Cilantro Bangladeshi Bistro – Review

I have a confession to make. I’ve been holding out on you. Spring of last year a friend of mine stumbled on a realtor’s list of top new restaurants to give a go. We were happy to see a couple of restaurants with which we were already familiar. There was one on the list that intrigued us the most: Cilantro Bangladeshi Bistro.

Thanks to Mr. Adams’ world history class in 10th grade, I knew the location of Bangladesh but I wasn’t sure of the food. This was totally new territory for me! That’s never stopped me before so my friend and I decided to check it out one Sunday afternoon. We’ve been fans ever since.

Cilantro is located at 1011 Kempsville Road down the street from Sentara Leigh in Norfolk, Virginia off of Virginia Beach Blvd. If you aren’t paying attention you might miss it.

But you will pay attention…….because you won’t want to miss this place.

I can’t begin to express just how much I love this place. There are days I crave “soul food” which is popularly identified as Black American cuisine originated in the Southern United States. However, I find myself heading to Cilantro, which I think serves the Bengali equivalent!

Cilantro features an a la carte menu with several standard items which I’ve shared in the following photos.
There are also daily specials featuring beef, chicken, seafood, or goat, and one hit wonders added to the menu to provide a bit of variety.
If you want to save a few bucks but still want to sample several items, they also give you the option of half portions at a fraction of the a la carte price.
Pictured above: Two of their standard menu items, Spicy Beef (foreground); Shahi Chicken (background)
Pictured above: Special of the day (foreground); Shrimp Malaikari (background)
Pictured: Veggie Mishali (foreground); Other veggie dishes (background)
Pictured above: Polao (party rice), Shrimp Malaikari (my favorite), Spicy Beef, Butternut Squash, and a deliciously flaky parata
Bangladeshi Soul Food
Parata – the love child of the pita and croissant

Some of their dishes pack a bit of heat but there’s variety for the more delicate palette. They also offer bottle beverages and homemade limeade and desserts which aren’t pictured here, mostly due to the fact that I focus too much on enjoying the desserts instead of taking photos. Imagine that!

Whether you’re looking for a place for lunch or early dinner (they close at 7pm), give Cilantro Bangladeshi Bistro a try. Tell them your friends at 64 Eats sent them your way!

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