I will usually pick up Shelby for lunch during the week and run home. We might grab something or eat leftovers at home. The dogs really need to go out too! We both work close enough to home that we can do this; it's really nice.
The other day Shelby's office had a lunch event so it was just me fending for myself. I thought of the regular places I'd run to near the office but decided I'd grab something different. I remembered being invited to the opening of a new place in Norfolk earlier this year but couldn't make it due to other obligations. Why not finally head over I thought to myself. So that's what I did.
Cilantro Bangladeshi Bistro is in Norfolk on the border of Virginia Beach. It's connected to the old Murray's butcher shop. The iconic, but recently closed, Nautical Antiques store off Virginia Beach Blvd. sits right next door. The restaurant is new, bright and clean inside. You can buy meals or order à la carte. Since it was my first time there I wanted to try a few different dishes. Here is what I got:
Jhaal Beef, Shahi Chicken and Shrimp Malaikari--all of it sitting on a bed of Polao rice. Enver Siddiky, whose family owns and runs the shop, gave me samples of the Chotpotti, yellow chickpea salad, and fresh squeezed limeade.
The shrimp was my favorite out of the bunch, with the peppers he put on the plate and the seasonings, it had a little heat but it all blended well. I loved the rice. I love rice anyway, but this was good, it was cooked with ginger, garlic, ghee and a bunch of other spices. Enver did a good job explaining to me what each dish was and how Bangladeshi food differs from Indian food. I've been calling Cilantro an "Indian" food place, but know I know better.
If you're in the area stop by and grab something to eat. They also have a little grocery next door. It's worth a visit.
Check out the rest of the photos, full size in the Look section of the page: