Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   | Volume 7, Issue 18, Tuesday, May 01, 2012




Hair Smoothing

"Kleopatra”, the new beauty salon of Harmony Spa has launched a new hair straightening service named “Hair Smoothing” for the first time in Bangladesh. It delivers a straight, silky and shiny look on coloured and Henna-treated hair for one year. It also makes damaged and frizzy hair smooth and soft apart from straightening it without the need for ironing.

Any customer who avails a service from “Harmony Spa” or “Kleopatra” can get a counselling session with the beautician Rahima Sultana Rita on skin, hair, depression and stress relief.

For details, call 01741219624.

Buy one get one free!

This amazing offer valid till 15 May, 2012 is a bargain deal from Bangla Perfume on the occasion of the inauguration of their new outlet at Banani. The 1150 square feet store is located at Chandiwala Mansion, House #32, Block #G, Road #11.

You can just walk into this shop, buy any perfume of your choice and get another absolutely free.

For details contact #01768014249.

Ena La Mode opens a new branch

Ena La Mode inaugaurated its fourth branch at the U.A.E shopping complex in Banani, 1st floor. Celebrating this new beginning, they are offering a discount of 30% for all its customers. Ena La Mode boasts a collection of shoes and bags made completely out of local materials, in tasteful designs.


'Don't Leave Home Without It'

By Nasreen Sattar
Former CEO, Standard Chartered
Bank, Afghanistan

I am sure many of you will remember this popular ad slogan of the American Express Card, which I think was launched way back in the 70s. At that time the use of a credit cards by Bangladeshis was literally nil except for the few international travellers who got their cards from overseas.

In today's world it is unthinkable to travel out of the country without having one, yet I am aghast to find that many people I know are still carrying huge wads of foreign currency notes (their travel allowance) when they go on trips. I asked one of my friends who was doing exactly that as to why she would not get a credit card and her answer was, “I find it more comfortable to carry cash!” I think the fear stems mainly from the ignorance of how to use a card and the fear of it being rejected or lost or stolen. These fears are genuine, but can easily be erased with knowledge and education.

Most commercial banks in Bangladesh are issuing credit cards, the pioneer being Standard Chartered Bank (January, 1997). With de-regulation by the Central Bank dual currency credit cards are also being offered to customers. Instead of carrying foreign currency one can easily apply for a dual currency credit card -- the customer's bank will be happy to issue it against his/her entitlement of travel quota or against an RFCD (Resident Foreign Currency A/C) which all Bangladeshis are entitled to open subject to certain rules and regulations issued by the Central Bank.

As the Amex slogan goes, 'Don't Leave Home Without It', I think it is imperative we abide by it. It may be just a piece of 'plastic' (as it is sometimes called), but its benefits are enormous. It is not only secure and easier to carry it also gives you a sense of status. In fact, at the time of check-in many hotels abroad insist on a credit card as guarantee. However, it is very important to ensure you keep it in a safe place in your wallet, to ensure you do not share the 'pin code' with anyone and more importantly to check after a purchase in a shop or hotel that the card was given back to you.

On a recent visit to USA I had made a purchase at a department store with my Amex Card, it was only much later when I had gone to another shopping mall and opened my purse to make another purchase that I realised my card was missing. Obviously my first thought was that the card was stolen and visions of someone using my card and purchasing things made me very nervous. I immediately called up the designated number in Bangladesh (should something like this happen) and asked them to block my card. This service is available 24 hours and in a few minutes my card was blocked. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the whole transaction took place. Luckily, I had another card with which I made further purchases.

The purpose of my relating the above is to ensure that you keep your card safe, to carry phone numbers where you can call to block the card (if it gets lost or stolen) and most importantly to carry another card (one can have more than one card -- one against your travel quota and one against a RFCD A/C) and always to carry some cash, but not much.

So remember 'Don't Leave Home Without It', but also look after it!!


Sushi me

By Kaniska Chakraborty

This is a recollection of an incident that took place two years ago and I never wrote about it.

Laziness, I tell you.

We were in Dhaka during summer. Correction. Every summer, we go to Dhaka. No, the weather is not nicer or cooler but the soul gets much needed soothing there.

Old friends, old hang outs, old places, many memories. And to top it all, a very comfortable stay at the in-laws.

In my days in Dhaka, I saw a plethora of eateries opening up. Being a capital city, Dhaka was always rich in choices for international cuisine along with some fantastic biriyani and pulao places.

It is in Dhaka that I had my first Korean food -- jeon and bulgagi and barbecue on table.

It is in Dhaka where I first came across a standalone Iranian restaurant, not that the food is much to write home about.

It is also in Dhaka that I had my first sushi in the Subcontinent. Sadly, that shop shut down.

But a new one called Samdado that started off about seven years back is doing great. I stay away from the sashimi because the taste of recently thawed fish can be disturbing. But when it comes to a California roll or a prawn temaki or a prawn tempura, they absolutely excel.

Two years back, my wife and I went there and we took my mother-in-law with us.

Her first Japanese experience. She loves “Chinese”. But the idea of a culture eating raw fish did not sit well with her. To say that she was skeptic would be an understatement. She came along because we love Japanese. Correction. I love Japanese.

I ordered the assorted sushi rolls, prawn tempura and prawn temaki.

The ever so slightly vinegary rice wrapped around a wad of cream cheese and the whole thing covered in lurid orange salmon roe, the roll is a study in contrast. Soft cream cheese punctuated with little bubbles of fishy umami. Each mouthful a concert of the surreal.

Siting in Dhaka, savouring salmon roe and cream cheese. A beauty called California roll.

There were other rolls too. A cucumber and fried egg stuffed one. A fried tuna stuffed one. A tuna salad stuffed one. Basically, all were cooked.

The temaki was a lovely open-top triangle of prawn, rice and microsalad wrapped in nori. Crunchy and chewy, a classic counterpoint to the California roll.

Except for the prawn rolls. Fat juicy raw prawn were butterflied on top of a little mound of sushi rice. Sweet prawn with slightly tangy rice. Match made in heaven.

My mother in law took one look at the sushi roll platter and recoiled with mock horror. How could her precious son-in-law eat this stuff? Was “ilish mach” and “bhaat” not doing the job?

Thankfully, she liked the tempura. Fried prawn appealed to her. Lightly battered, river prawns were transcendental in their simplicity. None of us needed the superfluous dipping sauce that came with the tempura.

While we stuffed ourselves with the sushi, we ordered fried rice for my mother in law. A surprisingly light, fluffy preparation, studded with clotted eggs.

At this point, my mother in law smiled the Mona Lisa smile that she is so famous for.


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