Street & Beyond
Cooks on wheels @ Paribag
Published : Thursday, 8 March, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 946
Food carts are quite common across Dhaka city and are often considered as one of the prime examples of street food outlet. Before, there were food carts and roadside vendors serving typical foods in the city. But in recent times, food carts seem to be catching people's fancy with a variety of restaurant items.
Dhaka, being a food lover's paradise, has some of these food carts in the form of mobile kitchens near Paribag, Dhanmondi, Khilgoan Taltola, Polashi, Azimpur and Hatirjeel which shell out different mouth-watering delicacies on a regular basis.
It was by pure chance that I passed by a food cart near Paribag. The exact spot is near to the BTCL Building takes places. This was the first food cart of Paribag Street and it is called Pizza Live.
This concept was conceived by a group of young entrepreneurs and this was their first food cart and very soon they wish to operate few more across the city. The staff of the truck is always dressed with hygienic hair caps and gloves. The reason they call it Pizza Live and not just another food cart is because of the pizza processing technique that is being served.
"Pizza is basically from Italy. In Italy, the Pizzas are very thin and are baked in wood fire. But there was no shop in Dhaka offering wood-fired pizza. So primarily for experiment, I started this food cart", says Asif Zaman Rupam, owner of the cart.
They also happen to serve a very interesting take on the usual Pizza. What they have is a unique combination of mozzarella cheese and imported cheddar into one meal. Baked in a wood-fired oven, that flour picks up a smoky flavour that adds to the overall essence of the pizza.
Currently they are offering four pizza items -- Chicken Pizza, Beef Pizza, Chicken Supreme Pizza and Meat Lovers Pizza, their price ranging between Tk 200-330.
Shahi Kabab, another food cart of Paribag Street, has been dishing out the Middle Eastern cuisine Kabab. The name and colour of this food cart, perhaps, speaks for itself! Currently, they are offering two packages of Kabab - Shahi Tandoori Chicken and Shahi Seekh Kabab with Borhani Salad at only Tk 80 and Tk 75 respectively.
Each package also contains four pieces of Luchis. "It's just been a couple of weeks I've started but feel good to see a good number of people are coming and enjoying our Kabab items", smiles Mohiuddin Asif, the director of Shahi Kabab.
Foodsta, has been in business for only a few months. It has already made a name for itself in the street food arena. This particular food truck is all about burgers. Priced at Tk 60 onwards, there are nachos, tacos and sandwiches as well. If you are in the mood for some nice and sumptuous homemade burgers, this is the cart to raid!
Foodies of Dhaka have more reasons to rejoice as there are three more popular carts in Paribag Street namely - Smokie Live Kabab, Cafe Live and Juice and Coffee Live.
Smokie Live Kabab is ready to welcome you with Kabab Platter, Chicken Chap and Wraps while Juice and Coffee Live is shelling out different types of coffee and juices. They not only serve finger-licking fast food, but are also opening doors to a new breed of food culture that is yet to be explored.
Asking why people prefer food carts to restaurants, Nazia Nausheen, a regular customer of these food carts, says, "While many of the items are served in a fancy restaurant carry hefty price tags, food carts still manage to be highly affordable for average customers. Besides, food lovers can see their food being prepared which gives them a new vive to their preferences".
On the downside, the choices are pretty much within a few items and hygiene should not be questioned. The taste and quality is good enough, however, most of the items are cheaper in comparison to the popular restaurants.
However, some of the items are a bit pricier than normal. But considering the overall cost incurred to manage the food truck, it can be overlooked. After all, they have to pay their staff, maintain the equipment, run the generators and of course pay the parking fee on a daily basis for the whole day.
Starting from around 6pm, these food carts tosses up quick meals including a range of exotic pizza, kabab and burger served with sausages. There are chicken chaap, brain fry, khiri fry, chicken and even Bangladeshi snacks including Luchi-Porota and other juicy items available as well.
So the next time you are near Paribag and need to quickly recharge yourself with a bite or two, remember to visit these food carts!