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Fireflies – Dhanmondi’s newest answer to authentic Chinese eateries
Dhaka, BdChronicle (by Wafiur Rahman):
It is becoming more of a trend where most of the floors in a high-rise building are being leased to cafes or restaurants. You cannot deny the fact that food sells. The abundance of food lovers in the city has become the newest innovation facility for restaurateurs, and these buildings are becoming the ‘must-visit’ places in the city. There’s one in Khilgaon, which houses Shawarma King, Café Appeliano, Tune & Bite, Al Fresco and Comic Café – it has become the stuff of the legends. Then there is Rangs KB Square in Dhanmondi road 9/A, which is home to Club Gelato, Glazed, Pimiento, Café Droom, Flavours, Vampire Café, The Cave Kitchen and many more.
There is one in Dhanmondi road 27 as well, Rangs Nasim Square, where I had previously visited Al-Amar Lebanese Cuisine (already reviewed in UNB), Second Cup Coffee and today’s topic of review – Fireflies. The lush wooden décor welcomes you inside and the first impression it makes is an amalgamation of fine dining mixed with an atmosphere perfect for the casual diner. The waiters do not give you the shunned feeling if you show up in your casual t-shirt and denim, there is something in it for everyone.
The menu is diverse. It serves traditional Chinese (unlike the quintessential Bangla Chinese where the Thai and Chinese dishes all sound and taste alike), as well as an Indian menu that will bring tears of joy for those who were missing Oh! Calcutta. From regional delicacies such as Golda Daab Chingri, Bhetki Shorshe Bata Jhol and the usual delectable kebabs, the price is a bit steep and is rather discouraging for curious students, who would opt for budget meals, as most dishes range between Tk. 85 to as high as Tk. 1100.
But that is a menu for another review, I ordered from their Chinese menu, which has been making waves in the eating circles across the city. I ordered the dishes of Prawn Hargao (Tk. 460), Sichuan Chilli Baby Corn (Tk. 360), Slow Fried Jumbo Prawns in Black Pepper (2 pieces served at Tk. 975) and a bowl of Golden Garlic Fried Rice with Chicken (Tk. 405). I decided to cool things off with an Orange Lime Relaxer (Tk. 180 approximately), the mixture of orange and lemonade was something I believed would definitely beat the heat outside. Kind of exhausting for one person, but the reviews motivated me to try all of them and I could not wait to devour them.
It was a delight when my server brought a tiny bowl of Kimchi as a complimentary appetiser. My love for Korean cuisine frequently takes me to joints such as Sura, Arirang or Koreana once every few weeks, so Fireflies saved me the hassle of overcoming Dhaka’s famous traffic to venture into Gulshan just for fermented spicy cabbage salad. Already hitting the right notes!
The Prawn Hargao was accompanied by an additional set of Seafood Siu Mai, as my waiter informed me that it would be a definite choice to try. It was rather refreshing to see different shapes of both the Hargao and Siu Mais, as the chef did an excellent job in differentiating them in texture as well as shape, not to be confused with Momos. The tastes were divine, dipped in chilli soy sauce elevated my tastebuds to a whole new level. The Sichuan Chilli Baby Corn was as expected, spicy and corny, with the corny bits blending well with the chilli and the spices.
When I tell you that I had a hard time finishing the jumbo prawns, you can expect yourself to be in my shoes as well. The taste was spot on, not too spicy and not overpowered by the black pepper sauce, the prawns were seared through the middle, ensuring that the sauce reached all the meaty parts of the prawn and not swim away to the bottom of the dish. The rice, all golden and garlicky, was just how I liked my fried rice, and it went well after being mixed with the prawn and the kimchi (yes, I saved it for the rice!)
The Orange Lemon Chiller, or ‘Orangeade’, as I would like to call it, was just how it sounded. It acted like a savior to quell the spicy aftertaste of most of the dishes I had ordered.
The décor, environment and service were truly worth appreciating. No overshadowing waiters near your table, music is set at a minimal volume, the waiters are well-informed about the daily specials inside the kitchen. You will not be disappointed.