Beside the lush Gulshan lake wooded path, in the gated neighborhood of Baridhara in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a quiet street, lined with six floor high rises, milky lights and security guards at each gated house. Shinier and brighter than the residential buildings is the Ascot, a hotel with a rooftop restaurant. A barbecue restaurant. Passing through the hotel which is decorated like a spa (dark wood and zen plants) and past the staff all welcoming and greeting (there is no shortage of people in Dhaka), you whizz up in the elevator to the rooftop. Outside, the warm winter air (70 F even at 6 pm) is vibrating with Latin rhythms. The walls are decorated with strings of white holiday lights and exotic vines.
The food is good. My salmon with baked potato with butter and chunks of garlic is served with steamed vegetables. Plus, a yummy “jus” of citrus sauce. The portions are normal (so small compared to American portions); the service is slow but friendly; the prices baffling (not what is printed because of the addition of taxes etc.); and you must bring your own wine (and corkscrew). There are wine glasses on the table but you bring your own. This is a barbecue restaurant because the steak, salmon, red snapper, etc. is cooked on the grill (large drum style grills which give those grill marks and scent that tell you that you are eating outside!) My salmon entree cost around 890 Taka but I paid around 1,350 Taka (about $19) to include bottled water and taxes.
With the roar of landing airplanes, Latin music, mosquitoes and exclusion from the world at ground level… this could have been an experience almost anywhere in the world. It’s a good life.