan were.
They use hot milk instead of condense milk.
This tea is called "Gabin Cha", and not usually found in other parts of Dhaka.

This sweetness is softer than one with condense milk.

There were many people in front of the store.
The owner so succeeded in this Cha dokan that he has building in Gulshan area.
The store's name is "Shahidullah's chaer dokan" where is located somewhere in Old Dhaka city.
I would like someone to try to find the store only by the name.

We continued walking, found "pita" which is baked stuff made from rice.
One was sweet,
one another was with no taste, but served with mustard.
They were good though it made me full.......but continued eating,
Left one is "Bapa pita", right one is fried Chapati.
Bapa pita is made from cocont, and sweet.

It was around 11 a.m.
They can be called early lunch.....but of course, they were snack.

"We are going to go to the oldest restaurant in Dhaka for lunch"
"I am getting full!"
"Don't worry, we will walk a lot"

So we kept walking to.....
Fabric wholesale market to

Book market to......
"clock wholesaler market" to "Gi(oil from milk) wholesaler market"  e.t.c...

There are thousands of wholesaler market in Old Dhaka.
It is the center of economy as my co-worker told.

OK, it passed noon.
Story half left is for next time. 


Jamuna Future Park (1)

I visited Jamuna Future Park in Dhaka.
If you have come to Dhaka city from airport, you must have seen this amusement park.
I and my friend went there to visit food court and do bowling.

There is a small amusement park as we entered from entrance.
I wanted to see it moving!
Unfortunately, no one was on any ride.
(Ride costs 200tk to 400tk which isn't cheap.)
"Entrance" in Japanese?
Or, maybe Chinese?

We entered the building and headed to 5th floor.
There is nothing but sign board telling "coming soon" from 1st floor to 4th floor.
I wonder "soon" means how long in Bangladesh.

There are many stores which "sounds like" or "looks like" popular food chain.

For example, SUB......

Continued to....

What does "facefood" mean?
Any idea?

I would like to introduce one more interesting restaurant whose name is
"Crise Cardiac Grill".
What's interesting is customers sit as patients.
Waiters wear as doctor, waitress as nurse.
Customers are given "patient wear" and sit on the wheel chair.

How can I help you??
So again, let's see weird scene of the store?

Burger set cost around 250tk to 400tk.
You can try to be a patient.

It took some time just to go around the floor.
Of course, we went bowling, too.
50tk for entrance fee, and 300tk for one game at "players club".
(50tk discount will be applied by showing entrance ticket)
No big change from Japanese bowling.
We only needed to call a staff because 1 or 2 or 3 pins lacked for some times.

As expected, Bengali people doesn't seem good at bowling.
Some really "throw away" ball, ball went gutter before it reached half way....

They were not good at, but I was not any better at all.
I left Players club leaving surprising score though I don't tell this here.

Jamna Future Park is one of few amusement parks in Bangaldesh for some rich people.
This kind of holiday was nothing special and usual in Japan, which means unusual in Bangladesh.
But anyway I enjoyed this "unique" holiday.