Food
10 months ago

The 3 AM phenomenon of 'Manik Chan er Polao'

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In the captivating world of fiction and reality, two remarkable stories converge at the mystical hour of 3 AM, defying the ordinary and inviting us into a realm where time takes on a unique significance.

In Nick Pirog's renowned novel, '3 AM,' we are introduced to the enigmatic Henry Bins, a character whose life unfolds in a perpetual one-hour loop. His day begins precisely at 3 AM, and like clockwork, he returns to slumber at 4 AM, captivating readers' imaginations worldwide.

Meanwhile, in the bustling streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, a real-world culinary treasure awaits early risers and food enthusiasts - 'Manik Chan er Polao.' 

This modest roadside eatery unveils its fragrant morning delight at the enchanting hour of 4 AM, filling the air with the aroma of perfectly cooked Mutton or Chicken polao. However, there's a twist to this tale - the culinary magic lasts for just one fleeting hour.

To ensure fairness and order, tokens are distributed, a ritual that intriguingly mirrors Henry Bins' peculiar awakening at 3 AM. This process has become an integral part of 'Manik Chan er Polao,' adding an extra layer of mystique to the experience.

The enchanting aroma of their polao dances on your taste buds, and their Mutton or Chicken dishes are a symphony of tenderness and culinary mastery, harmonizing flavours with exquisite precision.

This culinary gem traces its roots to Mia Chan, the visionary behind this gastronomic venture in Pakistan Period. Today, the business proudly bears the name of his son, Manik Chan, renowned for its exceptional polao. 

Their commitment and passion shine as they prepare around 150 plates of this delectable dish each day.

They deliberately chose the early morning hours to serve breakfast, which would soon set them apart. 

Manik Chan, the current owner, pondered the mystery of their success. "Why do people come here? My food must be different from others. Dhaka boasts many grand restaurants, but folks still flock to me. Hazi, Nanna, and my father, Mia Chan, were prominent figures from the same era," he shared.

Mia Chan was a renowned cook in his time, and the recipe that now graces 'Manik Chan er Polao' was his own culinary masterpiece. With passion and skill, he crafted this dish, leaving a legacy that would pass down through generations.

Mia Chan shared his culinary wisdom, teaching his sons and daughters the secret recipe. It's a tradition that has endured, ensuring that the essence of his expertise continues to grace the plates of patrons who seek the exceptional flavours of 'Manik Chan er Polao.'

"Some people open hotels and proudly display banners that read 'Puran Dhaka's Traditional,' while I don't need such banners. My banner is my customers," Manik Chan added with a knowing smile.

Once a well-kept local secret, 'Manik Chan er Polao' gained widespread recognition through the viral wave of the internet. As demand soared, they adapted by shifting their serving hours earlier, now accommodating a dedicated crowd that gathers as early as 2 AM to secure coveted polao tokens.

What truly sets them apart is their unique menu rotation. Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are dedicated to the savoury Mutton Resala, a culinary delight that captures the essence of tradition. 

Mondays and Thursdays bring a comforting Khichuri with Chicken, while Fridays offer a well-deserved day of rest for the dedicated team behind this culinary masterpiece.

'Manik Chan er Polao' and its limited-time menu beckon all to experience a unique slice of Dhaka's culinary heritage, with each dish priced at an affordable 200/-. 

So, if you ever find yourself near Digu Babu Lane, Mitford Road, don't miss the opportunity to savour the enchantment of 'Manik Chan er Polao' at the mystical hour of 4 AM.

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