Photo of
July 22, 2019

Having previously operated The Verandah in Dalry and The Raj in Leith, Tommy Miah has launched Tommy's Banglacafé on South Charlotte Street in the capital.

An all day restaurant - breakfast is in the pipeline - the new venture focuses on street food from Bangladesh.

Tommy's take is that most of the Indian restaurants in the UK are actually run by Bangladeshis so why not have a restaurant serving Bangladeshi food?

The menus are close enough to the classic Anglo Indian dishes we are familiar with but different enough to pique the interest of even the most jaded curry fan.

Move with the times

It is also something new. Traditional Indian restaurants are closing at a rate of knots. You could point at several factors in their decline and a lot of those reasons would equally apply to any other type of restaurant.

However, according to Tommy, the problem for many of the failed Indian restaurants is that they didn't move with the times.

Successful brands such as Tuk Tuk and, of course, Dishoom have not only positioned themselves as contemporary Indian restaurants, they have also presented Indian food in a new light.

Tommy's Banglacafé aims to do the same.

The interior is decorated with icons of Bangladeshi street life.

The interior is decorated with icons of Bangladeshi street life.

Apparently, seafood plays a big part in Bangladeshi cuisine and the Banglacafé menu includes basa fillets in a coriander and yoghurt marinade plus bagerhat prawns - prawns fried in spiced gram flour.

More meaty options include sizzling lamb chops, marinated and grilled chicken thighs and Bangla kosha mangsho - a rich, chunky goat curry.

Of course, there are numerous veggie options such as tarka daal with roasted aubergines and chotpot aloo bhaja: chunky spuds cooked with mustard seeds and curry leaves.

We will also mention the anchari paneer shahslik (main pic) which is paneer cheese marinated in pickle and then char grilled. 

Bangla beers and cocktails

The breakfast menu features choices like the egg masala toast with chai and paratha stuffed with fried egg, crispy onions and turkey bacon.

As well as the food menu, Tommy's Banglacafé has an extensive drinks menu of Indian/Bangladeshi beers, wines and cocktails with a Dhaka twist.

Should the Banglacafé concept prove a hit then expect to see it roll out across the country and perhaps even further.

Tommy Miah's business interests are international so the Banglacafé may well spread its wings. With the August festivals just around the corner, the new restaurant should get off to a flying start.