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Chowing Down on Bengali Homecooking at Cafe Dhaka


Restaurants & Bars 17

Chowing Down on Bengali Homecooking at Cafe Dhaka

Melanie Wong | Aug 9, 2006 08:30 AM

On Tuesday night 16 chowhounds from all 'round the bay made their way to Cafe Dhaka in Santa Clara to explore Bengali/Bangladeshi homestyle food. To make it easier on this small restaurant, I had preordered in consultation with "jhinky" and using the advice in a previous thread. Communicating with the owners by phone and via email went smoothly for this non-Bengali speaker. They handled our large group, two tables of 8, with ease.

Our dinner menu included -

First course:
4 - Loochi (2 pieces per order), $1.99
2 - Channa dal, $1.95
2 - Aloor dhom, $3.95
2 - Fusca, $2.95
2 - Moglai Porota with beef

Second course:
2 - Plain rice, $1
2 - Mocha bhajee with shrimp, $6.95
2 - Labra, $4.95
2 - Muri ghonto, $6.95
2 - Begun bhaja, $3.95

Fish course:
2 - Plain rice, $1
4 - Shorshay ilish, $6.95
2 - Chitol kofta, $6.95

Meat course:
2 - Tehari with beef, $7.95
2 - Mutton (goat) rejala, $7.45

Dessert course:
2 - Mishti doi, $2.95
4 - Gurer Shondesh, $2.95

The quantities shown are for each table of 8 and the unit price per dish. Our total came to $344.52, including tax, tip and 15% cash/group discount, or less than $22 per person. Chai at the end was complimentary.

Serving sizes are larger than typical by about 25% for Indian restaurants at this price point. If I have any complaints, it would be that we could have halved our order for some of the dishes and still had plenty to go around and then some. The stacked array of neatly labeled to-go styro boxes with our leftovers took up another table.

This dinner was the relaunch of the Curry Dive chowdown series. However, none of us would call Cafe Dhaka a dive even though tht prices are no higher than more stripped down dhabas. The restaurant has a shiny newness to it with pleasant, Indian classical melodies playing in the background. The dinnerware is very nice here and we had an appetizer plate, plus a change of dinner plate in the course of the meal. The service was quite gracious and paced as we had requested, and the staff checked repeatedly to see if the food and timing were to our liking.

Now, let's hear from the 'hounds to describe the dishes we tried and opinions.

Cafe Dhaka
3284 El Camino Real @ Pomeroy
Santa Clara

Previous Cafe Dhaka thread -

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