WE are a nation who has always been rich in culinary culture. Bengal has been famous for its food and cuisines even since establishment of civilisation. Our culture and customs revolve around food and this was the realisation that made Bengal Express come alive. Bengal Express Ltd, is a concern of Bengal Group Limited, established in the year 2013, as the country’s ﬁrst Food Incubator. Presently, the company owns three branded restaurants Lucknow, Paturi & Art Cafe and the one of a kind sweet shop Sweets of Bengal. Zeenat Chowdhury, the managing director of Bengal Express Ltd. speaks to Trends to share the stories and successes of each of these ventures.
Lucknow, specialising in Awadhi and Mughal cuisines, won the hearts of the food lovers of Dhaka right after its arrival. We did get plenty of Indian restaurants in town but availability of Awadhi cuisine was not all that common. Lucknow did dig deep into the Awadhi cuisine and recreated the authentic tastes and characteristics of this cuisine. It is sometime mistakenly thought to be Mughal cuisine but it is not, Awadhi cuisine may have a slight inﬂuence from Mughal but both the cuisine varies.
The restaurant has a Lucknow inspired ambience with the decor and interior. It is not overpowering yet nicely done with the colours, art works and crockery. Moving to the menu, it is an exquisite combination of kebabs to biriyani, desserts to drinks - everything as grand in taste as Lucknow itself. If we are asked to pick the favourites from the menu, it would be a difﬁcult task - be it handi biriyani or chicken tikka masala or beef pasinda or mutton kakori - each burst with ﬂavour once you taste it and is cooked to perfection. Complementing the food, there is a perfect array of drinks and desserts which include - masala chach, lassi, iced tea , leamonade, kulﬁ, shahi tukra, doi, halwa, ﬁrni. One person can have a delicious lunch or dinner within Tk 2,000 to 2,500.
Address: Lucknow , 60 E Kamal Atartuk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka. Phone - 01874050405
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/LucknowDhaka/
As the name suggests, Paturi is the Bengali cuisine food venture of the Bengal Express Ltd. ‘ Paturi is the reﬂection of our culinary culture and heritage offering authentic Bangladeshi food’, says Zeenat Chowdhury. She adds, ‘Our lives are really busy these days and we do not always get time to cook home cooked traditional food. Also it is the place where we can take foreigners visiting our country for tasting delicious authentic local food’. Launched in July, 2017, Paturi is the place where you give in to your cravings for desi delicacies. Paturi serves our local taste buds with every food that we crave as per weather or season or only because we are a food loving nation.
Paturi Bangladesh has minimalistic and neat decor that makes you cosy and comfortable while enjoying food that reminds you of Home. The menu is a rich selection of mouth-watering delicacies of the country including - bhorta, bhetki paturi, achari murgi, bhuna khichuri, shorshe ilish, beef kala bhuna, ayer curry, brain buna etc. There is also a ﬁne selection of sweets for the perfect ending - pakon pitha, patishapta, ﬁrni, narikel pitha to name a few. The price of each dish ranges between Tk 200 to Tk 400.
Address : Paturi Bangladesh , H 3, R 10B, Block H , Banani, Dhaka. Phone - 01841779889
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/PaturiBangladesh/
The Art Cafe
‘Where art meets food’ - The Art Cafe started its journey with that motto, with the aim to encourage and promote local art and artists. It has been doing a wonderful job ever since.
From exhibitions to work shops, The Art Cafe has organised multiple number of events to make a difference in the art scene. Located in Gulshan and Banani, The Art Cafe has a contemporary look with comfortable sitting area and lounge like arrangements that creates the perfect ambience for reading a book or discussion an idea or just scribbling or sketching over a cup of coffee and some snacks to nibble on. The menu includes a variety of juices, smoothies, soups, pastas, sandwiches, burgers, tea, coffee etc within Tk 200 to Tk 500.
Some of the interesting events that took place in The Art Cafe were - Tech Art workshop with Tech Academy, paper works workshop with Hulo Kraft, Drawing workshop with Manik N Ratan, origami workshop etc along with movie screenings, musical gigs, art exhibitions. The Art Cafe is always enthusiastic and encouraging when it comes to art and craft. When the city stresses us out, this is the place to relax and let our minds get engaged in some beautiful activities.
Address: Gulshan - 60 Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka. Phone - 01874050402
Banani - H 34, R 19A, Banani, Dhaka. Phone - 01874050404
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ArtCafeDhaka/
Sweets of Bengal
Bengal has always been a pioneer in doing different initiatives and has always been praised for doing things differently. Sweets of Bengal is one such attempt with an array of different sweetmeats from different districts of Dhaka. Beginning its journey on December 18, last year, this store has a bigger motive than just selling sweets. Zeenat Chowdhury in this regard says, ‘Sweets are an inherent part of our culture and celebrations and it is a form of art. It’s sad that unlike any other form of art, and expertise that is required to make sweetmeats is not nurtured. Sweets of Bengal is an attempt to celebrate this beautiful work of artisans.’
Sweets of Bengal bring delicacies from all over the country for everyone to know and enjoy. Teel kodom, chanar jilapi, kacha golla, mihidana laddu, gurer jilapi, ilish peti and many more types and kinds are available, each with a story of its own.
Sweets of Bengal or Banglar Mishti is one of a kind sweet shop with an contemporary ambience and display that not only makes these sweets available but also makes us aware of its origin and history.
Address: Gulshan - 60 Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka.
Phone - 01874050402
Banani - H 34, R 19A, Banani, Dhaka. Phone - 01874050404
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BanglarMishti/
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