Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 42, Tuesday, October 26, 2010



Eating out

Don Giovanni

In 1992, a restaurant named Don Giovanni Sizzlers had opened in Gulshan-2.Don Giovanni was considered a craze back in the day but had to close down in 2004.

Better than ever, Don Giovanni is now in Gulshan-1, House-22, Road-123. With a slight difference in menu and a whole new outlook, Don Giovanni is back with a bang! How is it different than any other Italian restaurant? Don Giovanni presents genuinely authentic Italian food. The wide variety of food in the menu is good enough to let you know how experienced their chef is.

Robin Rozario, the head chef, has been in the food business for 24 years and currently has four sous-chefs working under him in the restaurant. The intricacy he makes his food with can be tasted in the food itself, with every flavour of every ingredient tantalising your taste buds. Owner Tawseef Hasnath Choudhury says that their main objective is to stick to one cuisine and make sure it tastes original and authentic. With their ingredients and spices, brought from abroad, Don Giovanni makes sure that they never compromise on food, quality and service.

The interiors of the restaurant, designed by Tauseef himself, are made to give you a cosy yet classy environment. Outside the main restaurant, a garden restaurant is also being made and the second floor has two VIP rooms with two separate balconies and a juice bar. The room can be reserved for parties or corporate meetings and the floor in between the rooms can also be rented as a dance floor if needed.

Don Giovanni also offers home delivery services. Although currently restricted to people who live in Gulshan-1 and Gulshan-2, they hope to broaden their horizons soon in terms of the localities they will deliver to. They also plan to open new branches next year in Dhanmondi and Uttara.

Don Giovanni ensures a quiet and safe location where it's not too crowded and where they can maintain hygiene standards. With six guards outside and their own parking space, when in Don Giovanni, there is no reason to be worried about your car.

Their menu has an enthralling variety of not only pizzas but pastas and steaks as well, all available within Tk 600. Don Giovanni does not hesitate to introduce exotic Italian dishes like Gnochhi, Tortelloni and Canelloni, all with absolutely original tastes. Their desserts like the Tira Misu, Mousse Di Ciccolata or Crepes Suzzette Allarancia will give you the flavour of Italy that you want.

Don Giovanni is open everyday from 12 pm to 3 pm and 6 pm to 12 am. Make sure you step into Don Giovanni at any of these times and give yourself an unforgettable Italian experience!

By Naziba Basher
For deliveries, please call 01729098977.

The Nest

Just when you thought Dhaka’s list of eateries could not get any longer, a new restaurant-The Nest-is added as yet another option. Bracketed by a large balcony, The Nest is an airy, tranquil banquet lounge. One of the new, hidden jewels of Dhaka, with 2000 sft of indoor space and over 1000 sft of open air terrace, this venue is flexible enough for almost any kind of event: from small, intimate al fresco dinner parties, exhibitions to official seminars.

One of the owners Sanjay Saldanha says, “There was a huge demand for quick food. Unfortunately, quick food inevitably means unhealthy, fried food, congealed sauces, and three-day-old buffets”. The Nest however, offers a healthier alternative: Freshly cooked Pan Asian cuisine, with an eye towards clean living and good digestion. “True oriental cuisine, whether it's from the best restaurant or a farmhouse, never leaves the diner feeling heavy. It is always light, always fresh” says the chef. It is the search for this airiness which inspires the menu, and the large, open spaces of The Nest, with their shades of trees and filtered sunlight.

The Nest offers a variety of buffet menus ranging from Tk 1000++ to Tk 2500++, as well as an endless degree of customisation as required by their guests. If you're looking for a great place to take your clients for a business lunch, or if you're just in the mood for a quick lunch getaway with friends or family, The Nest is the new place to be.

The Nest recently introduced its “Oriental Buffet Lunch”. The buffet is a selection of mouthwatering dishes crafted by Chef Rozaiman from Malaysia, consisting of oriental signature dishes such as the Malaysian Satay, Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng and many more. Timing: 12 Noon - 3:00pm for the buffet lunch (Tk 650++ per person).

The Nest is located at House 24, Road 2, Gulshan. For reservations please call 01927558888.
A treat only for our readers, some recipes from The Nest:

Malaysian Chicken Satay
There's satay, and then there's Malay Chicken Satay! If you've never had the real stuff, then you'll fall in love with the succulent taste of this satay recipe, which has been passed down through families for many generations. Malay satay is a very popular dish in Malaysia. Walk down any street in the country and the mouthwatering aroma of satay exudes from practically every corner you pass: road side Malay stalls, hawker centers, pasar malam (night markets), kopi tiam (Chinese coffee shops), and even high-end restaurants.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
8-12 skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
¼ cup minced lemongrass, fresh or frozen
2 shallots or 1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced or ½ tsp to 1 tsp cayenne pepper, according to taste
1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, thinly sliced
1 tsp minced fresh turmeric or ½ tsp dried turmeric
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp fish sauce
5-6 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil

If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you prepare the meat (to prevent burning). Then cut chicken into thin strips and place in a bowl. Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or chopper. Process well.

Taste the marinade - it should be sweet, spicy, and salty. The strongest tastes should be sweet and salty in order for the finished satay to taste its best. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You can also add more chilli if you want it spicier, depending on your preferences. Pour the marinade over the meat and stir well to combine. Allow at least 1 hour for marinating, or longer (up to 24 hours).

