The coming month of Ramadan brings forth two widely different forms of enjoyment: one being the fast and the other the breaking of the fast. Play your card right and then you can fully enjoy the latter. When it comes to Iftar and Seheri, Dhaka has a lot to offer.
As Bangladesh races towards development in every sector, the culinary scene is not that far behind. In fact, unlike the 90s, a serving of Bangla-Chinese isn't the only thing on the menu. Now, our refined palates can taste flavours from all around the world.
The first step a food connoisseur needs to take is figure out what they want and for how much. You can opt to give yourself or your loved ones a dinner at one of the finer eateries this city has to offer. The prices this season seem to be unbeatable. In fact, every top restaurant knows the importance of a Ramadan crowd and hence they cater accordingly.
Custom-designed menus tailor-made for your cravings can be found if you know just where to look.
Starting off, let's take a look at one of the hottest restaurants in town, Amari Dhaka. Amari will be offering a wide selection of goodies under a range of prices. First up, you have the Bronze set. For BDT 2,750 you get a four-course platter, including drinks. The platter includes traditional favourites such as mutton haleem, piaju, chicken makhmoli kebab and much more. The dinner is a buffet meal, meaning you can indulge a bit more than usual.
There's also the Silver offer which costs BDT 3,150. This consists of your drinks, a wider selection of the main course and desserts. Finally, there's the Gold and Diamond, which cost BDT 3,550 and 3,850 respectively.
The kebabs, kormas and curries are tantalising enough, so much so that you'd fast another day.
Amari also has takeaway boxes, starting from BDT 2,000.
If you want something a bit different, why not head on to Four Points by Sheraton? The glitzy hotel will be celebrating this Ramadan, Moroccan style. The offer will be available at their two signature restaurants, The Eatery and The Beast.
To ensure authenticity, Four Points by Sheraton will be flying in Moroccan Chef Mjido. He will set your taste buds on high alert with his preparation of hummus, baba ganoush, kasba with oriental rice, Afghani chicken tikka, chicken tangri kebab and much more. At The Eatery, the Iftar and dinner buffet will set one back by BDT 4,600. Here, you can eat at your own relaxed pace within the soothing ambience. For the Moroccan Kasba Platter with Arabic buffet, head on to The Beast. This will cost you BDT 5,000.
The middle-eastern doesn't just end there though. Pan Pacific Sonargaon will also be offering the cuisine this Ramadan. The gourmet journey there will begin at Sonargaon's Café Bazar Restaurant. Why not start with the flavours from where it all began? Refreshing Ramadan beverages with items such as grilled lamb chop, mutton kebab, shish taouk, lamb shank and much more will be made available for this month.
The Iftar buffet is priced at BDT 3,500 per person. However, Standard Chartered cardholders will get a buy-one-get-one-free offer on this buffet Iftar only for Ramadan.
And this is an important offer. If you have a card, make sure to find out its uses. Many hotels will be flooding you with offers this Ramadan.
The offers will include the buy-one-get-one-free, along with discounts starting from 15 percent. Citibank, Standard Chartered, Southeast Bank, Trust Bank and Eastern Bank Limited cardholders, among others, will all be able to enjoy the benefits that their cards offer. Call and check beforehand.
Ramadan is indeed a month of piety. It is also a month of self-control. While these offers abound, make sure to temper your indulgence. And do make sure to partake at least once. For what is Ramadan without an amazing and memorable Iftar for you and your family!
Osama Rahman is a sub-editor at The Daily Star