Cyclone: Arabic Cuisine in Clifton

I’ve just recently seen this new Arabic restaurant spring up in Clifton, just beside the China Town Restaurant near Bilawal House. So last night a few friends and I decided to pay a visit to try it out, since there is a real dearth of good Arabic restaurants in the city.

To be honest, this addition isn’t much worth the hype either. For starters, walking in the room with one female companion whose first remark when we sit down is “i’m the only girl in here” doesn’t make for a good first impression. However, the menu’s looked appetizing, and they had a large list of sheesha flavors (exorbitantly priced, Rs. 250 for single flavor, and mixed flavor was Rs. 500!) So we skipped the sheesha and headed for the meals. I ordered the shwarma platter, which promised an addition of hummus and salad, I got a small serving with garnish and a spoonful of hummus.

The food was passable taste wise, despite the false advertising (the menu has a picture of chicken broast and fish, neither of those items are on the menu). That’s not all. I’ve seen poor service, on average, most restaurants in the clifton defense area have very poor service, save for the really classy places like Okra, but never have I seen a waiter so spaced out (or high on something is more like it) then here.

I could go on an complain about the fact that the music was skipping, and they simply let it skip rather than correct the problem, however I think that by now, you can get a sense of my disappointment.

Why do these new ventures invest so much money on making an ambiance and theme (that is obviously in demand in the city) and then spend nothing on training for local waiters?

25 Comments so far

  1. AsmaAunty (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

    so which r the nice places in karachi for having good arabic food? anyplace where one cud have tasty arabic shwarma and hummus?

  2. Spectator Sport (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

    Qasr-un-Nakheel. Boat Basin.

  3. FAS (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

    "Cyclone" is a famous night club in Dubai. I presume only name is common between this Cyclone and the one in Dubai.

  4. FK (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

    cyclone is a hang out place for "teenagers" for smoking isn’t meant for dinning in for couples/families.

  5. Huzefa L (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

    Qasr-e-Nakheel at the tail end of boatbasin (or start depending on your perspective) is the ultimate in shawarma. Though on occasion I have had a bad experience there too.

    Though I must admit, I’ve only tried it at a handful of places.

  6. Farrukh Ahmed (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 7:43 pm

    if u want to enjoy good arabic cuisine, try damascus. although a limited menu, the taste is amazing & the sheesha is also not that expensive

  7. alam (unregistered) on February 5th, 2008 @ 4:56 am

    is there a dress code for this restaurant? like suicide belt or something?

  8. Tariq (unregistered) on February 5th, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

    The Cyclone club in dubai closed down last year, and from the review of the Cyclone restaurant in karachi, the latter isnt going to last long either.

  9. sarah (unregistered) on February 5th, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

    I’ve been there once.. and the place is just horrendous.. the music’s too loud and the area too suffocating.. and the waiters are definitely high.

  10. AMMAR (unregistered) on February 5th, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

    They need to motivate the people to come. They should have some marketing campaign to bring people inn. Only those who have the potential to digest arabic food will come. Its too heavy, only good once in a month for people who are not arabs. Experiencing for the first time is a good option. Quality is the fist thing which has to be maintained. If cyclone was closed in Dubai, its because of the quality. MEHFIL in Islamabad is open and is open for a very long time. Their quality and service is wonderful. We can have this for long time as well.

  11. abdullah (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 7:07 am

    cyclone isn’t really a place to go with ur family to eat…definitely…it’s just like the other 5000 random sheesha places in karachi nowadays.

  12. IUnknown (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

    didnt get it.. is cyclone good or bad, in quality?

  13. D0CTOR (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 3:37 pm

    All good restaurants are either been shut down or destroyd by Altaf + gangs .

    For a while , they have been demanding "Bhatta tax " and as a results all nice eating places had to be shut .

  14. alam (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 4:39 pm


    >>>they have been demanding "Bhatta tax " and as a results all nice eating places had to be shut .

    so whats the complaint? Altaf bhai should also demand bhatta from bad restaurants?

