A calm oasis in the midst of chaotic Dhaka

A calm oasis in the midst of chaotic Dhaka

Michella Chowdhury, Dhaka Tribune
8 September, 2022

While most “bistros” in Bangladesh aren’t quite bistros in the traditional sense, one place, Bistro E, is exactly what it claims to be

Ever wondered what the difference between a bistro, cafe and brasserie is? Briefly explained, a cafe is a coffee house, a brasserie is more of a brewery and a bistro is a quick service restaurant – a classical version of fast food. While most “bistros” in Bangladesh aren’t quite bistros in the traditional sense, one place, Bistro E, is exactly what it claims to be.

For the past eight years, this place inside Bay Edgewater has been serving up some of the best salads, burgers and steaks expertly curated by Executive Chef Abdullah Tareq. While bistros are supposed to serve French cuisine, it’s not exactly a hot ticket in Bangladesh.
“Although we use French techniques, the dishes are mostly Mediterranean as the Bangladeshi customer base isn’t really drawn to French cuisine itself,”
– Abdullah Tareq, Executive Chef.

With an eclectic range of delicately textured pastas to traditional gyro platters, the menu is definitely a nod to Mediterranean and fusion dishes. The restaurant enjoys a loyal customer base, mostly comprising embassy officials. From its ambience, to a friendly and trained staff, Bistro E is an oasis in the midst of chaotic Dhaka.


The automated lift opens to a well-secured brightly lit floor.

The hallway is illuminated by white lighting which leads you to the entrance that begets a sense of sumptuous comfort as the lights get warmer. The lounge area is also fitted with white lighting which helps to bring out the contrast between  the vibrant colors of the décor  that livens your spirits, and contains different modern variations of blues, dark and light brown couches. The walls are full of modern artthat lends an aura of a small art gallery.

The dining area has one long communal table flanked by booths on both sides. The sleek modern furniture and overall hue leaves Bistro-E’s customers with a taste of subtle luxury, making it a regular spot for sociable work.


Among the flurry of dishes that kept coming out of the kitchen, there were harissa mushroom starters – that had sautéed button and oyster mushrooms marinated in harissa. It is a hot chili pepper paste, and minced garlic. The spice starts kicking in after the first bite of the mushroom that keeps your taste buds tingling for more.

Then there was Bistro E’s mezze platter that included mutton keftas, a tangy hummus, a side of crispy French Fries, and a soft

and light pita bread, served on a wooden platter. The Keftas are Moroccan-style kebabs which, although lacking in seasoned spices, contain the charred flavour that you crave for in Mediterranean kebabs. While the taste of the Kefta is bland, the Hummus, which was an exceptionally well-blended mix of chickpeas, lemon garlic, tahini, olive oil, and paprika garnish, is a true redeemer and a delectable experience.

Among the salads, the Couscous salad with chicken has fresh seasonal greens, cucumber, tomatoes, couscous, and harrisa dressing. A single bite of this dish includes a flavourful ensemble of spicy grilled chicken thigh and couscous will leave you wanting more and more.

Who knew the humble chicken could be this delicious when cooked 

right. The fresh vegetables are plated to perfection, and it is a mouth-watering fusion of all the flavours coming together to create a vibrant of flourishing red and green vegetables on a bed of enjoyable couscous.

Among their hefty mains, the tomato-based Pomodore Chicken pasta is a glimpse of Italian food amongst a bastion of Mediterranean feast and serves as the show-stopper. The fettuccine mixes well the chicken and button mushrooms, while the tomato sauce brings out a boisterous mix of sweet, sour and spicy flavours. The pasta is finally garnished with chopped parsley to add a slight bitterness, making the overall dish lip-smacking good.  

The seafood basket includes their crunchy fried prawns coupled with salty squids and battered golden flecks of dory fish complemented by a side of tartar sauce. As appetizing as the basket is to your eyes, there’s really such a thing as too much fried food, as you stop tasting the difference between each individual fish item at one point. But the Dory fish with the sweet and savory tartare sauce will win you over in a heartbeat.

The zucchini and eggplant sandwich is a signature vegetarian dish which is a satisfying meal. The healthy brown-bread highlights the extraordinary use of mozzarella cheese to add a buttery layer to the zucchini-eggplant sandwich. The vegetarian delight also has sautéed onions, gherkins, boiled eggs, melted mozzarella, and the rich Harissa aioli sauce. The meatless sandwich works like a charm even if you’re not a vegetarian.

Among a variety of specialties, the Yogurt Pot is a three-layered dessert that is a combination of fruit compote, vanilla yogurt and granola drizzled with honey. The sweetened curd is mixed with meshed strawberry to give a sweet and sour taste for every mouthful. This sweet course is served in an elegant dessert cup.

