Aladdin Restaurant, located in a Bangladeshi strip mall in Arlington’s Yorktown section at 5169 Lee Hwy, was my first foray into Bangladeshi food. For the Indian/Pakistani food lover, a lot of the food here will be familiar: there are samosas, kabobs, lamb vindaloo and even chicken tikka masala.
However, the must-try dish here and the specialty of the house is the kacchi biryani, which takes hours to make and is only served on Saturday. Aladdin Restaurant’s website said to call ahead to ensure that kacchi biryani was available but I simply lucked out and it was on the menu the Saturday that I went. This unique biryani is made by cooking marinated baby goat, lamb and chicken under a bed of uncooked rice in the oven, such that everything is cooked at once. This makes the rice extra flavorful and is the reason this dish takes so long to prepare.
At Aladdin Restaurant, a mere $13 will score you a generous plate of this extra-flavorful biryani, made with lots of TLC. This is a true, home-cooked soul food and I’m sure a place like Rasika would charge an arm and a leg for the privilege of eating it off one of their gold plates. As you might imagine, the décor at Aladdin Restaurant is basically nonexistent, but that’s not what you’re here for.