Archive for the ‘Restaurant Reviews’ Category

The Elbow Room at Karachi Airport

The Elbow Room occupies a small decent and elegant corner in the Domestic Lounge of Karachi Airport

The Elbow Room occupies a small decent and elegant corner in the Domestic Lounge of Karachi Airport

Fast or feast

whatever it is!

North Nazimabad has two new offerings for Karachites. First is Dilpasand which has opened near board office. This one has a decent open-air seating space where you can enjoy faluda, ice cream, kulfis and ras mailai. No need to review this place because everyone knows how good is its faluda which has every good thing on earth in it and icecream of which doesn’t melt till last bite.

Second is UK based halal food chain Chicken Cottage which will open its doors on 14th Sept so this one’s review is due but I aint promising :p

Enjoy your iftaris :D


Ponderosa is a small restaurant in the mini food street of Mohamamad Ali Society, next to Kaybees. It has the most yummiest South Indian food with prices which doesn’t come hard on your wallet.

I wanted to try Idli Sambar for quite a few time and it was there in their menu. Though taste was good but it felt that Idli were either not cooked properly or were not cooked fresh. Still the Masala Dosa was a delight, cooked to the perfection. We also ordered Daal Fried which was the most delicious daal I have ever eaten, even better than the dhaba ones. The highlight is the madrasi thaali with a variety of daals, puri, rice and achar. And there they didn’t believe in serving soda water with no taste and call it fresh lime as most of the restaurants do.

It is a must visit with family or friends and the bonus is you will have a chance to try a new cuisine too. They also have Pakistani and Seafood entrees on the menu but as I haven’t tried anything from it so there is no point in recommending. I don’t think it would be more than Rs. 200 to 250 per head as the food has good serving size and quite heavy too. They would surely see me next time.

Review: Rangoli

Rangoli is a themed buffet restaurant inside the ARENA club at Karsaz. If we talk about its ambiance, non-smoking zone is little informal in its setting whereas smoking zone is little formal, though you can’t make out that difference easily. Overall except their food bazaar idea and some details on walls, tables and costumes, nothing else fits into the idea of THEMED restaurant. I don’t understand the use of usual sofas and serving setup. Service is extra-ordinary and staff is really co-operative. Not overly friendly and gives you enough space.

Food quality and variety is excellent. Every taste would be catered. There is desi stuff like daal makhni, bhagaray baingan, nihari, haleem, paye, qeema, biryani, various kababs and the attraction is Food Bazaar where they have live cooking of sajji, shawarma, katakat, ouzi. Go for Paratha rather than Nan or Mini Pizza. For the people with continental tastes, there is fish, prawn tempuras, pasta, beef fajita, cherry chicken fried rice, salads. Best part is desserts, they have everything from cakes, mouse, custards, jello to puddings, kheer and heavenly gola ganda. You will get a pan while leaving, wouldn’t recommend it though. On the whole, everything tasted pretty yumm.

All this comes in Rs. 699 (inclusive of tax) and you also get one free game of your choice with every dinner. Would not recommend lunch there as variety won’t be the same. Doesn’t have any idea about their brunch option. Free game coupons can only be used on weekdays. Certainly, value for money.

More info at:

Rating: ****

McDonalds Teacher Day appreciation program – Does NOT protect student privacy

McDonalds - Sab Sey Best Teacher Kaun? Campaign Billboard

McDonalds - Sab Sey Best Teacher Kaun? Campaign Billboard

Yesterday while on a routine visit to the McDonalds for a regular family meal on Tariq Road I noticed their new teacher appreciation program “Sab Say Best Teacher Kaun” an attempt to select the best teacher by public voting from the 20th April at all McDonalds outlets, in return the kids may even win themselves a free Kiddy Meal.

Surely this is a commendable social effort, appreciating the hard working teachers. On the form provided by McDonalds the student has to write a short comment as to why the teacher should be selected and in order to complete the entry [possibly to also win the prize] they also share their personal contact information and school particulars, submitting these entries to the respective McDonalds outlets

Costa Coffee shuts down operations

Costa Coffee closes down

Costa Coffee closes down

In what may have been a three years of splendid coffee [covered by KMB in 2005 when it opened its doors], Costa Coffee has closed its operations across Karachi [& across Pakistan, as I am informed] as of January 1st 2009.

The location at Zamzama stands deserted, with a lone guard manning the front door probably to keep any stray coffee addicts away from rancoffee-beansacking the joint. The location at both D-Marts is deserted as well. Though the official statement [as narrated by the guard on duty] is that they have ‘closed down for renovations’, but the other competing coffee house ‘down the street’ narrates a story of tremendous business losses, as practically everything was being imported from abroad and sustainability in this economic down turn did not bode well for the Pakistani operations.

I for sure will miss out on its coffee …. but more importantly Pakistan also stands to loose on this franchise, as it would surely not set a good example for other similar ventures in the future.

Far from the maddening crowd

If your office is located near I I Chundrigar Road (or Zia-uddin Ahmed road for that matter)and you are meeting friends for lunch on a working day, then choosing a place which offers quality food at a reasonable price, yet has a cosy ambiance where one can catch up on gossip, yet get back to office on time, can be a quite tricky.

An eatery like Elbow Room does the make the task easy. It is a small café tucked away on the lane adjacent to Faysal Bank on I I Chundrigar Road and is easy to miss if you take the wrong turn. Replete with flower beds under the windows on the brick wall and Victorian-style street lights, it also offers valet parking and WiFi. Stepping inside, the décor and ambiance were a pleasant change from the hum and drum of the nearby fast food joints. The café offers continental and Pakistani food items on the menu which can be viewed here.

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?

BarBeQue Tonight’s Missing Sidewalks!

Part ‘restaurant review’, part ‘oh my God, what happened!” – I drove into Barbque Tonight (Clifton) earlier this evening shocked to find lots of space for Parking, no tables set up outside and no sidewalks. Upon asking a few of the waiters, I was finally told that some influential mate had entered the premises a while back,

Ampi’s is Alive!

I had forgotten that little place that has seen more seats in it’s seats than most other places around town. Old fashioned and almost historical, Ampi’s is perhaps best known to people of the generation older than ours, who used to swing by Metropole Hotel for that quick dance gig and hop over to Ampi’s for quality cuisine and cold coffee. Aah yes, Ampi’s is still around, alive and well, and adds to the superbly thrilling day I have had!

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