It was a warm, humid night in Old Dhaka, the city that never sleeps. The streets were bustling with life, as people went about their business, preparing for the night. And amidst all this chaos, my friends and I were embarking on a gastronomic journey to explore the flavours of Old Dhaka during sehri.
1: 30 AM. We arrive at the Bongo Bazar Golchottor. The first thing we see is the ashen remnants of what used to be a bustling market. Crossing the road we make our way into the chaotic streets of Old Dhaka. Our first attempt at food was Grand Nawab which to our surprise was closing. Somewhat disappointed. we walk a bit further.
We decide to go into Bokhari. From the beginning our plan was to order everything for one person. We order their special tehari and a kacchi. A man at the table next to us was attempting to eat 5 plates of kacchi on a dare. The things you get to see in Old Dhaka! The kacchi was very good. I recommend their kacchi. The tehari was moderate.
Next we decided to go to Hanif Biriyani across the street to see how Bokhari holds up against Hanif. The wait was so long we went into Haji Biriyani. After that we waited and got into Hanif. The look on the servers face when the four of us ordered half a tehari was the only thing worth the wait.
We tried tehari from all the places. All three biriyani places had their unique strengths and weaknesses. Haji Biriyani being a fan favourite performed the best and a truly authentic experience. Bokhari Biriyani had delicious beef tehari. Hanif on the other hand performed poorly in my opinion.
It was time we put Bismillah Kabab Ghar’s mutton brain chop to the test. So we made our way to Bismillah Kabab Ghar and ordered one mutton brain chop. To make a comparative decision we went to Badshahi Kabab right next to Bismillah. Unexpectedly Bismillah Kabab Ghars mutton brain chop was not as good as Badshahi Kabab’s.
We felt like trying some kababs around this time so we decided to get into Kabab King. The place was very cramped but the smell compensated perfectly for it. The kababs were perfectly grilled, with a smoky flavour that was enhanced by the accompanying mint chutney. In addition to the chicken tikka kabab, we also tried their beef boti kabab and their mutton sheekh kabab, both of which were also delicious.
The beef boti kabab was cooked to perfection, with a slight char that added to the flavour, while the mutton sheekh kabab had a unique blend of spices that left us wanting more. Overall, King Kabab is a great place for meat lovers, and I highly recommend trying their kababs.
It was a very hot night and the cramped restaurant didn’t help. To beat the heat we went to Al Karim Juice Bar opposite to King Kabab. We tried their signature “Muhabbat ka Sharbat” First. it's meant to make you fall in love. I don’t know about love but it was very good. Their lemonade was out of the world or it just might be in my head as it was very hot. But my all-time best milk shake was their cashew and pistachio milkshake. This is something you must have if you happen to be there. We got a liter bottle of that, it was that good.
We decided to end our spree with a cherry on top -- “Beauty lassi” . We had their lassi and faluda. Lassi just can’t go wrong, it was good. But Beauty Lassi's faluda wasn’t a feast for the eyes, yet the faluda had a perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess, the faluda ticked all the boxes it needed to. I highly recommend trying their faluda.
As we were walking away from the bright lights and chaotic streets, we were fully convinced that Old Dhaka is a food lover's paradise, offering a unique blend of flavours and aromas that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. But what really sets Old Dhaka apart is the vibrant street food scene and the lively atmosphere that surrounds it. So, if you're ever in the area, make sure to take a trip to Old Dhaka and experience the culinary delights that this city has to offer. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!