It’s very unlikely to order Indian food at Cox’s Bazar however, after my recent trip there, I choose to believe otherwise. In fact, it is widely believed that Cox’s Handi is far better than that of Dhaka’s thus, when a friend recommended me to visit Koyla near Laboni Beach for lunch, I jumped at the opportunity.
Koyla’s location is exactly next to the entrance of Laboni Beach yet despite being in such a prime location, they were quite empty at 12.30pm. They have rooftop, indoor, and outdoor seating space and since it was quite windy, we chose to sit outside. You’d require taking off your shoes to sit on their elevated garden seats. The waiters were quick to provide us with a menu and to our surprise, they had naan/paratha available on their menu. Why was it surprising for us? Because we had been on the hunt to find them at Cox’s but all the places had them available after 5pm only. We placed an order for Chicken Reshmi Butter Masala, Garlic Naan, Sweet Lassi, and a Lemonade.
The order arrived a little after 20 minutes but we were happy with the presentation. Not only was the food served in antiques, the Lassi arrived in a Matka (earthen pot). We were also served some salad and achaar as condiments. The Naan was buttery for sure but what upset me a little was its flakiness since I prefer them to be slightly plump. However, it was the succulent chicken that won me over. These bite sized creamy boneless chicken was unlike any reshmi chicken I’ve had. It was soft and melted in my mouth due to its proper marinating with curd. Reshmi Chicken tends to have a mild, sweet, and nutty taste and this dish delivered it all!
The Lassi was overpriced for what was offered. Of course, the presentation was a nice touch but in terms of taste, the Lassi was too thick to be consumed with a regular straw and there was nothing extraordinary about it either. The Lemonade was a much better choice compared to this Lassi as at least it was refreshing.
I am so glad that during this trip, I chose to be spontaneous with my picks of where to eat. Most tourists tend to stick to deshi food everyday (which is completely fine). However, it is about time we give a chance to the other cuisines this place has to offer. Koyla will definitely be a place I will make sure to visit every time I’m in Cox’s Bazar and you should make sure you do too. If not for their Indian food, you may give their Bangla food a try at least.