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Close to home

Friday breakfasts are special at the Karim household. Rather than preparing a home-cooked early morning meal, they prefer to eat late, the food coming from the neighbouring eatery for a change.

“They make the most delectable parathas,” opined Shafiq Abdul Karim, an executive at a bank. “And the vegetable is out of the world!”

However, the menu at Rooti House is not limited to just vegetables and parathas. They make halva with shuji, chicken lotpoti and on odd occasions, chicken broth -- a dish cooked on low flame overnight, and served hot and sticky in the morning.

Shafiq often dines at the shabby joint even on weekdays. “The best thing about neighbourhood eateries is that they open for business at the crack of dawn.”

While reputed breakfast places around the posh localities of Dhaka open their doors at around ten in the morning, activities at these neighbourhood places begin soon after Fajr prayers and by 6 a.m., the restaurants are bustling with activity.

“For a quick meal, nothing beats the neighbourhood eatery.”

Hygiene is an issue but not for Shafiq. “With allegations of chemicals additive in food products we really can't trust even the reputed outlets these days. And the price at Rooti House, or any of the breakfast eateries I try out, are unbeatable.”

Competing in the competitive market, the eateries have undergone a face lift. The tiled floors, newly painted walls, sometimes the large glasses adorning the walls may all seem new to you.

It's quite natural that a heavy dose of food from any restaurant will be taxing on your stomach. “You don't dine at these places everyday but when the need arises and you are out of options.

“I love the non-vegetarian options but if I am frequenting them on any given week, I prefer to opt for the mixed vegetables or the poached egg and paratha.”

Shafiq further added, “The places in Old Dhaka are renowned for their breakfast menus. Some even serve tehari and other biriyani dishes. Although they are a class apart, it will be difficult for us to process the oil frenzy on a regular basis. Neighbourhood eateries are, therefore, an obvious choice”.

For Shafiq breakfast out of home is not a choice but a necessity. His hectic routine gives him the opportunity to experiment with breakfast and he has embraced it wholeheartedly.

As he put it, “When was the last time you dined at the neighbourhood eatery? In all probability it was quite some time ago. Go to a restaurant and chances are plenty surprises await you!”

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
Photo : Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Zamshad
Location: Kozmo, Dhanmondi



Waiting for holidays to swing by before planning something can become quite tiresome. Folks want to do something during the weekdays and weekends too, but our ever increasing gridlocked traffic makes day trips quite impossible. But fret not, because there's plenty to do in Dhaka.

This city can impart more wisdom than any other metropolis in Bangladesh. How? Well, Dhaka has the largest collections of museums of all the other cities in the country and this week, we take a stroll down some of them, which are a little off the beaten path.

Ahsan Manzil
This majestic structure, straddling the banks of the Buriganga, is one of the last remnants of the royal Bengal. The former palatial home of the legendary Dhaka Nawab Family, the palace now serves as one of the last gateways into the lavish lives of the near mythological Nawabs.

This monument took 10 years to fully complete and now takes visitors back over 200 years of history, contained in 31 rooms and 23 galleries displaying the Nawab's portraits, utensils, furniture, etc. The famous Dome has already amassed 3 million visitors and is indeed worth the visit.

The Liberation War Museum
Located at Segunbagicha, the Liberation War Museum started operations in 1996, piecing together the bloody yet glorious history of our nation's birth. Containing over 10,000 artefacts and war memorabilia, the museum seeks to forever remember and celebrate a victory that is truly ours.

Poring through the numerous photographs, newspaper clippings and special items, one can't help but feel the overpowering emotion of our forefathers, urging us to go forward with the Bangladesh that was won for us. The museum is open six days a week except Sunday, from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.

Bangabandhu Memorial Museum
The Bangabandhu Memorial Museum is fittingly located in the residence of the Father of the Nation. Located at Dhanmondi 32, the Museum allows visitors to enter the personal life of Sheikh Mujib, as one takes a tour through the nation's leader's bedroom, see his family portraits, his personal belongings and gather an insight into the legendary figure's life. Specks of blood still remain as a reminder of what happened on the ghastly night of August 15, 1975..

The museum is open on all days except Wednesdays and Government Holidays, from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Admission price is Tk. 5 per person.

Folk Art Museum
Located in Sonargaon, the Folk Art Museum is the culmination of the dream of the famous painter Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. Established in the year 1975, the museum houses numerous folk objects, which help to highlight and preserve the rich cultural heritage of our country.

Nestled among a picturesque landscape with nearby artificial lakes and ponds, the Folk Art Museum is divided into three parts, with one main annex and two smaller ones. Each of these sections display different kinds of folk objects such as musical instruments, brass works, bamboo, pottery, textiles, etc.

Also present within the facility is a library, rest house, sales centre, stage and restaurant. This tranquil location is the perfect selection for a quiet getaway with the family. The museum is open from Saturday to Wednesday, from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. The museum remains closed during public holidays. Entrance is free for all.


Military Museum
Located right at Bijoy Sarani, the Military Museum gives us common civilians a peep into the lives and gadgets of soldiers. Jets, tanks and ships are three of the many items on display which were used for land, air and sea combat. These machines are seriously cool to look at and the titbits of history present in numerous documents and pictures bring the war much more to life.

There is also a restaurant which serves some really good kebab, so we say, why not? Open Saturday toWednesday from 9.30 a.m. till 4.30 p.m., unless otherwise stated.

Now go ahead, get out and school yourself. There's a lot to learn and admire and you'll feel a lot more “deshi” after you peep these joints.

By Osama Rahman
Photo: Amirul Rajiv


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