Bittersweet: Nothing bitter about this sweet spot

Wafiur Rahman
Thursday, December 28th, 2017


Everyone with a sweet tooth is bound to know of Bittersweet, a dessert lover’s dream destination. Located at the heart of the town in Gulshan 2 and Dhanmondi, it offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy city to those who have had a long and tiring day and simply want to sink into their living room to enjoy some peace.


Since their inauguration in September 2009, they have aimed to be the “living room” away from home. Walking up the metal staircase and through the glass door, many people may be brought to the thought of walking into someone’s home; as warm and welcoming as any other. Although the name of the lounge has “Bitter” in it, the only bitter part of my experience was waiting for the cameraman to finish taking pictures of the delicacies so that I could dig into them. The smell alone was setting my taste buds on overdrive!


Before moving onto the food, some information on the lounge itself seems appropriate. The project was initially supposed to be started in 2005 by Zafar Iqbal Khan and named “Fudge Factor” after his wife, Farzeen Quader Chowdhury. Sadly the venture was delayed due to a few obstacles regarding their careers however, after their marriage, they both found some time to put behind the endeavor and the Bittersweet Café was born, named such after their bittersweet journey. “It is our symbol of love” says Zafar.


The café was designed by the couple to resemble lounges in international 5 star hotels, retaining an ambience of calmness and tranquility. The music played throughout the lounge is soft to the ears and maintains a decent volume level where people do not have to yell to talk to a person sitting next to them. Bittersweet may not be expensive, but it is also not cheap. This is firstly because all the ingredients used to prepare the dishes are of top quality, and the look of luxury works as a sort of “feel-good factor” on the customers. This is also a mechanism used by the owners to ensure no one of the wrong crowd is present in the lounge. “We are screening the crowd to make sure we maintain a family friendly environment”.


And now, onto the main focus of Bittersweet – the food! Although the lounge is mostly noted for the wide variety of desserts they offer, they also serve world class appetizers and have a modest selection of main courses from soups to burgers to sandwiches. The selection of drinks available is also astounding, ranging from exotic milkshakes to teas and coffees. Taking a simple run through the menu is sure to cause a gaping void to form inside one’s stomach. And the aromas that are continuously drifting from the kitchen speed up the process.


Appetizers are always a good way to start off the grand experience. My recommendation would be to go with the Shrimp Tempura, which is fried shrimp with a wasabi mayonnaise. The shrimp is very light and covered by a thin, crispy shell which crumbles in a bite. Inside, it is soft and juicy with the wasabi complementing the taste very well.


After the appetizers, a customer can opt for a soup dish. I went with the Tomato Soup as it was recommended and though I’m not a big fan of tomato soup, it won my heart over. It’s very thick and delicious and also sweet while savory. Served with two pieces of bread, it is a very good way to start the meal.


Other dishes in the main course include the Gourmet Burger, a rich burger with a heavy patty served on soft buns with slices of pickles, a leaf of lettuce and light and crisp French fries. Other choices include sandwiches such as the Monte Cubano Sandwich or the Chicken Caesar Sandwich, both of which are very impressive choices. Bitter Sweet also has a few good pastas, including the Pasta Oglio served with shrimp. It can be referred to be an all-in-one dish as it is sweet, sour as well as spicy. It’s an item that pasta lovers will adore.


And now onto that which Bittersweet is famous for – their desserts. The first name to mention should definitely be the Chocolate Soufflé. It is one of the best chocolate experiences anyone can hope of having. The piping hot soufflé served with the vanilla ice-cream melt as soon as it enters the mouth. However, Bittersweet’s grand desserts are their prized cheesecakes, which are known to be the best cheesecakes in Dhaka. Their chef who previously worked at Westin Dubai now supervises the bakery inside the lounge and produces the heaviest and cheesiest cheesecakes in Dhaka.


Bittersweet café is definitely worth checking out. Anyone who loves sweets is sure to add this spot to their favorite’s list. And if you maintain the peaceful atmosphere that Bittersweet takes pride in, not even a fly will be there to disturb you.

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