The Double Chocolate Brownie and Ice cream is a classic marriage between confectionary and frozen sweet. The strong smell of the cocoa powder will engulf your senses as soon as the luscious dish is served. The contrast of the hot double chocolate, and the cold ice-cream layered atop dually emphasizes the sweet yet bitter taste of dark chocolate. The price for a meal at Bistro E ranges from Tk550 to Tk2,500.


The eight-year old bistro has not escaped the aftermath of both a pandemic and an inflation hike. They had to shut down after the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020.

“We were closed for the first three months, and re-opened in July for takeaways and home deliveries only,”

– Shamim Sharif, Operation Manager.

Although a slow start, Sharif explains how the customer influx has been decent since they reopened for dine-ins from September 2020, and how they always had more dine-ins than deliveries. “We’re usually busy for both lunch and dinner. There have always been more dine-ins.” Inflation hikes in the country has led to the decision of redesigning the menu.

To keep up with the increasing expenses,
a change of prices and a complete overhaul
of the menu is necessary

– Abdullah Tareq, Executive Chef

“The prices for the ingredients have gone up. We’re likely to redesign our menu in two weeks, add a few specialties, and take out a few of our slow items,” he said. To maintain its high quality, the restaurant is heavily dependent on imported ingredients, which is costing them more than their financial limits can allow. “Tariffs have gone up, it’s a little messy right now. Prices might go up around 15%”, he added.



Despite the price range, Bistro offers a delightful menu, and an unforgettable ambience. Once you, the perfect blend of good food and soothing ambiance will keep drawing you back. There is nothing like being at Bistro E on a rainy day eating a warm delicious meal while watching the world go by. Did we mention they only play jazz too? The good kind as well. What else could you ask for? Don’t take our word for it, go and see for yourself.

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Steaks at Stake: The best 5 steaks in town

Steaks at Stake: The best 5 steaks in town

Today, we take a look at the best steak places in Dhaka and what separates them from the rest

Dhaka residents have become more lavish in their food habits along with the upward mobility of the socio-economic condition in the city. There is a rising demand for more premium food and the most premium cuts of meat. 

While we will not associate steaks with fine dining, it certainly does fall under the premium bracket.

A decade ago, places like Spitfire, Spaghetti Jazz, Don Giovanni’s, and Steak House were the best steak places in the city. However, over time, the competition has picked up a notch with more and more steak places popping up.

Today, we take a look at the best steak places in Dhaka and what separates them from the rest.

5. Woodhouse Grill

Best Texas-style steaks

This place has been the talk of the town in recent years – as far as steaks are concerned. Located in Banani 11, they serve Texas-style steaks and you are bound to like them. The steaks are offered with two sides and sauces of your choice but the ribeye steak is their most popular item. 
It’s a 300-gram steak and the local beef steak will cost you taka 1,385++ and the imported beef steak will cost you taka 2,300++. 
We give this a solid 7.5 out of 10.

4. Steak Republic

Steaks on a budget

This is one of the newer places which has made its way into our list with its steaks at relatively cheaper prices.  Nothing will cost you over Tk2,000 and that is reasonable given the quality of food and the location – road 36, Gulshan 2 – involved. 

The must-have item here is the “Surf and Turf” which includes a tenderloin steak and a lobster thermidor. The steak is tender and juicy with lots of butter while the lobster is soft and will melt in your mouth – a truly terrific combo. You also get sauteed mushrooms and mashed potatoes as two sides and the entire thing costs Tk1,630++.

With everything considered, we give this an 8 out of 10.

3. Bistro E

An underrated gem

While this may not be a steak house, the steaks they serve are some of the best and this is an absolute hidden gem.

Located in North Avenue, Gulshan 2, it is hard to miss this place, with its lights and posh decor. While Bistro E has a wide range of Mediterranean dishes, we will focus on the Steak Frites that we ordered. It is a 300-gram sirloin that really packs a punch because of the tender and juicy meat with a hint of BBQ sauce. You get a side of fries and a salad.  

Given the location, the price is expectedly high and this will cost you Tk2,250++.

However, given the food quality and overall ambience, we have to give this a high 8.5 out of 10. 


2. Meat Theory

Best Chicago-style steaks

Another new steak house making a name for itself with its Chicago-style steaks. These steaks are basically charred on the surface and cooked to your desired doneness.

The menu is similar to the one Woodhouse Grill offers with similar pricing, however, there are a few specialities like the Tom and Jerry steak, which is a 1,400-gram steak.

But the star of the show is the 300-gram rib steak, which is soft but rich in taste and texture. What really sets this apart is the house special sauce which is made from beef broth.

