Sunday, September 11, 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.

Daal Puri
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 Station.

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.

Palak Paneer
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
vorite dish here that day.

Goat Curry
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.

Kachi Biryani
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.

Pomfret Curry
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.

23 Frederick Street, RockdaleNSW 2217
Ph: 95999405, 959991108

Bonolota Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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