A good breakfast can prepare you for whatever activities lay ahead, boosting your energy for the whole day. Thus, unsurprisingly, nutritionists often love to recommend eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
In Bangladesh, breakfast items are generally not that celebrated, unlike Kachchi and tehari, which are lunch/dinner staples. Irrespective, some restaurants around the city have made a name for themselves for their breakfast-time treats.
The Business Standard in this issues takes you through a tour of well-known breakfast places around the city, without ranking them, as they offer varied and unique items. We recommend these places solely based on the taste of the food they serve.
Nirob, located at Changkharpul, is a famous place for its plethora of bhorta served at lunch. But it is also an underrated destination for breakfast. They offer everything that a traditional Bangla restaurant serves as breakfast.
We ordered paratha, naan, chicken soup, brain curry, and kalabhuna (a particular type of beef curry). We also tried one of their most popular breakfast item--puri-bhaji, where you get five puris for 15 taka, and the bhaji is free! Nirob serves this keeping the neighbourhood dwellers in mind.
If you want to go light with a tight budget, the puri-bhaji can be an ideal choice. And it tastes good.
Among other dishes, the kalabhuna (Tk160) and chicken soup (Tk60) are their must-try items. The amount of meat in kalabhuna is a bit scanty for the price, but it tastes fantastic-- a mouth salivating raw smell of deep-fried meat with the signature thick black gravy.
Their chicken soup is delicious in terms of thickness, flavour, and amount. Brain masala (Tk180) tasted average, but the tea (mixed with cow milk) was simply superb, though the cup is so tiny that one cup of tea may not be enough for a tea lover.
Located at Thatari Bazar in Old Dhaka, Green Sweetmeat is the oldest food shop on this list. The place has no sit-in service; you either eat standing in front of the outlet or takeaway. It is a small sweet shop which has been catering to local people for the past 45 years.
We went there to taste their famous luchi-aloo dom very early in the morning because it runs out fast. The platter comes with curd gravy (Tk10), gajor halwa (Tk20), jilapi (Tk5), and luchi (Tk5).
We liked the luchi for its size and fluffiness. The aloo dom was a bit tangy because of the curd. But you'll devour it once you get the hang of the initial bite. The gajor halwa was different from regular halwa as it was moist, and flavors of ghee and khoya (Mawa) were quite overpowering. For us, that was the best item of Green sweetmeat.
We also tasted the jilapi and amritti; the jilapi was crunchy, but both tasted average.
Located at 47 North Brook Hall Road in Banglabazar, Chowrangi Restaurant has been in business for almost a century. The restaurant is famous for its breakfast menu. The roadside place offers a handful but delightful items at a reasonable price.
If you are up for a light breakfast, you can try its delicious luchi and dal, garnished with a sprinkle of onion, some spices, a specialty of the house, and coriander leaves. If you are an egg lover, you will like their poached egg and omelette, sprinkled with black salt. The package, including four luchis and dal, is Tk15. Poached or omelet egg cost Tk15.
If you prefer a lavish meal or a range of items for breakfast, Hirajheel Hotel is for you. Located in Motijheel, the city's busiest commercial hub, Hirarjheel has been in business for over 15 years.
Its cleanliness and spacious interior will attract anyone entering the place. People who love paya (Tk80), soup (Tk80), and koliji (Tk90) in their breakfast should reach the restaurant by 9 am, or you may miss out on most of these items, mainly the paya.
Another notable item of theirs is the lemon chicken (Tk140) cooked with pickles. It's refreshing smell and taste are mouth-watering. You can have it with roti (Tk10) or paratha (Tk10).
If you are a meat lover, you can try their beef bhuna (Tk160) and mutton rezala (Tk160). To cap it up, you can add moog dal (Tk30).
The beef khichuri (Tk 190) is another speciality of this hotel. It tastes good, just as sticky as it should be, and the portion is more than enough for one, with three pieces of solid meat.
Their desserts are fantastic, particularly the roshmalai (Tk50 per cup), and it tasted absolutely brilliant. Hirajheel's chef personally makes the roshmalai using pure cow milk. It has the perfect balance of sugar, and the balls are spongy.
Their Faluda (Tk70) was good too. And you can have special tea (Tk30) which is made using unique ingredients.
The first thing you will notice once you are there is their warm, welcoming attitude. Located near Hathkhola roundabout, opposite of Ittefaq Bhaban, Deshbandhu opened their shutters in 1958. The place is renowned for its breakfast items and afternoon snacks.
Paratha-bhaji is sold here all day long. Though the site is famous for its bhaji (Tk 20), we found it average. You can also find semolina pudding and other sweets in breakfast, which you can try with the Paratha (Tk6).
Their spongy sweets (Tk30) are fine too. We found the chhanar amritii (Tk30) too sweet, but halwa (Tk20) and gurer shondesh (Tk25) tasted really good.