Dhaka Cafe Jhill inspires that strange comeraderie among patrons --- the shtick of I know we don't know each other but isn't this remarkably tasty, and have you told folks to come?
Go. The tilapia is cooked to perfection and can be prepared with curry. The shrimp bhoona isn't great but it's fine if specified spicy. Just ask at the counter for what's fresh and heed the specials; the service is as friendly as the place is clean.
I'm not a meat eater, and -- this could be a thread in itself -- sometimes restaurants that prepare fish this well fall short with meat. Newsday's Sylvia Carter, however, put it on her ten best list (quote via Chowhound search) "Bangladeshi and proud of it: lots of fish, tender goat curry, vegetable side dishes (bhajee, potatoes and cauliflower with mustard- seed)." A reproduction of the Carter 9/99 review at the restaurant also talked up the lassi.
Dhaka Cafe Jhill is underpriced and not busy enough. Two dishes, including rice, dal, potatoes, and small salad, plus two appetizers run about $20. The location is a safe if less than interesting five minute walk from Braodway and the N, G, or R trains. But we've seen what off the beaten path can do. The fish ain't the problem here.
And Jim, next time you're too late for Kebab Cafe (and to think techies in Redmond are shedding tears over Steinway Street), roll over here. It's open till midnight, and stays fresh and clean throughout.
35-55 33rd St. (at 36th Ave.) Astoria, 718-937-4200
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