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Ever imagined what it would be like if your entire world was immersed in Facebook, rather than just a mere app in your Android phone? Wait no more, as Banani 11 has a new café in the block – Foodbook, Dhaka’s first Facebook-themed restaurant.
Located in House 32 (Level 3), smiling waiters await your arrival, with the ‘eager to please’ attitude. Taking inspiration from Boomers, a long list of celebrity portraits and posters are draped all over the wall, along with abstract art renditions of social media words such as trending, hashtags, etc.
The entrance door serves as a ‘log in’, which acts as a hilarious ice-breaker. They also have a timeline-themed photo booth for photography enthusiasts.
The menu mainly consists of continental lounge cuisine, with burgers and other tantalising appetizers in the offing. I had heard a lot about their Chicken Parmigiana (Tk. 220), Salt & Pepper Calamari (Tk. 350) and their Fish & Chips (Tk. 335 plus VAT), so there was no point in ordering anything else. To cool things off, I opted for a Strawberry Cheesecake Chiller.
As the waiter said that it would take 15-20 minutes to serve my orders, I ensured to check the time mentally to see if they would keep their word, and they did. The only downside was that my drink came halfway during my meal, so had to suffice with mineral water till then.
First things first, the Salt and Pepper Calamari was sublime for an appetiser. Not only were they deep-fried lightly and to perfection, but they were served on top of finely juliened green peppers, bean sprouts and fried onions.
They were served with two sauces –garlic mayo and chilli mayo, but they seemed a bit monotonous as they only differentiated in taste in terms of spiciness. But no one can deny the divine combination between fried calamari and mayonnaise, so who am I to complain.
The English Fish and Chips were a tad bit above your average run-of-the-mill fried fish and French fries platter. Thankfully, instead of the local Bhetki fish, they fried a fillet of Barramundi, which was just as fine. Not to shove Bhetki out of my palate list, but only a few places in the city can serve fried Bhetki fish to perfection and I thank Foodbook for not experimenting in that regard.
The fries were okay, but the coleslaw that accompanied the dish was delicious. I wish I could have ordered it as an additional side dish. Both the mayonnaises made their return, only replacing chilli mayo with lime mayo – but you can barely experience the tangy difference.
Their Chicken Parmigiana is indeed their crème de la crème. A huge chunk of deep fried chicken fillet topped (and subsequently baked) in Napoli sauce and loads of mozzarella cheese is sure to give you cheese-induced adrenaline after finishing it. But the sauce compliments the fried chicken and does not overpower it to a great extent.
I had it as a meal, so it came with fries, garden salad, a sunny side-up egg and fried rice, which were okay to finish and were not problematic. Only a tad bit of spice would help to increase the flavour in the rice, the Napoli sauce does not help in this regard. It went well with the fries and the egg, but not the rice.
Lastly, the combination of fresh strawberries and cheesecake made for a divine chiller. Words cannot describe enough how delicious the drink is, you have to drink it to feel my experience where language gets lost in translation.
Although the prices are a bit steep for students and new executives, the quality of food, great service and innovative restaurant theme makes up for it. If you want to give it a try, be sure to check it out soon. I fear that as the restaurant would pick up in popularity, it might dwindle in terms of food quality.