Taste of Lanka in Dhaka

A Monitor Report 16 Jul, 2017  |    -      +
DHAKA : being a cosmopolitan city, it's filled with restaurants, serving foods from different corners of the world. In the early days, Chinese and Thai were the first non-local foods to step into the local food scenario. The later additions were the fast foods, Continental cuisines, Mexican, Korean, Japanese and of course Indian. The most recent to make its debut is the Sri Lankan cuisine.

A good number of Sri Lankans are in Dhaka, for work purpose. This is one of the reasons behind setting up this restaurant. The other reason is a much sweet and romantic one_ a Bangladeshi tying the knot with a Sri Lankan and that wonderful union culminated into setting up a place and give the locals a taste of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.

Thus the name 'Taste of Lanka'. The restaurant opened in February 2016. It is an only Sri Lankan food restaurant. The chefs are local plus Sri Lankans who are well trained to be authentic. The menu starts with Sri Lankan Bites (i.e., appetisers). There is a choice of Devilled Prawns/ Beef/ Chicken/Squid/Potato/Fish. The there are Grilled Prawns, Sri Lankan Fiery Wings, Tuna Cutlets and Lankan Chicken Skewers.

Appa (hoppers) are the Sri Lankan version of crepes, which are shaped like bowls. There are a few types to choose from- Plain Hoppers/Egg Hoppers/ String Hoppers, etc. for main courses, one can opt for chicken dishes: Traditional Sri Lankan Curry, Spicy Red Curry, White Chicken Curry and so on. There is a variety of beef and mutton curry too. Prawns and crabs are common food in the coastal countries and Sri Lanka is no exception. A number of dishes adorn the menu, done with prawns and crab. For the vegetarians, there are curries with cashew nuts, eggplants, chickpeas and daal. No coconut oil is used in the cooking_ which is a common notion for Sri Lankan food. For accompaniments, there are staples like rice and roti (in a very different preparation). Steamed rice, fragrant yellow rice, milk rice are some of the rice dishes. Kottu_ a popular Sri Lankan street food is made of stir fried flaky flat bread coupled with vegetables, eggs and/or meat and spices and completed with a tantalising curry sauce. There is also String Kottu, made of string hoppers. To add a sweet note, there is complimentary coconut ice cream, which is also a rare find in Dhaka.

Taste of Lanka is open from 12 noon to 4pm and in the evening from 6pm-10.30 pm. Except for the raw ingredients, all the spices and seasons and condiments are flown in from Sri Lanka_ which speaks a lot about their authentic taste.

Spread over the ground floor only, the restaurant can accommodate around 45 guests. It is pretty popular among the local food lovers along with the Sri Lankan experts. Since both the countries have some common features in terms of taste and flavor, the Dhaka people have started liking the place, especially for their Grilled Prawns and Grandma's Special Crab curry_ both of which, along with the other originals in the menu have been taught to the owner by her in-laws in Sri Lanka. This itself once again is a statement of authentic of the cuisine.

The interior is done in a simple and neat way, with basic accessories like brass lamps and paintings- depicting the Sri Lankan culture. The same can be seen at the exterior too. It is located on road 19/A, block-E in Banani next to the Airtel office. To taste a very different cuisine from another country in the subcontinent_ this is the place, where one can have a taste of Lanka and delicious coconut ice-cream!

_Asma Ali

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