This will cost you Tk 1,645, which is a reasonable price considering the big proportions of the sides – mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables. Located on road 140, Gulshan 1 we give this an excellent 9 out of 10.

1. The Pit Grill

The undisputed king

They have been around for a while now and no one can stop them. From ribs to dry-aged steak, The Pit Grill has it all and then some more. 

Previously, they were in Dhanmondi and were regularly managing the more posh Gulshan-Banani crowd. In their new location in Kemal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, they are going as strong as ever. The stars of the show here are the 45-day dry-aged beef steaks and the BBQ beef ribs. 

Both are unparalleled in taste and flavours; you will not be left disappointed. You will also want to try their sliders and burgers, which use the same steak beef and we believe that is the best in business. Yes, this will cost you a premium, per head will be around Tk4,000 but that is the price you have to pay for the best of the best. 

We wholeheartedly recommend The Pit Grill and give it a 9.5 out of 10.

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Gastronomic voyage at Bistro E

Gastronomic Voyage at Bistro E

Bistro E, as the name suggests is a plush cafe and restaurant nestled in Bay’s Edgewater, specializes in European cuisines. These folks don’t serve food; they serve cuisine beautifully presented and unfailingly delicious in an unpretentious, elegant and relaxing location.

Our chef Abdullah Tareq is dedicated to quality at every level, offering a variety of plates sure to please any palette.

– Shamim Sharif, Operation Manager

“We strive to pair an elegant and fun dine-in experience with a changing menu of classic modern fare made with the freshest and finest ingredients,” he added. The Clubroom at Bistro E is available for Bistro guests as a stylish, private venue customized for corporate and entertainment needs. I sampled everything from appetizers, to mains, to desserts and straight through sides.

For appetizers, Bruschetta and Arancini are the absolute winners. Bruschetta (BDT 400) is prepared of toasted baguette is topped with a tangy mix of ripe juicy tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and black olives, drizzled with olive oil.

The delicious, crispy deep fried Sicilian balls Arancini (BDT 500) consists of mushroom risotto balls stuffed with cheddar, coated in panko crumbs, fried till golden and served with house-special lime aioli.

Couscous Salad (BDT 750) is a perfect summer option. Warm succulent grilled skin on chicken thigh or feta is served on a bed of fresh seasonal greens, cucumber, tomatoes, tossed in house special harissa dressing and topped with roasted beetroot. For smaller appetites, one can opt for Signature Sliders (BDT 750). They are basically a duet of grilled, petite beef patties, on a bed of caramelized onions and tomato, topped with crisp lettuce & gherkin. Served with house-special garlic aioli.

Among mains, the moist, tender Red Snapper (BDT 1,350) is made of Red Snapper fillet grilled to perfection and served with sautéed spinach, Bistro E’s signature Paris mashed potatoes and house special caper sauce. This flavourful hearty meal is light and healthy. Steak Frites (BDT 2,250) is the French version of meat and potatoes where juicy, pan-seared steak with a butter sauce and deep-fried, skinny French fries are served. Here they use 300 grams of

Rib Eye or Sirloin grilled to the guest’s liking, served with hand-cut chips and a side of fresh salad and signature mushroom sauce. This cuisine is crazy popular.

All the portions served are satisfying and reliably delicious. Go hungry because you cannot forego a sweet ending. There are always more than a few options. This scribe’s favorite is one of Chef Tareq’s Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel Parfait (BDT 325). The mouthwatering flavors like Chocolate Mousse (BDT 150)Strawberry Mousse (BDT 150) and Brownie Shot (BDT 150) taste heavenly.

The casually upscale décor is tasteful. An unobtrusive staff delivers professional and impeccable service. Chill in the restaurant and take in your favorite sporting event on their large plasma TV. It’s a great spot for luncheons, business functions and other celebrations. Reservations are suggested for weekend nights. Drop by to know more.

Bistro E, Bay’s Edgewater, North Avenue, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212

Opening Hours
8am to 11pm Everyday

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Keep an eye out for Bistro-E’s picture-perfect interiors

Keep an eye out for Bistro-E’s picture-perfect interiors

Antony Rahman, Ice Today
3 November, 2016

Bistro-E, an establishment which caters exclusively to the upper echelon of Dhaka’s foodies, is a unique take on the usual Bistro restaurant format. It manages to be simultaneously cosy and opulent, presenting an air of luxurious comfort that is difficult to replicate.

Upon entering Bistro-E, one’s eyes are immediately drawn to the counter, which displays some of the restaurant’s fruits and drinks. A soothing green backdrop serves to emphasize the relaxing vibe of the establishment.

