The Stomach's trip to Japan
Samdado is attracting hungry
Dhakaites with their authentic Japanese and Korean cuisine
Faizul A Tanim
you haven't had Japanese food before, this is your opportunity.
Samdado is the only eatery in Dhaka serving authentic Japanese
dishes and some Korean food as well. Most Japanese food they
serve, ingredient-wise, may not surprise the Dhakaites. However,
be ready to gulp down items that are high on taste but low
on spice. At Samdado, everything comes with a bona
fide Far Eastern signature. There is a lot of recipes that
use white rice and seaweed mixed with soy sauce, healthy diet
to appease one's appetite.
the island of three rocks, as explained by the owner and chief
chef Chris Lee, is Japan brought closer to the Bengali stomach.
It is a nicely decorated cosy eatery with traditional rice
paper windows, skin coloured tables and chairs, interesting
artworks and wall hangings. Together with the lighting the
restaurant gives a formal yet relaxing atmosphere. The all-spreading
gleam is reassuringly oriental in ambience.
have the first of its kind ‘sushi bar', "specifically
meant for single food connoisseur who is to sit alone and
enjoy the opportunity to place order directly to the chef,
adding to the already existing friendly environment orchestrated
by a cheerful staff," as Chris puts it.
favourite was the cucumber and mixed fresh vegetable salad
with dressing. Beware though; it comes in tiny little containers,
so you might not resist the temptation to order for two. The
kimchi -- Korean pickle adds extra taste to the salad.
beef and chicken, fully cooked, with teriyaki and
soy sauce. And 'yes', and there is of course the ‘killer
sushi' served on wooden platter. This is usually raw
fish and is ready to take your Bengali breath away. If you
want to get started with sushi, it is better to go
easy on your taste buds by ordering shrimp or salmon. They
are cooked. There are also sushi rolls, which are
just made of vegetables rolled around seaweed and rice --
the taste is heavenly.
fishes used for the sushi has to be brought from
Thailand, Korea, and Japan to maintain the quality and that
causes the price to shoot up," says a smiling Chris.
Apart from these courses, one can also lose oneself into a
pot of ‘soup miso'--a very popular soup among
Japanese. To the locals, its flavour is more akin to the illustrious
flavours of shutki. With countless vegetables, bean
curd and leaves, the soup is certainly a prize for the fitness
lot of customers coming in on a daily basis, prefer our Korean
cookery as well. Korean mixed rice (bibimpab), boiled
and grilled beef and vegetable (bulgogi) along with
steamed duck in herbal seeds (orijjim) suits the
local taste," asserts Chris.
the deserts: the sweet rice cake (mochi); green tea
icecream and fruit yogurt icecream are prepared by the Chef
himself and they are his own concoction.
menu at Samdado changes every four months. The idea
is to serve dishes that are well keyed with the seasons. Chris
loves to prepare items out of fresh available products, for
which sometime different sorts of vegetable preparations and
fishes becomes a springboard.
place boasts of a string of loyal customers. "I am a
regular customer of this place, absolutely love the décor
and most importantly the FOOD!" says an enthusiastic
restaurant kicked off in January 2003 and has definitely added
a distinct colour to the spectrum of Dhaka's food culture.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004