We have all been there; one of those tough days at the office when work just doesn't seem to end and the clock hands are lazier than usual to hit 5 o' clock. The thought of hitting rush hour traffic on the way back home starts giving you jitters and your energy levels are at an all-time low.
Suddenly your cell phone screen comes alive with the arrival of a text message, startling you from your daze. Your friends are all crashing at your place later tonight, the text notifies, and in a second the dark pall that clouded your thoughts clear away.
You excitedly start collecting your things from your cubicle, mentally listing the fun movies to watch and the interesting things to talk about. And then realisation creeps in: save a bottle of Coke and a tub of ice-cream your fridge is nearly empty; you have nothing to feed your guests.
You are pressed for time as it will take at least an hour or two to get home. Moreover, the mere thought of entering the kitchen is excruciating, let alone cooking a meal for several people.
It is at this crucial point that a very big question looms. What is it that you do, slump down in your rickety chair, despair over your sordid sedentary job that doesn't allow you to socialise, and tearfully cancel the plans? Or, you, ever the smart, savvy domestic goddess with hosting skills to rival Martha Stewart, quickly formulate a plan B?
If you fall into the latter category (or not!) pay close attention and read on as Lifestyle has put together the ultimate guide to help you out in such moments of duress!
It can be said with absolute conviction that food is the most important aspect of any gathering, formal or otherwise. And when friends come over for an impromptu chat session, it is simply indispensible. The right choice of snacks or dinner items can make or break a party, as drinks keep flowing and canapés keep going even when the conversation doesn't! So without further ado, let us provide you with some guidance for such unexpected get-togethers.
At first, mentally figure out what kind of cuisine your guests would like. For this matter, you must consider age group, interests and the general nature of the expectant crowd. Also, what kind of food do you need to serve? Is it going to be finger food and drinks only, with no heavy dinner to follow? Or light snacks with a substantial dinner to feed your famished friends? For a slightly younger crowd that prefers snacks, here are a few places that offer takeaways:
Sausly's has it all -- from delicious, filling sandwiches, hot dogs, crusty tarts, pies to cheese puffs and bread sticks. Fresh ingredients are cooked to perfection, and stay yummy all day long. For quick bites that also satiate hunger, drop by at any one of their outlets located in Gulshan 2, Banani, Panthapath or Dhanmondi.
King's Confectionery is another all-time favourite eatery that offers yummy sandwiches, pies, pastries and many other things at a reasonable price. They have branches located in many different locations across Dhaka city. Cooper's is also very helpful in terms of providing a whole host of snack items along with assorted baked goods.
Another great option could be American Burger, which offers succulent, juicy burgers along with sandwiches, and fries. Burger n' Boost is another burger joint that has many interesting offerings such as rolls, wraps, salads alongside burgers and fries. You could also drop by at KFC for crispy fried chicken and creamy mashed potatoes.
In order to tend to your guests' sweet tooth, drop by at Glazed for their mouthwatering doughnuts.
Located conveniently right opposite to Glazed is Mr. Baker that has many savoury items as well as sweet ones. Apart from these items, you could also arrange for fun options like a Chip n'Dip night where many different kinds of chips, namely Pringles, Doritos, Cheetos or Lays' chips can be served with yummy dips now available at supermarkets. You could also buy readymade salsa and serve it Mexican style. This could be a great option for movie nights or game nights when guests don't want to bother with shifting attention to food. Many different kinds of microwaveable popcorns can also be served with a choice of assorted drinks and juices to bring a movie theatre-like feel. Candies and marshmallows can be thrown in too!
For a slightly older crowd that prefers to have a sit-down dinner with little or no appetisers, there are many options. If it is an eternal favourite like Chinese, you are spoilt for choice as most Chinese eateries happily pack take-away boxes.
This depends on the Chinese restaurant located nearest to your house. Chains like Xindian offer a scrumptious spread, and you can call them to place an order. Alternately, new ones such as Pan Tao, Shing Heong Banani are also good options. Time Out also does fantastic Asian food and offers take-out. Luam's is a great place for authentic Thai food at a reasonable price, but you have to call ahead for takeouts.
Samdado is a great place for authentic Japanese cuisine. There is many a kabab lover out there, and for them Star Kabab is perfect! You can find every possible kind of kabab here and assorted breads to go with them. They also do great Biriyani, Morog Polao and Khichuri. Bar B Q Tonite is another perennial favourite, and their Khat-a-Khat is legendary.
There are many other great kabab places around Dhaka city, you just need to find the one you and your friends like best! For a taste of Bangladeshi cuisine, drop by at Kasturi, the place for yummy deshi cuisine. From bhorta to bhaaja to beef curry, you will find it all here.
Gulshan Plaza Restora is also great for tandoori chicken, Khichuri and many more mouthwatering delicacies. For the lovers of Mediterranean cuisine, place an order at Pizza Hut via phone, which has numerous Italian treats for your guests. They also have the Pizza Hut Delivery system now, which delivers food to your doorstep in selected locations around the city.
Another great new addition to the city's culinary scene is the website hungrynaki.com, which delivers desired food from places located around your house. Just log onto their website and order away! And while you are at it, make sure you have enough refreshments such as chilled drinks, chips, and juice and dessert items to entertain your guests as well as preserve your reputation as the hostess with the mostest!
Photo: LS Archive