Restaurant: Dhaka Fish & Biryani
Last visited: November 13, 09
Area: Vancouver, BC (South Vancouver)
5750 Fraser Street - Fraser & 41st Ave
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Specializes in fish & biryani
- Family owned and operated
- From Bangladesh - Bangladeshi food
- Halal restaurant
- Homestyle/Home cooked
- Offers lots of fish options
- Offers chicken/lamb/beef
- Hole-in-the wall
- Really affordable
- Dine in/Take-out
- Cash or debit only
- Mon-Sun 11:30am-9:30pm
I was actually looking for a different restaurant at the time, but fell upon this one randomly. It's only been open for 2 months and it's not busy yet, although they already have their regulars. From the outside this is a hole in the wall restaurant, however the inside is actually quite nice! I was very surprised to see wine glasses and tea light candle lanterns on every table.
The owners are from Bangladesh and they speak very broken English. The food is very home cooked and served very home style with mismatching plates...which for this kind of place I really liked. They specialize in fish and biryani so you have to try those items when you come. I find that their dishes are slightly sweeter (with the use of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom) and not as spicy or heavy as most other Indian restaurants. Maybe it was what we ordered?
The dine-in menu is the same as the take-out menu. It's literally the white photocopied menu you would get in the mail. There's no descriptions of any of the items, so it's hard to know what to order. I ordered the owners recommendations as well as recommendations from their regulars.
On the whole this is a very low maintenance restaurant that attracts Indian people (a sign of authenticity) within the area.
On the table:
- Prawn Biryani 3.5/6
- Basmati rice sauteed with prawns and a variety of Indian spices. Includes dahi and chutney. $10.99
- This is a typical Indian rice dish. It reminds me of an Indian fried rice but it has no veggies and it's not supposed to. It's not necessarily spicy, although you can request the level of spiciness you want.
- You're supposed to eat it with dahi (a homemade yogurt condiment) or raita (dahi with fresh herbs) or chutney. They serve it with dahi and chutney for free here.
- It was really good and flavourful with tumeric, cumin, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, garlic, cloves, cardamom and all sorts of other spices. They went heavier on the cardamom which gave it a delicate taste. They did a good job with the frying and it's a pretty big portion. The rice was separate and not clumpy and it wasn't too oily.
- The prawns they used were frozen shrimps and they were overcooked and dry. I wish they marinated them better too because they're supposed to be marinated in yogurt and spices before the frying process.
- I would order a meat instead of a prawn biryani next time.
- There's no description on the menu but it's pretty much a fried fish, maybe even deep-fried fish, served with a thick curry paste/sauce.
- Ruhi or Rohu fish is an everyday fish for Bengali people. It's a firm white flesh fish similar to halibut except it has lots of bones. They're big though so it's easier to pick out and eat. It doesn't taste fishy at all, it tastes like chicken.
- The fish is fried in mustard oil first and then topped with this yellow curry. The curry is heavy on sauteed onions, ginger and garlic. There's no cream so it's not heavy tasting though. It's nice and thick because they used a lot of ingredients and it stood up well against the sturdy fish. I really enjoyed it! I think it's because the curry was so thick and flavourful. It had a slight mustard taste that wasn't bitter, but just aromatic.
- **Chicken Curry 4/6
- Boneless chicken cooked in curry. Includes your choice of naan or rice $8.99
- They actually recommended the lamb curry, but I'm not a big fan of lamb so I ordered it with chicken. I really liked the flavour of this except it was waaaaay to oily. It was basically swimming in a pool of oil. Try not to let the oil scare you, because it tastes really good - it makes it difficult for me to rate, but I have to go on flavour.
- It was more of a tomato based curry compared to the onion curry on the Ruhi fish we ordered.
- The chicken was the same chicken they use for butter chicken so it was nicely marinated with spices. There was about 10 big pieces of chicken so it was a really good deal.
- **Naan 5/6
- There's only one type of naan you can get here, and that's plain old traditional naan...and it is really really good!
- They don't butter it upon serving and it tastes way better than it looks. I doubt they cook it in a tandoor oven, but probably over a flat iron skillet. This is the softest naan I've had. It was almost a bit sweet too, it tasted like those Chinese pastry buns. It was very fresh and made upon order. It doesn't look soft, but it was VERY soft almost like fresh white bread from the oven. So good!
- $1.50 (without meal)
- Chapati 4/6
- Chapati is a unleavened flat bread made from wheat flour. It's actually a giant round piece of dough and they serve it all folded. It's harder than the naan but still pliable as you can see with the folding. It was still soft and very fresh, made upon order.
- $1.25 (without meal)
- This was more of a sweeter dahi than a tangy one. It's homemade and almost tasted like a thinner vanilla yogurt...but not that sweet. I still liked it, and because they're dishes are on the sweeter side anyways, it worked. This is a condiment you can use with everything, but it's traditional to eat it with biriyani.
- Mint chutney
- This is served free and can be eaten with any of the dishes we ordered.
- Again goes well with biriyani.