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Spot Light

New Taste in town

Impressionist paintings, interactive chefs (more on that later), helpful staff and eye-catching ambiance are just few of the things you can expect to experience while dining out at the newest restaurant in town- Taste. And the food of course, one shouldn't forget that.

Located on level two of the fabulous Westin Hotel, Taste is a sprawling 200-seater restaurant that started business from July 15 and has already found a quiet but faithful clientele. No reason not to, when you consider the splendid décor, the delicious Pan-Asian cuisine and the wholesome new approach they have adopted towards their customers.

The whole restaurant is divided into three distinct seating areas- the space in front of the revolutionary Molteni Podium, the elevated wooden floor and the line of mostly two-seaters sandwiched right by the dessert bar. And there is also the private dining option that is used mostly for family or extended gatherings. The interior is well lit (cosy glow light they call it) and adorned with quite a number of fiery paintings adding flavour to the regulation restaurant ambiance.

The atmosphere is casual, yet elegant punctuated effectively by the contemporary styled round ceiling with gold leaves, natural tine wooden décor, sculptures, flowers and the 'renewal of nature' paintings- the jewel in the crown being a painting called 'Autumn' depicting the bare tree branches in a very unique manner.

But now on to the most important thing- the food.
The cuisine that they cater to is Pan- Asian and they are true to their word. There is also the provision for Continental cuisine but the former is what they really focus on. I was fortunate enough to sample food unique to six cultures (Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese and Thai among them) during my day dining out.

Starting with Japanese, the sushi and sashimi was flavoured with the wasabi and there were numerous other appetisers, notable amongst which were the duck and asparagus salad, the olive green mango salad and if your tastes are a bit more carnivorous then the grilled beef salad will do quite well.

In a new concept, there is also a noodles bar with the ingredients all arranged out for the customer to choose. So you can choose a great variety of items that you want to put into your noodles and tell the chef to rustle up a serving. The noodles are imported and this is definitely worth a try.

Pan-Asian cuisine being their forte, the main course had the usual green beef curry, chicken and sweet corn and marinated lamb. But be sure to try out the scrumptious beef with eggplant and the grilled fish. Also the grilled prawn and lamb with pak choi were great treats. And sample the Indonesian rice. You might just have a taste for it.

The food is laid out in small quantities for you to eat but there is also an arrangement for the more conventional 'load your plate' buffet or 'spread' (the American term) as they refer to it at Taste.

Now to the interactive chefs- what this means is that the chefs are constantly on the move mingling with the customers. How does this help? Well if you want your green beef curry a trifle more spicier, all you do is just tell him and there you have it! Home dining at restaurants!

Another great attraction is the Molteni Podium. A new concept to us Bangladeshis, it is in essence a very creative stove which allows the chef ample opportunity to express his preferences and conjure up something special. Referred to as the Rolls Royce of podium cooking, the Molteni is the first of its kind in Asia and the edition that is at use at Westin is the first of its kind in the world.

That said and done all that is left is the dessert. And it's one of their attractions with a plethora of items on show. I consented myself with the chocolate mousse and chocolate ice-cream but you will be definitely spoilt for choice.

All that's left is a helpful staff led by an admirable General Manager in Sam Amalan, who are always at your beck and call.

So finally the verdict. And so without further ado we can say that Taste is definitely living up to its name.

Buffets are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner with prices varying between TK 1400 1900 (inclusive all taxes and service charge) depending on which meal you choose to have.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam
Photo: The Westin,Dhaka

A True Taste Of Asia

Sweet Ice Tea
8 Tea bags
Ice cubes
Fine sugar (optional)
Lemon slices (optional)

In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of cold water to a boil. Remove water from heat and add tea bags. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour into a pitcher. Add 4 cups of cold water and stir. Add sugar and lemon to taste. Serve on ice.

Chai Bubble Tea
Prepared tapioca bubble tea pearls- 1 cup
Crushed ice- 2 cups
Chai tea- 3 cups
Skimmed milk- 2 cups
Honey or sugar to taste

Place the pearls in a large parfait glass. Combine all remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously until the mixture is frothy. Pour into the glass, and serve with extra-thick straws.

Flour- 2 2/3 cups
Baking powder- 2 1/2 teaspoon
Salt- 1/2 teaspoon
Butter- 2/3 cups
Light brown sugar- 1 lb box
3 Eggs
Chocolate chips- 6 oz package
Butterscotch chips- 6 oz package
Pecans- 1 cup

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Melt butter and brown sugar in saucepan; cool. When cool, add eggs, one at a time. Add the flour mixture, the chocolate and the butterscotch chips and finally the pecans. Spread in a jellyroll pan; bake at 350 degree for 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook. Allow the batter to thicken. Cut in squares when cool.


Check It Out

Monsoon @ Sapnobaz

This monsoon, Sapnobaz is bringing out its new line in its Aziz Supermarket outlet. For men, there are T-shirts and fatuas and for the ladies, T-shirts are also available. The T-shirts are designed by Ferdous Khan, Thirteen Screw, Joy Shahriar and Ronny amongst others. They cost Tk 150 and the fatuas are Tk 300 to Tk 350. For more information, contact: 86, Aziz Super Market (1st Floor), Shahbag, Dhaka-1000. Phone: 0152329701.

-LS Desk


Save it for a rainy day

It is monsoon time a time that is characterised by overcast skies, drizzly mornings, puddles of muddy water on the roads and hotchpotch lunch menus.

For students and office-goers a drizzly morning is often a big pain. Unless you have ready transport waiting at your doorstep, commuting becomes a big hassle. But since you have to face nature's elements some time or the other, go out on the street with your monsoon gear. Carry an umbrella or a raincoat during this season of the year, you never know when a sudden downpour will soak you from head to toe. To add colour, ladies can buy colourful umbrellas with floral prints. Umbrellas are pretty cheap and you can even get one for around Tk.200.

In many offices it is acceptable to wear casual clothes on a rainy day. If your office is one of them, then wear informal clothing at this time of the year. Wear clothes that will dry fast. For men, it's the best to wear cotton pants. Avoid denim during monsoon. For women, this is the best time to wear clothes made from synthetic fabrics like georgette, chignon and so on.

If you have plans to go shopping on a rainy day, opt for plastic sandals. Plastic sandals are widely available in places like New Market, Elephant Road and Gulshan 2 City Corporation Market. You can even buy a pair for only Tk.100.

Monsoon is also the season to wear waterproof makeup. Say NO to makeup items like gloss, foundation, eyeliner and mascara (unless it's waterproof) at this time of the year. Besides, monsoon is not the ideal season to wear heavy makeup. As a matter of fact, you can look quite stylish with eyes lined with kohl and lips coated with waterproof lipstick. Revlon's matte lipsticks are quite reasonably priced- around Tk 200. Avoid heavy clattering jewellery on rainy days and try out simple stone earrings complemented with thin and classy metal chains.

Monsoon is the perfect time for khichuri, hot meat curry and pickles. What's more wonderful than having a khichuri lunch on a rainy day? So prepare mouth-watering hotchpotch menu and invite friends and family over for a rainy day lunch at home.

Setting aside the streets clogged with dirty water and clothes drenched in downpour, monsoon is a lovely season. The season won't last long so enjoy every moment of it.

By Penelope


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