The Bangladesh football team might not be a part of the FIFA World Cup, but the utter madness surrounding the greatest show on earth has indeed become an inevitable part of our culture.
From the Brazil-Argentina banter and rivalry to the buildings adorned with the flags of different countries, the FIFA World Cup is nothing short of a festival in Bangladesh.
There is nothing more enjoyable than watching a game with your friends and family on a big screen, and for those who cannot do it at their home for space and other issues, Dhaka restaurants have come forward with a solution. During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, restaurants in Dhaka are acting as a great hub for people to experience the world cup together with their friends and family. Along with the live screening of the matches, they are offering discounts and special packages on food to munch on during the matches.
Fardeen Arafat had been watching the games at the tastebud restaurant which remains open until 3 AM on the occasion of the World Cup. "These live screenings are providing a stadium-like experience for football fans," shared Fardeen.
He added, "Watching big games with a group of friends after office hours makes everyone forget about the daylong exhaustion. We just cheer for our teams or hope the team we hate loses. Also, you can order food at a restaurant which perfectly compliments the high-voltage football experience."
The hype can be overwhelming and people need to prebook their seats.
Here are six of our favourite eateries in Dhaka where you can watch the FIFA World Cup with your close ones and munch on delicious snacks.
Griddle is a multicuisine restaurant situated on Dhanmondi Road 16. They serve diverse dishes from dumplings to steaks. However, for the world cup, they are offering 'FIFA bite platters' – a platter for two priced at Tk 800, and a platter for four priced at Tk 1500.
The platters include cheese loaded fries, chicken cheese fingers, cream cheese prawn rolls, BBQ wings, crispy wings, and peri peri wings with four dipping sauces.
The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating arrangements but during the more anticipated matches, only the outdoor seating area, containing a 60+ seat capacity, remains open. It is because the thrilling experience of their high-quality screening with a great sound system can be experienced only by eating outdoors.
Shabbir, co-owner of Griddle, said, "We had a full house during all the hyped matches. To control the crowd we use the food coupon, priced at Tk 500, which helps us to manage better. For the Brazil and Argentina matches, we allow 1 AM screenings and lots of fans gather here even at that hour."
Crimson Cup is a familiar name to all of us for its fragrant coffees and delicious desserts. For the world cup season, they also didn't fall behind to ensure a special customer experience. To create the vibe, they have decorated their outlets with world cup themes. More importantly, Crimson Cup is screening every match of the world cup, including the late-night ones.
According to Sourove Sheikh, Head of Marketing, Crimson Cup their Bashundhara branch is showing the most crowd given it has an open field space and live screening feels most fun there.
As for food, they included world cup themed decorated cupcakes which cost Tk190. People can also order any item with their favourite team's flag like club sandwiches or brownies. They are running a fun campaign called 'Score a brownie'. After an order, you can play in their popup goal bars and by scoring you get a free brownie.
Tastebud, located in Banani, is popular for its premium desserts. But their menu includes all sorts of items that can greatly complement your experience of watching a match. Tastebud stays open until 3 AM, so watching a 1 AM match is welcomed.
They have some amazing offers like buy one get one on all of their coffees and pizzas. Other than that, they also have two world cup special platters. The first platter includes items like rice, pizza, cupcakes, etc, priced at Tk 2,970, and is sufficient for four people. The other includes four burgers along with other items like chips, desserts and drinks, priced at Tk 1,280.
Yusuf, Managing Director of Tastebud, said, "Our Banani outlet holds the most crowd where families and friends enjoy the warm environment. We have three areas to watch the games. One has a 100-inch screen and includes a live theatre ambience, and can house 35+ people. The other two also have big screens. The multiple zones helped us to show two different matches at once."
Chefmate Lounge, located at Dhanmondi Road 2, is the perfect food court to enjoy any major World Cup match given its spacious area, the big screen televisions and, of course, the variety of food to choose from.
To avoid any kind of mismanagement during the World Cup, they sell vouchers for two people. With this, a couple can enjoy food worth Tk 500 from any restaurant, and if the bill is more than that, they can pay the restaurant separately.
Luthful Amin, Managing Director of Chefmate Lounge, said, "As we have three large screens in our food court, comfortable seating arrangements and multiple cuisines and desserts, young people find us to be a convenient place to dine in and watch their favourite team play."
Chefmate lounge includes ten restaurants and all of them remain open during the matches. So, when watching a game, you have a variety of food to choose from, such as TreeHouse for steak, Southern Claw for seafood, and many more.
Peyala, a popular cafe in town, has also been showing matches at their largest outlet in Banani until 11 PM. Being one of the favourite places for corporate workers, they find this a convenient place to dine in and watch the match after a tiring day at work.
Celebrating the FIFA world cup, Peyala offers delicious doughnuts inspired by the flags of your favourite teams. It is sold as a takeaway box which includes three doughnuts, priced at Tk 199. Moreover, the cafe is serving their new Tiki-Taka Platter during match hours.
The platter for two, priced at Tk 888, includes two classic cheeseburger sliders, two curly fries, two chicken poppers, two boston brownies, two mini donuts and unlimited cha. The single platter includes each of the same dishes priced at Tk 445.
Arsalan Ahmed, Manager of MGH Group, shared, "We have decorated each store with flags, creating a cheerful and rather competitive atmosphere for anybody who enters. It's a full-house almost every time we're showing matches live at our flagship store."
Tune n Bite
For the people of Old Dhaka, Tune n Bite is one of the best places to enjoy the world cup. They also have branches in Dhanmondi and Khilgaon as well. The stage they used for live music is now used for screening live matches on their giant LED screen. Live music, however, is still performed from 7 PM to 10 PM.
You have to reserve seats for the hyped matches beforehand, especially for 1 AM games.
Redoun, a student of Jahangirnagar, said, "When I come to Old Dhaka at my home, I sometimes dine here with my family to watch the game and enjoy their Indian dishes. Not everyone can afford a big screen television, and this is a great way to absorb the fun."
The restaurant has decent set menus, but the various types of pastas are what they are famous for. Additionally, they also introduced three new platters – one for two people and two for a single person.