They say that good things are found in the most unexpected of places – though not entirely true for Peda Ting Ting. Convenienly tucked away in the corner of road 27 in Gulshan, this humble arrangement comes all the way from Rangamati to introduce the ethnic traditions of the Chakma community to Dhaka. With its rammed earthen wall at the entrance, this place is sure to charm you at first glance. The rooftop is the highlight of the restaurant; the dimly lit lamps along with the eco-friendly surroundings are bound to soothe your senses. They’ve added traditional mats or paatis in order to complete the ethnic outlook. Apart from their exotic menu, Peda Ting Ting’s premises also houses an art gallery, showcasing artworks by ethnic painters as well as a clothing boutique, which exhibits hand woven clothes and bags made by Chakma weavers.
This is the perfect starter to snack on while waiting for the main courses. A crispy mixture of eggs, dry fish and prawns are served on a banana leaf in a clay bowl. The dry fish is brought from Rangamati which gives a unique flavour to the dish.
While you prepare yourself for the feast, might as well warm up with yet another starter. That’s where the Fish Kebang comes in. ‘Kebang’ in Chakma means “the process of cooking in banana leaves.” As ginger is a household staple for cooking food in Rangamati, the highlight of this dish is the spice factor, which gives it a golden texture. The ginger used in the dish is brought from the hill tracts. It adds a slight zing to the moist piece of coral fish without overwhelming the tastebuds.
If you like your eggs fried, you’d certainly like them baked and Peda Ting Ting promises you a pleasant surprise with the Boda Kebang. The eggs are wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in a pressure cooker. What you’ll get are spongy pieces of eggs served in a clay bowl. Compared to the fish kebang and fried egg starter, this one isn’t all that spicy. If you’re looking for something wholesome, this one’s your go-to item.
Although it looks exactly like its chicken version, the Chumath Beef Hera happens to be a tangy serving of soft beef garnished with fresh coriander. The beef is prepared in such a way that even after the other items, you won’t be feeling too full. As per the custom, food is cooked with minimum oil in most of their dishes. It’s not curry based nor is it dry, and that’s the best part - because it keeps you guessing about all the secret ingredients.
The dish itself is as interesting as its name. “Chumath Kurahera” in Chakma translates to chicken cooked in bamboo. Tender boneless chicken is served in a stick of bamboo along with steamed rice. The bamboo juices enhance its texture and taste, thus giving it an earthy flavour of ethnic lands. After you’re done relishing the goodness of the starters, this is one which you’d like to eat slowly, savouring every morsel.