I have always enjoyed Bengali cuisine. It must be my East Indian heritage, as Bengali dishes come very close to Assamese delicacies. We love our fiery fish curries as much as the Bengalis, and are also predominantly rice eaters.
Although we are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in the UAE, I have not found many authentically Bengali restaurants in Dubai. Then a friend introduced us to Food Village Restaurant.
Located in Al Nahda 1 near NMC Hospital, we must have driven past it a number of times – the name ‘Food Village’ is deceiving. We would have never guessed it was Bengali.
The interiors are neat, spacious and flooded with sunshine. The décor has a minimalistic café vibe with the lemon green in the signage being translated into the upholstery. Bushes of artificial blooms sprout out from every corner.
The waiter who served us was extra friendly, and offered suggestions on additional items we could include in our order.
We were there to eat the famous Bengali shorshe ilish (or ‘mustard fish’). Ilish is a river fish famed in the Bengal region for its taste, and in this particular curry the ilish is cooked in a fiery paste of mustard seeds and chillies.
The Shorshe Ilish was out of this world. It lived up to being authentically Bengali, and the serving size, although a generous steak piece of ilish, felt shortchanged.
You don’t need much with a fish dish like this. We had it with plain white basmati rice and mashed potatoes. A Bengali salad was served on the side, shredded to perfection and seasoned with the right amount of lemon and salt.
The desert was another highlight for me – we opted for the Mishti Doi (a Bengali sweet yoghurt baked in a traditional clay pot). It was decadently sweet and creamy with a tinges of earthy goodness.
A hearty Bengali meal is incomplete without a cup of tea. We were served frothy Masala Chai in earthen cups. Milky and flavored with cardamom and pepper, the tea was a perfect ending to a lovely afternoon at Food Village.
Overall, we were highly satisfied with the service and food. The pricing is also mid-range. Expect a bill around AED 80 for two. The interiors are a little garish and may not be ideal for a date night, but if its authentic Bengali you are craving, this is the place to go.