  15. AMMAR (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 4:47 pm

    Hello Doctor, again you are back in town with your filthy tongue. I heard on one of the post that you are no more.
    I can use some more abusive words than you but i will not. You have the habit of using it and every one knows from where you are coming from.

    As for Arabic Restaurants, the important thing is how do you motivate people, otherwise no one will come. Not all the people know about MEHFIL in Islamabad and not all the people want to know coz its expensive and you will feel the smeLl of ARGEELAH which doest invite many people to come again and again. Their Kababs are not better than our cousine, yet their HOMOUS, FALAFIL, BABAGANOUS, KISHKISH KEBAB, QUIZI can motivate people if properly advertised. I again repeat that only who have the dare to digest the arabic food will come again and again.

  16. D0CTOR (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    Calm down Guys , why do Karachi ppl have short fuses , I never said anything against that party ( u know which one I mean , the once claims to represent poor people and then rob them in the daylight ) so why this anger against me??

    Truth hurts …

  17. Ali K (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 7:08 pm

    LOL…D0CT0R, you’re the biggest retard ever. Nice post about a particular restraunt not being very good…and out of no where…you get into politics again.

    This is my theory, D0CT0R was raped my some men, claiming to be from MQM, and hence why he is now so full of random hate.

  18. Concerned (unregistered) on February 6th, 2008 @ 9:41 pm


    A small question, when was the last time anybody was charge Bhatta by MQM? Also what areas were these Bhatta charged in?

    If you are going to make a sweeping statement might as well give the details behind it.

  19. MystaKool (unregistered) on February 7th, 2008 @ 9:44 am

    Cyclone was way better when it started off, however last I checked (about 2 months ago) it has seriously deteriorated in the quality of food and menu. Earlier, the menu had a wealth of arabic food options, and barely any pakistani or any other regional or continental food options. Seems its way too localised.

    By the way, I agree with the small portion of hummus with the shwarma platter, because I didn’t get any when I last time, though it says its a good portion.

    The first time I tried it, it was excellent food. By the way, I’ve been to Qasr-e-Nakheel only once (around 4 months ago), but loved the food there. Though I have yet to see what it tastes like now.

  20. sooban (unregistered) on February 7th, 2008 @ 3:51 pm

    would the moderators kindly delete the comment by helpline.

    KMB is losing the respect i used to have for the blog.

  21. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on February 7th, 2008 @ 9:52 pm

    concerned please don’t start, i always try and stay out of such discussion of flames. Please ok i have number of evidences and written down names and fotos of losers involved in extortion be it any one IN KARACHI, its not JUST ONE MQM alone.

    ANP dudes are asking protection money in the name of MQM threat from their strong holds like banaras, qasba, nusrat bhutto, neelam colony, sheern jinnah, kemari, mewashah, essa nagri, old sabzi mandi, alasif square, gabol town etc etc, so stay quiet and watch it from distance everyone sustain in Karachi and yet have wrinkles of hate, and intolerence of others prosperity.

  22. Adeel (unregistered) on February 8th, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

    This place is only good for sheesha and socializing, certainly not a place for dining out! My preference is damascus if u want to have kinda-arabic cuisine! If u happen to go to Cyclone once again, try ordering the Oreo shake (or any other for the matter).

  23. AMMAR (unregistered) on February 9th, 2008 @ 5:31 am

    If you want to taste Oreo, its better to go McDonald and order McFlurry (OREO), I still wonder why one should go to an arabic restaurant to taste oreo shake. Nice cracker ADEEL.

  24. alybaba (unregistered) on February 10th, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

    If you have the cash, try the Arabic Mezze platter for 2 at Okra for Rs. 1500.

  25. Eina (unregistered) on February 18th, 2008 @ 9:58 pm

    Oh…Someone Finance me and I give you the real awesome Arabic food! :D

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