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Dhaka Tribune

Blue Salt: The most underrated Thai food in Dhaka

They also serve the best Canadian national dish -- the poutine

Update : 10 Nov 2022, 05:03 PM

Tucked away in a little lane near Gulshan Youth Club park, on road 113/A this unassuming cafe serves some of the best Thai beef basil in Dhaka.

They also serve an array of Asian and Western dishes like pad thai, chicken n' rice, poutine and chicken pepper steak.  

“We tried many recipes during the pandemic. The menu is basically a mix of some of our favourites,” said Blue Salt's Managing Partner Safaat Nabil.

Food

Their menu mostly comprises of Asian comfort food.

Leading off with their Pad Thai is a classic and well prepared mix of shrimp, thin rice noodles sautéed and tossed together in a fish and oyster sauce. 

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

With a touch of brown sugar and tamarind to make for a salty-nutty, slightly sweet sauce that ties the street-style noodles together with a side of lime.

The attention to detail is commendable as the buttery shrimp is subtle yet enjoyable.

The red chilli peppers add just the right amount of heat, and the peanuts add another texture to the dish. 

It is safe to say that authenticity is their utmost priority.

While the dish is heavy on the rice noodles, nor the sauce or the protein overpower each other, and the familiar fragrance of a classic is the cherry on top that is bound to make you gorge on the rich noodles.

The best part is that this Thai delicacy does not disappoint.

Then there was the beef basil with rice that tingles your taste buds with the wholesome mix of fish, soy, and oyster sauce.

The rich umami from the beef served over rice with a sunny side up makes it a delicious dream.  Cutting right through the golden yolk while it drizzles over the meat will make you salivate.

The trick is to mix it well all together and make sure you take your time as you chew because the effect is one you will want to remember.

Aside from the plethora of Thai dishes, came the Burmese khao suey, they have added their own touch to the classic dish made up of a coconut broth, curried chicken and egg noodles accompanied by thinly sliced shallots and slit green chillies.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The egg noodles were drizzled with an extremely light broth, just enough to leave the subtlest fragrance of coconut. 

The let down is that the noodles, and by default the entire dish is overbearingly salty, and by the end of it the salt is what lingers on your tongue.

The tweaks in this dish may have become a hurdle as you not only miss the soupy broth but also any other flavour other than that of the salt.

The heavenly Malaysian chilled Milo Ice was rendered to perfection with just the right measurements of Milo, and crushed ice.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The chocolate flavoured malted powder is well-blended, with perfect texture and consistency.

One sip will transport you right back to your childhood or the streets of Malaysia.

Either way, this drink is a winner.

Then there is the Canadian national dish - the poutine. They really have got it right, which is hard to do.

Their Poutine includes crispy french fries, cheese curd and reminds you of mashed potatoes and gravy.

This combination gives us the perfect cheesy paradise with a crunch in the chips.

It is seasoned with chilli flakes, and has the unique essence but not the overpowering heat.

The gravy is mixed with the melted cheese oozing out on the fries, and you will devour it all as it is finger licking good

The price for a meal at Blue salt ranges from Tk150-Tk400.

Ambience

Blue Salt boasts a cozy environment, first and foremost. The arched doorway and flanked by Roman columns on each side makes you feel like you're somewhere in Europe.

There is a colourful mural in the corner that greets you as you enter.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

If you're looking for an intimate gathering of friends without loud music or loud people, this place is it.

The lighting is dark but suits the white chair and mahogany tables in contrast with the purple walls. The teal colored window next to the mural captures the natural plants encased within its bounds.

Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

While you may wish there was more space, the small space is what gives you a much needed, brief respite from the otherwise crowded metropolitan city.

Challenges

Opened in July 2021, affordable prices are set to attract customers. However, the costs will increase amid inflation, according to its owners.

“The prices are accessible, and that helps bring customers in, but similar profit margins cannot be maintained because of increase in prices,“ Nabil said.

While the restaurant is yet to break even, he is optimistic that word of mouth will help boost its sales.

“We're hoping things will pick up as more people get to know about us.”

According to Nabil, management is the most challenging role as it requires a continuous effort to maintain quality.

“You have to take the initiative to monitor your staffs' progress and performance because there might be better methods.” 

According to managing partner Murshida Yeasmin: “No matter how old the restaurant gets, the owners always have to stay vigilant.”

Verdict

If you're looking for some Asian fusion food - more about quality and less frills - check out Blue Salt.

We do think you will go back.

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