Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 2, Tuesday, January 12, 2010



News flash

Al fresco delight

A shimmering pool, a chilly night, music from simpler times and a towering edifice as backdrop; the setting can hardly be more serene. The barbecue poolside at Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka held every Friday over the duration of the winter, is the perfect place to go for a night out, enabling diners to forget the insane city just beyond the walls.

Entering through the glass doors that lets out into the poolside area, one sees the tables set around the pools with the entire far side taken up by various culinary stations that include a barbecue grill and a buffet table. This is an initiative taken by the hotel for the duration of the winter, and has proven to be extremely popular among guests.

“You have come a little early, and so you see a lot of the tables are empty,” said Andre A. Gomez, the General Manager of Radisson. “A little later, the place will be packed.” Even at the early hour Gomez referred to, there were a fair number of diners enjoying the varied cuisine on offer and taking in the pleasance of the ambience.

With close to a hundred items set out, the food is likely to satisfy most palates. The pitha station is a real treat with fresh 'patishapta' and 'bhaba pitha' providing the true feel of winter in Bangladesh.

The salad bar, the Mongolian station with a chef waiting to cook ingredients selected by you in a wok, the barbecue station, a traditional buffet table and the desserts station make up the assembly of delights.

The barbecue has a wide array of items such as Australian rib-eye steaks, lamb chops, salmon, T-bone steaks, marinated chicken, and tenderloin to name a few. The chefs await behind the counter to carry out your requests and barbecue the items that you have chosen. The result is mouth-watering.

The desserts station will surely delight those with a sweet tooth. It has both local and foreign items; 'cham chams' and 'kalo jaam' are presented alongside the baked cheesecake, the pecan nut tart and the black forest.

Executive Chef Kai Uwe Klenz, a German national, oversees the kitchen. To ensure unstinting quality, all meat is imported.

“This arrangement is a seasonal affair, to offer our guests the pleasures of Dhaka winter nights,” said Razeen Abhi Mustafiz, the Assistant PR Manager. “This will continue till the weather permits. We obviously can't have this outdoor setting in the rainy season, and in the summer people will not want to dine outdoors in the heat. The winter is the perfect setting for such an endeavour.”

Being a buffet dinner, the setup offers guests a wide array of diverse cuisine, and at a price of Tk.1100++ one can confidently say that it is more than worth it.

The restaurant is open from 6:30pm onwards every Friday. For reservations call 8754555

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Check it out

Dine on curry

Turmeric, the spice that makes curry yellow, is loaded with curcumin, a chemical with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In Bangladesh, it's often smeared on bandages to help heal wounds.

We also eat it, of course, which might explain why there are lower rates of various cancers, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Researchers suggest curry as staple, at least three times weekly. Don't like the taste? Try a daily curcumin supplement of 500 to 1,000 mg.


Under A Different Sky

Looking for a Joshua Tree

I am looking for a couch. A three-sitter, which was never meant for three but just one. It also folded out to a sleeper. I had bought it second hand. The first hand that owned it always had it folded out like a bed, with flowery sheets and pillows.

It was February when I bought the new couch. My old couch, which I inherited from a roommate in college, sported all signs of the word “old”. It was gray, had scratch marks on its base from a cat who I never met but perhaps was a member of the household that the couch first belonged to, built in the 80s to be enjoyed with microwave dinners.

It had wine stains and the foam on one side was lower than the other. It provided comfort but only when I was alone. In front of others it was too shy and frail to offer anything. I knew the days of the old couch was over and not long after I dropped it off to the Salvation Army was it forgotten.

The new couch was bright. It lit up my little studio. I started having dinners off the coffee table sitting on the couch instead of my dining table. I fell asleep on it watching re-runs of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' while devouring Scoobie-doo lollies, which I would buy from the neighbourhood store pretending I am a mother of a little girl.

I made that couch mine, by forgetting my bed, by sleeping on it, eating on it, crying on it and pressing the weight of my entire body and soul against it. It never refused me; only I had the right to refuse it when I wanted to.

I scattered my clothes around it, on it, next to it. That summer I went through a rut and I used the couch as a dirty laundry basket, staking all my worn clothes on top of it until it almost reached the ceiling. With ceiling-high dirty laundry on one side, I would sit on the other side gulping down my dinner, wanting the summer to end, the fall and the winter too.

And they all passed, so did the rut, and the dirty laundry got washed one August morning. End of that August I took off, with new clothes and new pairs of shoes. It was a long vacation. Under Joshua trees, dangerously close to rattlesnakes I ate my evening meals, I tried climbing rocks and scraped my dark Bengali knees a dozen times. I fell asleep everywhere, my car, next to the ocean, in the middle of the desert, on airport lounges, bus stations, trains, museums. It was as if I was getting over an extended jet lag.

When I came home I sold everything. 'Craigslist.org' flooded my inbox and each item was sold, from my tea strainer to Ugg boots. And yes the couch too. I didn't think twice. I got a fair deal for it.

But now I am building a new home, and frankly speaking I am not a big fan of couches. I feel like they take up more space than they offer. But as I go from store to store not to find fashion but comfort, I keep looking for that couch, trying to remember who I sold it to and when I had decided to sell it; was it on that night under the dry, green Joshua tree or was it during one of those late morning breakfasts at an all American diner? But I am willing to forget the when and how, as long as I can get my three-sitter-couch meant-for-one back and if not that at least one, just one Joshua tree.

On The Cover

Winter brings with it a share of chill, just as nature intends it to be and layers find new meanings in our attires.
Model: Ruhee
Photo courtesy: Dressy Dale



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