Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5 Issue 87, Tuesday, October 13, 2009



Eating Out

The sweet Japanese retreat

Tucked into a quiet by-lane in Uttara, with only a modest sign proclaiming its location, it's easy to miss Nagasaki Hostel, which has its own Japanese restaurant downstairs. Sometimes unassuming facades hide real treasures, and this is doubly true for this food outlet, a concern of Bangladesh Travel Homes Ltd.

Stepping into the restaurant itself, one is greeted by warm wood paneling, paper windows, silk fans and mini rock-garden landscaping, with J-pop piping cheerfully in the background. MA Salam, the manager, who happens to have designed the interiors, tells us he picked only natural materials to create the peaceful ambiance that is de rigueur for the proper dining experience. One takes off one's shoes at the entrance, slips on a pair of straw slippers, and makes way into the dining area, which is composed of low tables on raised wooden platforms and punch spaces by the seating area, where one can sink in, and sit comfortably, and still maintain the illusion of sitting on the floor.

For those who do want the experience of the real thing, the party rooms upstairs offer the floor-level tables and tatami mats. In total, the restaurant has a seating capacity of 75. This allows for great service, with friendly serving staff ensuring your comfort.

The menu is comprehensive, ranging from tempura and nattou, to sushi and set menus featuring rice/noodles, miso soup, vegetables and a choice of meat or fish. The grilled butter squid, which melts in the mouth, is a must-try, as is the sushi platter, which provides a wide range of fish and vegetable sushi, teeming with savoury flavours, and that elusive taste of umami.

Chef and restaurant owner Mori Shinji has an eye for detail, so expect to see pretty little extras like the wasabi being molded into the shape of a leaf, or the red ginger curled into the shape of a rose. One has to appreciate the fact that the food at Nagasaki remains true to its roots without being distorted to suit the deshi palate. This is definitely a place for serious connoisseurs. The seafood ingredients are all freshly imported from Japan to provide that authentic taste, and there are takeout facilities for the fried food. The menu also changes on a seasonal rotation, and starting from October 15, one can expect the winter menu, with a whole new range of exciting treats.

The prices are a little on the high side, and since credit cards are not accepted, you want to make sure your wallet is well-stocked before heading this way. The food is definitely worth a splurge, and what's more, for the next few weeks, if you bring this copy of Lifestyle with you, you're entitled to a 10 percent discount. So if you're hankering for a little Japanese food, don't forget to give Nagasaki a try.

Nagasaki Japanese Restaurant is located at: House #13, Road #6, Sector #1, Uttara Model Town.

By Sabrina F Ahmad
Photos: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Devil duck dreaming

Inside the mind of the Devil there lived a small duck. It quacked around looking for a small pond not knowing that the Devil had not a single drop of water in his soul, mind or body. When the duck would get tired of looking for her pond she would chew on some plastic grass and fall asleep on ice that was never meant to melt. The duck dreamt of many foreign things…

She dreamt of places where the streets were narrow and the sky was as wide as the bottom of a spoon and designed to reflect like a mirror. So say, if for some reason the duck wanted to check on the twitch on her left eye all she had to do was stand at the corner of the narrow street and look up and there she was on her refection looking back at herself, one eye twitching.

And she would stare at herself perplexed, trying to figure out which eye twitching was considered ominous, left or right. And following those pondering seconds the street vendor cooking duck feet and chicken heads would catch her. And then chop chop, off went the feet and she would be left to dream with only a big orange beak and no matching feet. And that is when she would wake up thirsty for water, checking to make sure her feet were still intact. The Devil would shake a little assuring her that he is still alive which meant she was too… feeling secure in the Devil's nest she would fall asleep again …

The next dreams were half as bad. In those she would be near the ocean, which felt like the inside of a very kind person. She would carry salt water in her beak, boil it over hot sand and then bottle it up for bad times. She would think of ways of carrying the water back home, to water the plastic grass, to wash the never-melting ice and to give some of it to the Devil so that he too could taste the ocean. In her dream she would think of how she could invent new ways of playing around the Devil's mind, how she could step around the burning lava and the slaughtering house and reach the study where the Devil practiced his French. She thought about improving her quacks to sooth the Devil's mind and to even perhaps take up singing.

And then the dream would end with her trying to quack some notes. Hearing her quacks the Devil would go on a rampage, shaking his sweating ashy head searching for blood. The Devil would take all whom he saw on his way; with no mercy he would try to end it all not knowing nothing really ever ends. The duck would continue her search for water, the plastic grass would remain under her feet as known comfort and the ice would turn into air lingering around waiting for the duck to dream again.

News Flash

Taste from Malaya

We love buffets! Seriously, does anyone ever go a la carte these days? If you are planning to dine out this week, check out the Malaysian Food & Cultural Festival at Radisson Water Garden Hotel. The gustatory fiesta began on 12 October and will continue through 18 October 2009.

Rice tends to be a staple food in Malaysia as in most countries in the region but noodles also enjoys a priviledged status. Indian style bread such as naan, puri, roti canai, thosai and idli are commonly eaten by most Malaysians as part of breakfast.

The richness in their cuisine is also reflected in the curry. And for those who love the delightfully aromatic flavour of coconut, Malayan cuisine is the one-stop way to heaven! The coconut, an integral ingredient to the Malayan palate gives the ubiquitous nutty taste to most dishes of the region. No spurprise that satay, grilled chicken with a peanut and coconut milk sauce, is the national dish of Malaysia.

Malaysia is unique in the sense that the cultural diversity has influenced the dietary habits of the people and thus we see extravagant use of chicken, beef, mutton, vegetable, sea food and even pork, which is unusual for a country with Muslim majority. They say, “Malaysia - truly Asia”. One look at a Malayan menu will tell you why!

For reservations contact: Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka, Airport Road, Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka 1206. #8754555, 8754554.

Food lovers' haven

Pizza Hut and KFC dressed in enhanced attires await your presence at 10 Natok Shoroni, New Baily Road. Theatrical history and footprints reveal stories of this unforgettable and dramatic Bailey Road. “Stories happen” is the tagline attached to Pizza Hut, an enhanced dine-in, and furthermore, comes along with a new logo.

The menus have undergone severe transformations and now extend their warmth to a wide range of appetizers that includes but is not limited to, Fried Potato Wedges, Onion Rings, Potato Shell with Fillers and the bud tickling Potato Shell with Cheese. The former classic favourite main courses still occupy their fame on the menus with an addition of sensuous exotic pastas from Creamy Spinach Mushroom and Bolognaise with Meatball.

Thirst quenchers such as Lemon Iced Tea is another fine addition at this prestigious international food chain with a local appeal.

Hunger has set in as to make you want to lick your fingers till the last bone of that extra crispy chicken that resides on your plate? KFC is the place for you to be at. The secret of the 11 spices is locked in a treasure box and only comes fast and hot with KFC's world acclaimed chicken chunks.

Akku Chowdhury, Executive Director, Transcom Foods Ltd. enthusiastically placed, ” Young Bangladeshis are not necessarily looking for just fast food or fine dining options. In fact, evolved young diners are today looking for places that will be extensions of their own comfort zones and homes, where they can get together with friends and families, relax, talk and have fun over good food that does not pinch their wallet. Pizza Hut fits perfectly in this casual dining space and provides the perfect setting and mood for great relationships to be formed over excellent food.”

Come with foes or friends and write tales of your own!

By Sanjana Rahman




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