The desire for Pan-Asian food has been heavily influenced by rising disposable income and the rising popularity of travel to Asian nations. This expansion, driven by a youthful, upwardly mobile middle class presumably looking for fresh dining experiences, is the essence that most restaurateuring ambitions are built on. As more and more local tourists are travelling to many Asian nations, foreign taste bud is arriving in Bangladesh along with them.
As the restaurant industry experiences a boom, a wide variety of cuisines and palates are flooding the market. Earlier, western meals were preferred and well-liked. However, people are increasingly turning to the authentic and lively flavours of Pan-Asian and Oriental cuisines recently, which have long been ignored.
One of the most prominent Pan-Asian restaurants in the capital Dhaka is Yum Cha District (YCD), which takes a modern take on Chinese tea houses serving. They provide a huge selection of dim sum, from classic varieties to their special creations.
They feature a full-course, Asian fusion menu for those interested in more than simply dim sum and tea. The YCD's unique recipes are said to elevate the dim sum dining experience.
Their star appetisers include some of the most scrumptious dishes, repeatedly ordered by customers, such as the famous Wonton in Chilli Oil, which is tender meat in silky wrappers seasoned with a chilli oil mixture that perfectly balances the flavours of spicy, sweet, and sour, the prawn lovers favourite Prawn and Cream Cheese Rangoon, which is a deliciously crispy wonton encasing a creamy filling offering soft shrimp chunks in each bite, Nori Wrapped Prawn Sui Mai and Hargao among other delectables.
The menu boasts of the spice lover's choice-YCD, Special Fried Rice, which is Naga-spiced fried rice mixed with chicken, beef and seafood and a fulfilling Seafood Rice Bowl offering a flavour-packed bowl consisting of Egg fried rice served with oriental chilli fish and prawn tempura.
Seafood lovers find their appetites sated by the Fisherman's Basket boasting a combination of sliced fish, squid and shrimp in a concoction of basil, oriental sauces and bell peppers, and stir-fried calamari in spicy red pepper sauce. YCD's attention to cuisine-focused menu curation is evident in its focus on staple ingredients in Chinese cuisine, such as Black Mushrooms and Tofu.
Demand for Japanese cuisine
One of the world's most cherished and well-liked cuisines, traditional Japanese food is renowned for its use of distinctive, wholesome, fresh, and mouthwatering ingredients, as well as its amazing presentation. Japanese cuisine is also on UNESCO's list of 'Intangible Cultural Heritage.' Around 30 per cent more Japanese restaurants opened abroad between 2017 and 2019 than before, primarily due to the rise of the middle class in Asia who tend to dine in cosy restaurants frequently. Between 2010 and 2030, the middle-class population is expected to grow by more than 500 per cent in the Asian-Pacific (APAC) region, which will continue pushing the rise of Pan-Asian food culture.
Izakaya, located at Dhanmondi, Dhaka, is a particular style of Japanese pub where a range of tiny, frequently affordable meals and snacks are offered. It is frequently referred to as Japanese tapas to demonstrate and honour the skill of fusion cuisine. The idea was created to explore various food combinations and fusions that used Japanese street cuisine, ingredients, and additions from other parts of the world's culinary traditions.
As a restaurant in Bangladesh, Izakaya was founded in 2018. Some of their most popular dishes include Fried Nori Beef Tacos, which plays on Asian fusion with its deep-fried nori in tempura -- batter with a teriyaki beef filling, Spicy Katsu Curry Rice Bowl, which is the ultimate Japanese comfort food, the Spicy Salmon Poke Bowl, etc.
Sushi is inevitable
But what would a Japanese restaurant be if it did not serve an amazing variety of flavour-balanced sushi and maki rolls? Izakaya doesn't disappoint with its rich, Deep Fried Shrimp Maki Rolls made of crispy tempura shrimp with avocado and cucumber, all wrapped up with seasoned rice, sprinkled with ebikko, and Foie Gras Sushi which is Seared Foie Gras served with a dash of teriyaki sauce, or their famous Dragon Maki Rolls which are avocado and deep fried shrimps enveloped in dry nori with a drop of spicy mayo.
Customers have been keen on leaving positive reviews about the beautifully decorated restaurant serving such a unique array of delightful food by quoting Izakaya as a fresh dose of medicine and a hidden gem for Japanese fusion foods.
Pan-Asian nations have a lot of common cuisine customs while having diverse flavours and culinary skills. As a result, pan-Asian food is gaining popularity among consumers, with foods from Malaysian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, and China, with China and Thailand as top exports.
Restaurants and large businesses are currently attempting to produce foods that might allow Bangladeshi customers to feel the same traditional and authentic flavour of Asia each time they relish the meal, taking into account their changing palates and penchant for Pan Asian cuisine.
As people explore their growing desires to travel and find a taste of abroad at home, restaurateurs will keep entering the market and growing to suit the varying tastes and preferences of Bangladeshi people.