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NEWS FLASH

Nido celebrates Mother's Day

On 13 May, 2012, Nestle Nido celebrated Mother's Day with children and mothers to celebrate motherhood, as they did the previous year.

The event is said to be the biggest Mother's Day celebration in Bangladesh. It took place across the nation, encompassing 490 schools and over 100,000 mothers.

Nido came up with the idea of mothers receiving greeting cards from the children. Hence, a self-developed greeting card made by Nido was handed out to children of different classes -- from play group to KG-II. The yellow card contains a space where the children were asked to draw or write messages. The card could then be folded to form the shape of a flower.

And the children did their best, making the cards treasures their mothers would save for many years, perhaps pinning it to the office cubicle along with other drawings and pictures of their children.

It was indeed a touching scene when a huge bunch of children handed out the cards together. The mothers did not know beforehand about the event; hence, the element of surprise enhanced the mood of happiness and celebration.

The mothers were also gifted with flowers by Nestle Nido.

“Every mother battles the hardship of life and makes compromises to give her children the best of everything. As a health and wellness company, Nestle understands the values of these sacrifices made by mothers. So, Nestle Nido is consistently working with a promise to provide a better future for the children through the best nutritional support,” said Nuzhat Yusuf Bari, business manager, Dairy, Nestle Bangladesh.

The goal was to strengthen the mother-child bond, and give a small token of love to the most important person in the world. And indeed, Nestle Nido made sure to bring a smile among over 100,000 mothers in one day.

By M H Haider


CHECK IT OUT

Indigo

A colour can be a concept, a vision and a lifestyle. This is exactly what the new boutique in town -- Indigo -- is here to prove. The evening of May 18, 2012 marked a milestone in the journey of this new shop when it announced its commencement from the first week of July. A brainchild of designer Shaibal Saha, who has gathered an immense array of experiences form both home and abroad, Indigo is all about the shade of blue that is an innate part of nature.

Although the fashion industry in the country right now has gone pretty big, we seldom get to spot works bound by concepts, one of the reasons being that it is very hard to work within a given limit. But Shaibal and his dexterous designers have taken on the challenge to constantly keep on innovating and enriching their collection of all that is indigo.

Indigo, the shop, will not only focus on clothing, but on all that can influence lifestyle like bags, handicrafts and much more.

The colour indigo has a lot of meanings. It can be the sky after a raging storm, the colour of nightfall, that of a grieving soul or just the deep ocean. It is a colour that has a lot of depth in it, something that nature uses dominantly to show its various faces.

Members of the Indigo family Emdad Haque, Dilruba Haque, Aparna Pal, Nadim ul Hasan, Md. Yeaser, Ahmed Arif Sobhan, Md. Anawar Hossain and Sowmen Chowdhury were present on the occasion.

Indigo's first outlet is being launched at Latif Emporiom, Sector 3, Uttara.

By Afrida Mahbub


LS PICK

The Sausly's story

The Bangladeshi fast food industry, an ever growing sector, has often been riddled by the accusation that new entrants start off with high quality at a low price, only to settle later for low quality at a high price. This belief isn't entirely unfounded, as most of us are familiar with numerous chains which started brightly only to fizzle out as their quality dropped while many others remained successful despite a drop in standards due to having already built a loyal customer base.

However, for over two decades, one small yet widely favoured fast food joint proved itself to be an exception worth following. Sausly's, most famously known for its sandwiches, held on to the values that made it one of the most popular brands in the industry. Affordability, quality and taste are factors that they have so far not compromised on.

The journey of Sausly's begins many years before the first branch was established in 1992. A joint venture between a German organisation and Harunur Rashid of Monno Ceramics fame, saw Bangladesh receiving one of its earliest tastes of world-renowned sausages. A more than positive response coupled with the country's changing cultures, rising incomes and people's desire to try something new, convinced the two partners to start the very first Sausly's, a named derived from sausages, the business' roots.

Sausly's blended the classic butcher's shop with the modern decor of a fast food shop. Here one could purchase a wide array of meat such as sausages, salami and hunter-beef or opt to feast on one of Sausly's delicious lunch/dinner baskets containing the most primitive of dishes such as Fish Fingers to the “never-been-seen-in-Bangladesh-before” Hot Dogs. Sausly's hadn't only introduced new ingredients, items and recipes but rather an entirely new dining culture.

When the co-operation with the Germans finally ended, Harunur Rashid continued on with Sausly's, making some changes. For instance, unlike previously, a factory in Kuril, Dhaka would supply the fresh meat while regular monthly consignments of German spices would ensure returning customers. A well trained staff in the kitchen and a culture of strict adherence to hygiene standards have also been key to Sausly's prolonged success. And here another of the company's strengths surfaces -- Sausly's never had to rely on heavy advertisement or promotion but rather thrived due to word of mouth adverising.

Sausly's top selling product, according to Hasan, Branch Manager at Banani, is the Hunter Beef Sandwich, king of all Sandwiches. The Smoked Chicken Sandwich, Club Sandwich, Pasta and Hot Dog are also crowd favourites, with a varied menu being a strong point. It also has a bakery section, providing delicious cookies and pastries when the sweet tooth sets in.

