Saturday, May 25, 2024

Section

বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Ohana Diner: Dhanmondi's seafood destination is a culinary adventure

Visiting Ohana Diner isn't complete without the Crab Shack, Moa bowl, and Seashell Bowl

Update : 14 Mar 2024, 05:10 PM

There aren't many restaurants that focus only on seafood. Ohana Diner is a Hawaiian seafood restaurant in Dhanmondi that had the guts to dream up some spectacular seafood dishes like seashell bowls, Octopasta, Moa bowls, and delicious crab shacks.

The healthy qualities of seafood, according to owner Ayesha Hossain Shahnila, should be realized by most people.

"Not enough people in Bangladesh are interested in seafood. Therefore, it is a niche market," she said.

"With all the information we have about food these days, we should all know that seafood is good for you and should be eaten at least three times a week. It also lowers the risk of depression, which is crucial," according to Hossain.

Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Food

Hossain is rather proud of the fact that every dish is her own recipe.

First, we delved into the Octopasta, which is a three-cheese pasta dish made with cheese, cream, and octopus.

It is an unusual choice, but will appeal to you -- but only if you enjoy cheese-based pastas. If you like the texture and flavour of octopus, you'll really enjoy this dish. 

Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Granted, this dish may not be for everyone, however, the octopus was soft and tender. It soaked up the cheese and cream. The combination was unique and appreciable, but the cheese sauce with the octopus is rather bold and we may have enjoyed a different sauce with this particular pasta.

The pasta is exceptionally intriguing, with its rich, creamy octopus and cheese-based texture.

Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Next, we had their Crab Shack, which was essentially fried rice with crabs; the staple ingredients were sweet corn, green peas and Satay sauce, the protein of choice was crab.

The crabs were succulent, meaty, and luscious; they had just the right amount of sweetness and saltiness, and the meat's expert seasoning abilities shone through, making you crave more crab and rice combos even after you've had your fill.

Next, we tried their Chickaletta bowl, which included a grilled and sautéed thigh and a curry-based chicken in a white broth.

The curry-based chicken had flavours that were reminiscent of Asian flavours, and the perfectly cooked and sautéed thigh satisfied our Umami craving. If you like nuanced Asian curries, you'll love this bowl.

Three pieces of pan-sautéed chicken and a bowl of flavourful fried rice make up their moa (chicken) dish. Fried rice is a specialty dish made according to their secret recipe.

The delicately plated Asian flavours of the rice alone will send you over the moon, with just the right amount of sourness and spice.

The chicken was perfectly sauced and pan-sautéed, and the seasoned rice was absolutely delicious.

The bowl was packed with flavours that exploded and left their own distinct impression.

Their unique seashell bowl is adorned with a variety of blue mussels, including scallops, clams, and dory.

The seashells in this exquisite bowl are dipped to perfection in a sauce made with a blend of rosemary and parmesan.  The scallops and clams were the show stoppers, but the rosemary and parmesan sauce was the icing on the cake.

The combination of the creamy broth and the delicate seafood made for a dish that satisfied and left you wanting more.

Finally, their seafood pizza included octopus, prawns, and tomato base sauce, topped with cheese. It was an intriguing pizza twist, and the seafood was cooked perfectly, but it lacked the wow factor that would have made it unforgettable.

Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The price range for a meal at Ohana is Tk300 to Tk1,310.

Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Ambience

Ohana Diner in Dhanmondi is a charming little eatery with blue chairs, brown tables and countertops, and a hint of cerulean blue and wooden brown tones throughout the restaurant.

The look is simple yet elegant.

Challenges

Opening in 2019, Hossain talks about how, as a chef, the true joy is in making clients happy, not in making money.

While Hossain wouldn't go so far as to declare that Ohana Diner was doing extremely well financially, she did note that the establishment was filled with joy.

"Several years ago, when I wasn't actively overseeing it (someone else was), Ohana Diner went into a slump, and the quality graph fluctuated a bit. Last year, my staff and I picked it up again, and we regained control. Right now, our level of professionalism and quality is unmatched," she remarked.

In order to maintain the restaurant's quality, she stressed again how important it is to be more than just investors or entrepreneurs. 

"The fact that the majority of us are only investors is a major contributing factor to the widespread belief that companies are unable to maintain quality." She added.

"Our work and the reasons behind it are deeply meaningful to us. This is a team effort. Therefore, everyone must be on the same page and have compassion for the company.  Being more than just an investor is crucial," she further added.

"Whether octopus is Haram" was a hotly debated topic when Ohana first opened its doors as a restaurant serving octopus.

"It is Makruh, not haram. The fact that some people saw it as Haram sparked a heated controversy at our restaurant. But in reality, it's perfectly fine whether you eat it or not," Hossain reaffirmed.

Verdict

Visiting Ohana Diner isn't complete without the Crab Shack, Moa bowl, and Seashell Bowl. You must make it a priority to visit Ohana Diner if you are a seafood enthusiast and have not done so yet.

Top Brokers

About

Popular Links

x