Whether you are driven by a love for food or by the growling stomach, there is no denying that food courts around the city are blessings for the urbanites— be it for a quick snack or a hearty meal. Also, these become the ultimate saviours when you get exhausted after a long day of shopping and are in need of the perfect replenishing breather to catch up with friends, especially if you are on a busy schedule.
With various cuisines now hitting the food scene of Dhaka, there is always something to cater to the different taste palates.
One of the firsts to start a food court, the calls of the vendors to try out their restaurants and the excited hustle-bustle of the food lovers as they walk by trying to pick out their favourite restaurants is still as vibrant as it was at the court's launch.
Situated up on Level 8 of the plaza, a large portion of block A and block B, and the entire block C is dedicated to the food court. Although most shops specialise mainly in Indian cuisine, there are still quite a good number of shops providing fast food, Mexican cuisine and even Korean food!
Right beside Toggi World, you have the Nababi Kabab and Indian Masala serving steaming tandooris and fried rice set menus to the eagerly waiting food lovers. And while you stroll through the blocks quietly sipping your Formosa drink, which is almost available at all outlets, you often have to halt to allow the foodies juggling plates of mouth-watering biryanis, chola bhaturas and fried chickens to pass to their tables. This indeed should come as no surprise with the huge Delhi Darbar, Hello Fried Chicken and Luscious Pizza outlets present there.
Alternatively, you could try the flavoursome beef cheese burger from American Burger or the wraps from Baba Rafi, which are perfect for those rush days, when you do not have the time to sit down and eat. If you are craving something new, you could also opt for Korean cuisine at Holy Cow, which is in Block A. And if all these options fail you, why not sit down for the ultimate go-to food? The delicious Mexican tacos and nachos from Taco Bell!
JAMUNA FUTURE PARK
Once again situated on the plaza's Level 8, the food court of Jamuna Future Park is a lot more spacious consisting of the entire centre and east court, as well as large portions of the west, south and north court. Just like its older counterpart, Jamuna Future Park includes all sorts of cuisines although it has more options for each of them.
Almost all the franchise giants have an outlet here — Pizza Hut, KFC, Krispy Kreme — you name it! You could indulge in the classic fried chicken from BFC or a beef shwarma from Shwarma House.
Just like Bashundhara City, Jamuna also has a plethora of Indian restaurants such as Arsalan, Albino, Indian Spicy, and Taste of Indian Spice to name just a few. But it hardly ends here! The food court stands out because of its unique collection of Far Eastern cuisines such as Japanese and Thai food items in Tekiya and Food Valley.
In fact, Jamuna is also home to quite a handful of dessert shops, each with its celebrated cheesecakes, brownies and coffees. Thanks to their excellent customer service, Tabaq remains a frontrunner among the youth, standing out because of their wholesome sandwiches and dessert delicacies.
You could also try Poptar, which is situated in the centre, and consisting of Taiwanese desserts and cold drinks. Alternatively, there is also Sub-zero, Cream and Fudge, and Khusbu for you to treat yourself to some delightful ice-cream.
Without fancy lighting or cushy seating, this food court is most popular for its options in great taste, variety and minimal cost.
In the courtyard of the Shimanto Square Market in Dhanmondi, most customers during the daytime are students from neighbouring universities and schools. As evening falls, the crowd increases with families and friends all joining in.
The place is always abuzz, and one can hardly find a place to sit – and if you end up going in the evening, it will be hard to find a spot to stand in – a testimony to its popularity!
The cuisine varies too, from kebabs to wraps to pizza to ice cream, you can find all. Some notable names are Kebab Express, Pizza Italiano, Quick Bite, Hot N Roll, Prominent Food and Dessert, Mila Fast Food, Shawarma Club, NB Food Corner, Pana's Panini, Good Food, Hunger Anger, Soft Ice Cream, Tekiya and Pankouri are some of the names.
If your taste buds want to explore the cuisines of Japan, but your wallet does not want to hike to a fancy Japanese restaurant, make your way to Tekiya. Not only do they serve Japanese dishes, their kitchen and exterior resembles a Japanese restaurant! Maki roll sushi, tempura, onigiri rice balls, yakitori grilled chicken, and Japanese origin green tea are some of their famous items. Amongst them, omusoba and jambalaya are some of their newly added dishes.
Other than these, regular snacks such as French fries, chips and dips, nachos, and pasta are common dishes in all the stores and cost the same in almost every store. Each store provides outdoor seating and most provide home delivery too.
As the food court is in Shimanto Square, it is a highly secure and a protected area, so do not be afraid of taking your loved ones to go out and enjoy a meal. The food scene is fast evolving here though, with more variety and better options appearing all the time.
The thrill of trying out different things, feeling the overpowering spice or the tangy taste is something everyone craves once in a while. Thankfully, these food courts have enough variation to keep you occupied.
By Adiba Mahbub Proma
Photo: Toukir Ahmed Tanvee