“None of the fast food companies in 20 years even come close to Sausly's,” Hasan claims. Currently, Sausly's has 3 branches in Dhaka, located in Banana 11, Gulshan-1 and Dhanmondi 28. There are plans to open a new branch in Uttara in the near future. But it seems, the main goal remains the ability to hold on to the reputation created and show the doubters that Bangladesh is a much more viable destination for such business than believed.

By Osama Rahman
Special thanks yo Hasan, Branch Manager of Sausly's Banani, for his assistance.


CHECK IT OUT

Summer treats @ Nando's

Summer is all about getting together and having fun, the season of surprising downpours and amazing fruits.

It is also about feeling light and airy in hot weather.

Nando's Summer Fest
Rather than a campaign, Nando's considers this a way of life in summer. It promises healthy and light food that will not let the sun bog you down.

To start with, Nando's is famous for its flame-grilled Peri-Peri chicken.

In this hot weather, you don't want to feel stuffed after eating a meal, which may happen after meals rich in cooking oil. But Nando's Peri-Peri chicken does not use cooking oil at all. Instead, 100% natural Peri-Peri sauce is used to cook the chicken.

Furthermore, the Peri-Peri chicken may be considered to be the closest to being “fat-free”: excess fat is removed before cooking and the remaining fat melts away as the chicken is flame-grilled.

Therefore, this is indeed a healthy option for a meal in summer. Nando's Peri-Peri chicken starts from Tk.330 (quarter chicken only).

When you walk into a Nando's outlet, you should not walk out without having one of their signature drinks. In this hot and humid weather, one sip of Refresh Mint, for example, will work wonders. Citrus Bliss, another signature drink by Nando's, is a fruity delight that will lift your mood. And of course, there is the ever-popular Goa Lemon, thick and minty and absolutely soothing. Prices start from Tk.140.

Salads are a nutritious and rather comfortable option, especially in summer, because a bowl of salad makes your stomach full, minus the discomfort of a stuffed tummy.

Nando's is a place where you can get authentic Portuguese and Mediterranean salads, with chicken strips on demand. Tossed in is the signature Peri-Peri salad dressing, the salads are made with feta cheese, black olives, iceberg lettuce, tomato, pineapple slices, and cucumber. Prices start from Tk.210.

There are two set meals which will take you through all these delicacies. Priced at Tk.895, Mediterranean Summer Meal consists of a Quarter Chicken Meal with spicy rice on the side, grilled vegetables, French fries/coleslaw, Mediterranean Salad, a designer drink called Refresh Mint and a Fruit Salad Sundae as dessert.

On the other hand, Summer Delight, a meal for two, combines a Half Chicken Meal with a sideline, four Full Chicken Wings, Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips, two Refresh Mints and two Kulfis for dessert. This meal is priced at Tk.1800.

Free meals
Also, throughout summer, Nando's is giving away free meals. “Like” the Facebook fan page, Nando's Bangladesh, and keep an eye out for questions. Correct answers will give you free meals that you can enjoy with three of your loved ones.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Two new outlets will be opening up at the end of this month. One is in Banani 11 and another is in Gulshan Avenue (Gulshan-2, on the way to Gulshan Park near American Club). Check the fan page for opening dates.

By M H Haider


EATING OUT

Dhaba diaries

Hearing the ladies behind the famous Dhaba, it felt like walking straight into a literature book. Pose, prose and anecdotes littered the afternoon. Despite the captivating stories of Maharajahs, Kolkata and fish, the story behind Dhaba remained the reason why everyone had gathered.

Since its birth in 1998 in Chittagong, the inception of Begum, Dhaba stormed the scene, winning admirers instantly. Food critics believed it revolutionised the Dhaka street food scene while customers came back to try more of the Dahi Phuchka, a form they had never tasted before. Dhaba was here and it was here to stay.

Dhaba, the name derived from streetside cafes serving truck drivers, romanticised the very notion. On-the-go edibles combined with great taste and a very reasonable price, meant that now Indian cuisine was an option open to the masses. Rolls, Tandoori Chicken, Kebab and Naans that Dhaba introduced to the general public, made Dhaba's stature that much bigger. It wasn't a small store selling phuchka anymore; it was a small store introducing an entire culture.

Before Dhaba, terms like Rajkhachori, Butter Naan, Paani Puri and Dohi Phuchka didn't hold much significance. But all that changed soon enough. Dhaba and its wide array of dishes soon became household names. The small shop from Chittagong entered the big leagues as it came to Dhaka to compete among the giants of the industry. Fortunately, Dhaba's taste and the price at which it was offered gave Dhaba enough momentum to carve a niche for itself very early on, to the point where the old Dhaba outlet at Dhanmondi 28 was hardly ever found to be empty.