The main area is split into beautifully arranged dining tables and elegant European-style sofa chairs for customers to unwind in. The stylish and classic-looking floor is more than it appears; being a unique design from Bay research and testing lab not found anywhere else in Bangladesh, or possibly even the whole world.

The vibrant paintings work together with the soft lighting to immerse patrons in a sense of warmth and tranquillity. Bistro-E has an incredibly restful and calm feeling about it, exuding peaceful neutrality in every aspect of its appearance. The arrangement of lounge chairs in soft hues, along with a delicately crafted bookshelf encourages visitors to indulge in some reading and relaxation. 

Comfortable booths line the walls, promoting an atmosphere of privacy that gels with the overall theme of the entire place. The mood lighting of the overhead lamps subtly emphasises the gorgeous tables, which are custom made from butcher block and imported directly from Japan.
Smartly situated windows present a view of the hustle and bustle of Dhaka city from a relaxed vantage point, really highlighting the peaceful, quiet, ‘away from the crowd’ atmosphere that is already so pervasive in other aspects of the decor.
Bistro-E also boasts a separate space reserved for business meetings and private parties. An aura of sophistication and exclusivity permeate the room, heightened by the presence of tasteful artwork and the exquisite furniture. The colours of the dark furniture, light walls along with the paintings work together to present an aesthetically pleasing contrast.

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Le Migliori Polpette Di Tonno – Italian Style Tuna Meatballs

Le Migliori Polpette Di Tonno

Dhaka Tribune
27 July, 2016

Italian Style Tuna Meatballs

For those who love fish, Bistro E has come up with “Le Migliori Polpette Di Tonni.” It’s a delightful take on Jamie Oliver’s famous version of the Italian classic and is a welcome addition to the bistro’s contemporary menu.

The dish is a generous serving of tender, pan-seared meatballs made with North Atlantic tuna on a bed of linguine. The combination of fresh herbs, cashew and butter brings delectable tanginess to the house sauce, resembling a Napolitano. Freshly grated parmesan and a lemon wedge garnish adds the last touch.

This tuna meal is also super healthy with its Omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce cholesterol, and perfect for those who watch what they eat. Nestled in the very security conscious Bay’s Edgewater on North Avenue in Gulshan 2, Bistro E provides a chic and cozy setting for perfect meals.

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Gastronomy Glee

Gastronomy Glee

Hang Out, Ice Today
1 September, 2015

Most Popular

The signature beef slider (Tk 650) is considered to be the most popular item. The beef sausage is made from scratch and the caramelised onions along with a dash of seasoning deliver a nutritious taste. It is served with Aioli which is sort of a spicy mayonnaise, also made from scratch by the chef himself.

Chef's Special

The chef Abdullah Tareq shares his favourite meal – the Moroccan Kefta (Tk 575) – the lamb Kefta, which has a Mediterranean flavour, is his personal favourite. The Kefta is not very spicy and the flavour is just adequate enough to ensure that the lamb is not masked. The hero of the dish is the lamb itself, so by preserving its taste rather than reinforcing any other flavoured essence, the chef does justice to the dish. Moreover, the hot Aioli perfectly complements the Kefta.

Must Try

Bistro-E takes pride in their Mediterranean dish – the Hummus (Tk 300). It is specially made using Pesto Harissa paste dressing and topped with whole chickpeas, spices and virgin olive oil. It is served with Pita bread – which is regular bread but thinner and more compressed, which makes it soft, chewy and appetising.

Weekly Specials

The menu is the heart of any restaurant. Bistro-E incorporated the idea of having both a static and a cycle menu. The static menu helps predict the general trend in orders, allowing them to adjust their staffing and grocery purchases accordingly. Whereas, the cycle menu  changes periodically every week or on various occasions, giving both the chef a chance to try out

something new. The weekly special includes Grilled Zuklain Egg-plant sandwich and Stuffed Chicken Breast amongst others. The sandwich is heavenly, as it has a perfect blend of grilled eggplant and melted cheese with a splash of spices. The stuffed chicken breast is a mouthful of tender juicy chicken served with boiled veggies and lip-smacking mashed potatoes. The presentation of the meal is absolutely delightful.

If you’re not up for a heavy meal, do give their Coffee and their special Yoghurt Pot (Tk 350) a try. They get special coffee beans from North End and are highly appreciated for their fine coffee services. The Yoghurt Pot contains layers of creamy vanilla yoghurt with fresh seasonal fruits topped with crunchy granola goodness and nuts. Go get some!

Bistro E

Bay’s Edgewater,1st Floor
NE (N) 12, North Avenue, Gulshan 2
Dhaka, Bangladesh

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