Live your Life. Do you live to eat or eat to live? This is the quinessential question that you must ask your self and introspect. If you live to eat, this blog is the place. As I proceed on a journey of gastronomical voyage across the various parts of India and other coutries, this blog details on reviews of good places to eat. Bon Appetite...!!!
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Bonolota Bangladeshi Restaurant
All right, being a Bengali, as much as I love Bengali
food, I never venture out for Bengali food. Why? Simple, because I believe the
best Bangla food is at home, so why try outside? Now I know my logic may be
flawed to a large extent, but I do practice to a large extent with Indian food
as well. Anyways, I’m definitely not like the grumpy Clint Eastwood in Gran
Torino or the Terence Stamp in the movie Songs for Marrion.
The usual complexity in my life when it comes to eating
out is the lack of craving for Indian food, given that I am an Indian and that
Indian food is ridiculously abused in most places in Sydney when you go to eat
out. Don’t get me wrong- I am always awed at the popularity on Indian curries
in Australia and how widespread it is. Yet, it is equally an irony that almost
anything under the sun gets dished out, sometimes good and most times overdrawn
with colour and spices which makes it atrocious and yet acceptable to
unassuming naïve eaters who may not know the true awesomeness of what Indian
cuisine is all about.
Begun Bhaja- Eggplant Fried
Nonetheless, coming back to the topic, I am usually
sceptical when it comes to Bengali food. For my readers who perhaps on the
verge of googling what is Bengali, let me save you the effort. People from the
state of West Bengal and/or Bangladesh – Bengali. That’s it. Now, while Indian
food on its on is like an overarching umbrella which while it covers the entire
subcontinent, be it Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Pakistani or Sri Lankan, I believe there
are subtelities of individual cuisines of each of these countries and regions
which need to be discovered and tasted.
Now that I am done with all the bullshit to sound like a
critique, lets come to what it matters the most. The food. Rockdale is known
for a few Bangladeshi joints- and primarily due to the large number of
Bangladeshis there. To begin with the décor is pretty descent. Quite airy and
with a lot of natural light. Located close to 100 mts from the Rockdale
We had come over for lunch. To begin with, we started with
the Daal Puri. In bagla it is called Daaler Kochuri. These were like crispy
breads with a filling of lentils. These were pretty descent although I believe the
filling could have been more than what was there.
The Phuchka’s or the Bengali equivalent of Gol Gappa’s
were next. Very interesting. The filling was a mash of chickpeas, boiled
potatoes and boiled eggs along with a very small quantity of spicy and tangy
water in a cute little miniature jug. I liked the phuchkas here. One serve
cames with 8 phuchka’s.
The other starter we had was the Begun Bhaja, which is
nothing but round slices of egg plant deep fried. Initially I thought It would be
like the Beguni- which is basically thin spices of the egg plant dippe din
batter and then fried. However, this one was without any batter. Personally I don’t
like this form of the egg plant, although it stems from my childhood dislike
for egg plants.
For mains, we ordered the Palak Paneer. Now this palak
paneer was quite nice. On first looks, its looked a bit like light green, much
lighter shade than actual spinach. Perhaps cream might have been added to give
it a lighter note of colour. The Palak Paneer was fabulous and my favorite. This
one was creamy and soft and sweet. Id probably say this was my most fa
dish here that day.
Next we ordered a Goat Curry. The goat curry was decent. A
bit spicy, the quality of the goat was okay and in fact much better than what I
expected. Usually goat meat turns out to be chewy and poor quality but over
here it was quite descent. Is this the softest goat I have had? No But would I
go there again – Yes. The curry was descent as well.
The Kacchi Biryani– which is basically the Bangladeshi
speciality and equivalent for Biryani- flavored rice with meat. This was
interesting because the rice was a bit thicker and smaller. Usually I would
have thought that Biryani involves the long grain fragrant Basmati rice but the
rice here was different. Topped with a boiled eggs and a few saffron strands,
the Biryani had essence of rosewater, that gave it a very different fragrance. What
was also very interesting was that goat was amazingly soft in the biryani. Much
more softer than the one in the goat curry. While the Biryani was pretty good,
my rating is that its worth a try for something different in terms of a biryani
type. I have again had other forms of biryani which I prefer, but nonetheless I
would say its worth a try.
The last item on the table was the Fish Curry. Initially I
had ordered the Hilsa curry, but due to lack of HIlsa we settled for the Pomfret
Curry. This was again descent. I am personally not too much of a fish eater if it’s
too fishy. Now the curry was pretty good and different styled. It had a base of
onions and tomatoes. While one of my friends who accompanied complained that
the fish was not crispy enough, but then I think if you want crispy fish, you don’t
order a gravy. I believe from a gravy perspective, the fish was just great. It
was fried aptly in the Bengali style and then put in the gravy and the fish was
fresh. So overall, I would say yes.
Next came the sweets. To begin with, the Mishti Doi or the
sweetend curd was fantastic. It was awesome and amazing and one that I would
say and highly recommended. When it cames to sweet, we had the long gulab
jamun, the Sandesh and a few other sweets. While Bengali sweets are awesome,
these to me were just about okay. I wouldn’t probably have it again to be
honest, but Id definitely recommend the Mishti Doi, as a must have.
Oh Yes, one more thing. Like most other Indian Sub-continent,
they do the regular drill or making Indian food- Chicken Tikka’s and Tandoori
Items as well as the Butter Chicken. I
would probably not go for the Indian Tikkas and grilled items as they seemed to
be using far too much colors. My friends daughter ordered the Chicken Tandoori
and trust me, it was over colored. Id probably recommend to stay away from the
regular Tandoor items.
The Bohrani is a curd based drink which is quite exciting and
interesting along with mint and spices. Quite good.
Overall the place is pretty economical and affordable.
Most appetizers are under $10. Chicken, Beef and Lamb gravies are about $15.
Seafood gravies are about $18.
All in all, a descent spot, good food. The way I look at
it, I usually judge a place by a simple question, how likely am I to return to
this place? The answer is Likely. The
food is good, it’s a good spot, its got authentic Bangladeshi flavors. In fact,
I am keen to visit again and try quite a few other dishes for the next time. So
do go and give it a try.