The steel plates that the food was served in only added to the ambience. Ishrat Alarmgir, one of the partners, said, “Quality, hygiene and taste -- three of our biggest concerns -- became a drawing point for customers.” Dhaba was soon brought to Dhaka and two new branches were opened, one in Banani road 12 , which is supervised by Selina Khan and Ishrat Alamgir and one in Dhanmondi's Rifles Square which is supervised by Dora Alamgir. Dhaba's popularity continued to soar and finally Dhaba introduced the Chinese cuisine line for its Banani branch, as the requests poured in.

Of course, the additions to the menu wasn't the only novelty. Dhaba has now evolved in its entirety, from being treated as a snack-time restaurant to becoming a lunch/dinner spot. A large base of foreign clientele has further cemented Dhaba's appeal. The Banani Dhaba has added a first floor dedicated to clients as a conference room, for corporate events, parties and even workshops. Dhaba has begun catering to such events and has received quite a positive response.

Dhaba's success story lies primarily in the hard work that has been put into this endeavour. From being just a small shop to having Indian chefs conduct training sessions for the staff of today, Dhaba's business model, steeped in simplicity, is one that any company can follow.

By Osama Rahman


It's a cool gloomy day in London. The rain has stopped but left its sign all over, staining the rest of the day with water marks; no sunshine is there to make love to the puddles to eventually become one.

In a curtained room a cat finds a sliver of a light placed on a couch like a wound; he lies on top of it to rub against it, thirsting for the sun. A busy London Therapist, Madeline, closes her chamber door and walks up to the pub to meet her friend Gregory, another therapist in town from New York.

They sit outside the pub with the rest of the smokers, a pint of beer in front. People move in after-work speed, fast but not in a hurry. The month of May does not give them restless happy steps which don't come till July.

The therapists though, both all smiles are happily reunited. Madeline takes a sip of her beer and says, “So how are the lost minds doing on the other side of the ocean?”

Gregory: Oh better than ever. I mean worse than ever, which is better than ever for me. Becoming an expert of the displacement issues was the best thing we did I tell you. All those immigrants, now with full wallets and heads full of confusion, more patients everyday. “Oh I am so torn doctor, I do not know where I belong!” Hilarious!

Madeline: Seriously Greg, back in college when you told me about the displacement thing I thought you were just being dreamy but who knew there would be suitcases full of them all over town. Successful, rich, self-aware hence all about self-perfection and realisations of “Oh mummy I got issues,” so come on baby come to me, I will fix your problem. Displacement what a word. Magic!

Gregory: I had a funny one the other day, not a first of her kind but still funny. She said she missed the sweat and dirt of the third world streets. That she missed the crammed houses, seeing unfriendly staring faces outside. She said she talks in two languages in her head simultaneously and she has too many options and apparently that is her biggest problem. What a joke.

Madeline: So what did you tell her? The usual?

Gregory: Yes of course, start yoga twice a week and add an extra appointment with me and also put her on anti-anxiety pills which eventually will make her withdrawn and hence more money in the future for me. The less they share their issues with each other and more with us the better.

Madeline: I love how so many of them, especially the Asians, have such a big hang-up about admitting to their friends that they go to therapists, something about the cultural connotation of it. They are all supposed to grow up as perfect girls and boys and psychological problems are only for psychos.

Gregory: Did any of them ever ask you about your background, I mean why you are a displacement expert?

Madeline: Yes a few did. And I gave the whole lecture about how I have got Irish and French blood yet I settled in London and I had these crazy dreams as a child of being taken away from my parents and that dream haunted me for years until I got my degree on Psychology and now I live a healthy, organic life.

Gregory: Hahahaha, and they bought that?

Madeline: Of course they did, ate it up. I had this guy in the other day, retired and lonely. He apparently has reccurring dreams about being a Caucasian and living in a hut in the Maldives. I asked what's wrong with that. He said he isn't from the Maldives and he is Japanese. I almost laughed out loud.

Gregory: Jesus, that's a keeper! Well, funny how after blabbing for one hour they actually go home feeling like they are no longer displaced or as displaced. When nothing has changed at all except a little less money in their pockets.

Madeline: I am not complaining, are you?

They both laugh, a few beers later they pay the bill and take the tubes back to their respective homes. They cross potential clients along the way, big-eyed Indian woman staring at the sky and sighing, clean shaven Pakistani investment banker listening to ghazals in his ipod, Japanese business owner with a take away Kobe beef packet. All with that look in their eyes -- that look of “displacement”. Ah! the beautiful game the mind plays, when you have too much time in hand.


NOTICE

Star Lifestyle has recently expanded to 20 pages. In keeping with our motto of continually reinventing ourselves and keeping things fresh, there will be some changes made to the format and content of the publication. And this time, we are hoping that our dearest readers will not only be part of the change, but lead us in new directions by expressing themselves and letting their views and preferences be known. Lifestyle readers can send story ideas, suggestions, articles and letters at lifestyleds@yahoo.com and raffat@thedailystar.net Selected input from you will be published. Here's looking forward to hearing from you and continuing to bring you the best in lifestyle journalism.


 
 
 

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