Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 12, Tuesday March 18, 2008




Taste of Thailand

Putting yours truly in the kitchen is pretty much the same as putting a Sumo wrestler on a tightrope...a recipe for disaster. So when The Westin Dhaka announced their cooking classes as part of their Taste of Thailand line-up, one saw this reporter dragging her feet to the venue, wondering if this was the beginning of the end. It so happened that my fears were completely unfounded.

The "Taste of Thailand" food festival was inaugurated on March 09, 2007 by Dr. A. B. Mirza Md. Azizul Islam, Honourable Advisor of the Ministry of Finance and Planning. The programme included authentic Thai cuisine for dinner every night between March 9 to March 18, and the four-day cooking classes administered by Associate Professor Obcheny Wongtang, of Kasetsart University, Bangkok.

The classes were designed so that the attendees learned three new dishes on each day. The chef whipped up such exotic items as Tom Yung Kun soup, Red Curry beef, and tapioca pudding, while the students watched and took note, assisted by the large screen projections of the processes.

What characterises Thai cuisine is that exquisite balance of flavour and texture. For example, in a green curry, the sharp, piquant chilies and spices and eggplant are tempered by sweet coconut milk and palm sugar. Thai foods have strong, hot flavours. They're marked by a wide range of tastes, textures, temperatures and colours, which are balanced to provide variety and harmony in a meal.

The items presented and taught were extremely simple to make. Even a complete novice like myself had no difficulty in understanding the processes, and they actually turned out great. With the exception of one of the dishes shown on the final day, the Matsaman Curry Beef, most items took just about 8-10 minutes to prepare. Yet the taste of each item, when sampled was an adventure of flavour.

The Food Festival was jointly organised by The Westin Dhaka and The Royal Thai Embassy, with Channel-I and ICE Today as media partners, Rashed Kanchan Corporation as the event partner and GMG and Thai Airways International as Airline partner.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Food fiesta at Sonargaon

As the season heats up and signals the coming of summer, the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel also heats it up with food promotions galore. Whether it's at the Oriental-themed Jharna, or the Italian specialty at Ciao or even the International menu offered at Café Baazar, Sonargoan is quite definitely the place to be at the moment.

Although targeting a strictly stream-lined market segment, 'Jharna', the Oriental-themed restaurant at Sonargaon continues to uphold its desire to attract an elite clientele with their introduction of the Executive Lunch Buffet.

Their new range of Chinese and International gourmet dishes are designed to incorporate a complete dining experience and corporate meetings with clients and colleagues into each lunch hour, with a menu catering 5 non-vegetarian dishes including chicken, beef and fish, 2 vegetarian dishes, a soup of the day and 10 dessert dishes.

As a further attraction, the restaurant accommodates a live cooking station to give diners the opportunity to have their meals prepared exactly befitting to their tastes and has on offer live cooked lobster, imported lamb chops and a variety of steaks. The buffet is priced along the upper-end at Tk 1500 and runs from 12-3.30pm everyday.

As for dinner, the wide array of steaks adds a subtle variety to the regular cuisine and with prices ranging from Tk 2800-Tk 3800. Be sure to try out the Tenderloin, the T-Bone or the absolutely sumptuous Chateaubriand.

Providing a contrasting menu and following the gustatory preferences of another part of the world, Ciao sports a traditional Italian cuisine with Pizza Seafood , Pizza with Salami, Pizza Napoletana, Pizza Sonargaon , Pizza Four Seasons, Pizza Pocket and Pizza Giardienara broadening the list of choices.

Here too lies the option for having meals made exactly to customers' preferences with the alternative of creating your own pizza from a selected line of toppings and ingredients.

Aside the pizza, Ciao also provides the option of Fondue. For those not familiar with the term, fondue is a wildly creative meal made with beef, cheese or sea fish dipping them into a delicious mixture with French bread as a side order. It can easily provide a good solution for a romantic meal for two and the best part is that the prices start only from Tk 550.

Sonargaon will be running two promotional offers as a prelude to the change of season with conventional Italian dishes at Ciao and a seafood festival featuring salmon, pomfret, lobster, crab, sushi and sasami at Jharna. Both offers will be available from 17 to 27 of March on a special a la carte menu for dinner everyday.
For reservations, call # 8111005.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam

By the way

Round# 1 - cleaning!

It’s time to say goodbye to winter. After a few months of fashionable shawls, jackets and sweaters, it is time to wrap them up. Taking care of winter clothes is a hassle and sending the clothes for dry cleaning can be expensive. Here is a guideline to solve this problem at home easily.

Hand Washing
Turn the sweater inside out and sew buttonholes together, so that they don't stretch during laundering. Don't soak sweaters or shawls for more than an hour; 30 minutes is best. Keep clothes underwater while washing them. Lifting the garments in and out of water strains the elasticity. Don't wring out excess water after washing. Rather place them on a large towel, roll up the towel and press it. To keep the original shape it's better to dry up on a flat surface. When half dried, turn it around.

Machine Washing
Fill the washer with lukewarm water. Add a mild soap and let the washer run for a few minutes to mix well. Stop the washer and put your cloths in.

Put your hands into the washer and manipulate the garments, washing it by using your fingers. After finishing the manual wash, turn your dial and washer to the final spin cycle. Let the washer spin the water out of the cloths.

Next, take them out of the washer and refill the washer with water. Rinse the garments taking care not to be rough or stretch them too much. You may rinse twice but usually one rinse will suffice.

After the final rinse take your clothes out on a flat surface to dry over a large towel (you can use bed cloths if you don't have any).

Tips to know: Wool items should be put in the shade to dry. Always iron woollen garments on the wrong side, over a damp cloth or else the wool will loose it's shape, softness and elasticity.

By Zubaida



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