When ready to cook, thread meat onto the skewers. You can grill the satay on your BBQ, or on an indoor grill, basting the first time you time it with a little of the leftover marinade from the bottom of the bowl. Or you can broil in an oven on a broiling pan or baking sheet with the oven set to "broil", Place satay close beneath the heating element and turn the meat every 5 minutes until cooked. Depending on how thin your meat is; the satay should cook in 10 to 20 minutes.

Tip: Fill up to ¾ of the skewer, leaving the lower half empty so that the person grilling has a "handle" to easily turn the satay during cooking.
Your satay is now ready for your friends and family to enjoy!

By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan

Chronicles of sam q

Chronicles of Sam Q

By Sam Q

Dearest Diary,
When I was growing up in the seventies, life was different; simpler. We had to do with so little but we had so much fun. Now, after handling my child and niece and nephew, the word 'bored' is often heard. My mom and her generation had simpler lives, to the point where they did not define it as simple, but more as thankful for every little thing that came their way.

Let me explain a bit. We had a nice, big, independent house to live in, a bright, red Volkswagen to go to school in, a black and white TV to watch after finishing our homework, a bicycle to ride to feel the breeze on our faces, a radio channel which played our favourite English pop songs for an hour, a leather suitcase which smelt like heaven on the first day of school, a dog to love, Enid Blyton books to read, much anticipated weekly visits to the grandparents' house. This was our life. I loved my life and didn't think it was 'boring' from any point of view. But the only thing I took exception to was the food that we ate. I still think it was quite ....blahh. And my tiffin to school was especially my main bone of contention with my mother. No imagination at all. It was bread, butter with jam or sugar, French toasts (sugary or salty, depending on the cook's mood), leathery, cold dalpuris, or my most hated-chapatis, smeared with ghee and sprinkled with coarse sugar.

Hence, my son enjoyed the repercussions of my horrific tiffin days. Home made beef patties, made with the best lean mince, turned into scrumptious burgers. Overnight marinated hot chicken wings or drumsticks, butter roast chicken for his sandwich, lasagnes and cup cakes, to name but a few. Though we are both paying the price of such maximus, but what the heck, few pounds here and there will come and go, but memories are here to stay.

My mom and my aunts have no such allegations toward their past plight as I do. Their mornings started with having a glass of bitter 'chirotar' juice, then a staple breakfast of bread and butter or porridge, then lunch was eaten after the men folk of the house had eaten, which was a lot about sharing and evening snacks of semolina cooked with pure clarified ghee, and dinner again. Mom actually never said much of the dinner menu, so I am presuming it was not exciting enough to be mentioned. With thirteen siblings, live-in extended family and the parents, excitement was more about being together. I sometimes wonder, on behalf of all other sacrificial women of that era, what and when did my grandmother eat? At the end of the third batch, maybe?

So what I am actually getting at is, every generation tried to better themselves for their families, but sadly enough, maybe we don't understand or appreciate it. I am only talking about food here. My son most probably will tell his offspring, "Your Dadi fed me such rich food and see what it did to me."
You never win.

So Diary, I guess it is all about eating healthy with lots of taste infused. And how you do that is for me to see and you to try out my recipes! These are applicable for midday meals for young executives as they are for school-going students.
So have a good day the Sam Q way.

Chilli basil potatoes
600g baby potatoes
4 red chillies
100ml oil
100g onions, chopped
80g Garlic, chopped
120ml Worcestershire sauce
60ml soy sauce
1tbsp sugar
60g corn flour
Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Basil, shredded
Spring onion, julienned

Boil baby potatoes. Cool, peel and chop into half. Boil the chillies and coarsely blend. Heat oil, add chopped onions and garlic and sauté. Add chilli paste, little water and cook. Add Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Add corn flour mixed with a little water to thicken the sauce. Now finally add in the potatoes in the sauce. Mix well and add basil leaves and spring onions and serve hot.

Chicken On the Run
4 pieces chicken breast
20g ginger-garlic paste
30g fried onion paste (fresh onion paste will also do)
2tbsp yoghurt
1 tsp of chilli powder or suit to taste
100ml ghee (clarified butter)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything except the chicken to a paste. Marinate the chicken in this paste for 30 minutes. Fry each breast for a few minutes with a little ghee till thoroughly cooked. Keep heat on medium.

Corn Fritters with cucumber dipping sauce
1 can kernel corn
2cm piece fresh ginger, shredded thinly
½ small onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, chopped coarsely
¼ cup shredded coriander with roots and stem
1 green shallot, sliced thinly
½ cup flour
1 tsp cornflour
1 egg, beaten lightly
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

For cucumber dipping sauce
1 cup vinegar
½ 2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
½ small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

Cucumber dipping sauce
Place vinegar and sugar in a pan, bring to the boil, then reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes. Add sauce and remove from heat. Cool. Add cucumber and coriander and transfer to a serving bowl.
Place corn kernels in a large bowl, then add remaining ingredients, except oil. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Heat oil in a large frying pan and drop heaped corn mixture into the pan and fry till golden brown. Serve fritters with dipping sauce on the side.

Tamarind pomfret
2 small pomfrets
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 big tomato, finely chopped
4 green chillies, chopped
½ tsp cumin powder
½ red chilli powder
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
2 tbsp coriander leaves
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste

Clean fish and cut horizontal slashes. Marinate with salt, ginger-garlic paste, and turmeric powder for 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan and sauté green chillies and onions till it changes colour. Add tomato and sauté till soft. Add cumin, red chilli powder, tamarind pulp, salt and sugar and ¼ cup water. Stir for 1 minute and put in fish. Lower heat and cook till fish is done. Garnish with coriander leaves.



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