Archive for the ‘Restaurant Reviews’ Category

Restaurant Review #11: Nawab

Nawab is located on main Zamzama Blvd (again), right next to Deevan motors. You can’t miss it.

The resturant claims to serve authentic mughlai food, but there is no way to verify this claim as none of us was alive in Mughal era to testify the authenticity.

Nevertheless, I liked the place. Rather, I liked the food. Very rarely I prefer cuisine over BBQ, and that’s what I did at Nawab. Their Chicken Makhni was amazing. I was also tempted to try out Chicken Badami but we had already ordered two much stuff, including Daal Makhni, Chicken Boti and Beef Boti, and all of them were really good.

They also served mango and strawberry flavored lassi and masala milk, very different from carbonated drinks that we have at other places.

The only downside was the turnaround time. It took them 40 minutes to serve the 4 dishes we ordered.

Economically, they are no different than other places in Zamzama. Starters between 150 and 300 rupees, and main dishes above 400 rupees, add that to drinks and naans and parathas, you are easily looking at 700 rupees per head.

But that’s worth it if you want to eat something other than pizza and steaks and be satisfied in the end.

restaurant review # 10 – binoria restaurant

its all very well to talk about eateries on zamzama and boat basin and other “high-end” places, but when you’re stuck on a factory visit in site area with only one hour for a lunch break, it gets tricky. binoria is the only half way decent eat out place in the whole of site area unless you choose to include kfc (which i don’t, but then thats another story). paradoxically, its not a case of the one eyed man being king in the kingdom of the blind. the food at binoria is actually quite good, the ambience is typically “desi restaurant” but neat, clean and airconditioned and the service is on the higher side of average.

while the menu boasts of a variety of “exquisite” afghan, pakistani, chinese, continental and fast food ranges, most of the regular patrons order the handis. and the handis are truly exquiste. the chicken chinioti handi in particular is to die for and the chef’s “specialty”, thai pepper chicken, is also highly recommended. apart from that, most of the food is very good considering the fact that the price range (per head) is in the rs. 150 – 300 range. of course, you can’t compare it with places like lal qila, nawab and barbecue tonight, but when you’re stuck at lunchtime in shershah – there’s no better place to go.

rating: 6.5/10

Restaurant Review #9: Lal Qila

I have been to Lal Qila many times and I got another chance to eat there last night.

For those who don’t know, Lal Qila is located on main Sharae Faisal across the road from Awami Markaz. The dinner was organized by my employer organization so I don’t know how much they charged for the buffet, but if I remember correctly from my previous visit, it was around Rs. 500 per person.

The restaurant serves food based on authentic theme, and although I noticed some deviations, (like a pasta dish which is by no means authentic indian/pakistani), the variety of the food is pretty good. There is everything from haleem to paye to prawns and BBQ. There were some key items missing like behari kabab or traditional chicken tikkas, but at the same time you will find many dishes that you’ve perhaps never tried before.

In short, this is the best authentic food you can find under one roof, and at half a thousand rupees you can try each and every dish that they serve.

Rating: 7/10

Restaurant Review #8: Cafe Mediterranean

Cafe Mediterranean is one of the several places in Zamzama that offer a nice ambience, wierd music, and expensive food.

How expensive? Well, that depends on you. Main course between 400 and 600 can mean a lot to some, but if you are dining in Zamzama expect to spend that much anywhere you go.

I would rate the food above average. The delivery time was excellent, perhaps because there weren’t many people at that time (I went there early, at 9 PM). However, their food wasn’t as scrumptious as places like Roasters and Arizona Grill. We had chicken steaks and that’s what I am comparing it with at other places. We didn’t have any starters or side dishes, just main and drinks. The bill came out to be around 1100 rupees, not the most I have payed at these restaurants.

So the bottom line: try it once, and move on. Or perhaps go there when there is nowhere else to go.

Rating: 6/10

The Second Floor – Inaugurating


The Second floor (T2F), originally announced here, was scheduled for opening in March, however due to certain unavoidable (read: construction related) concerns, the inauguration was postponed till Saturday, May 12. However, due to the incidents taking place that day, the opening has been further re-scheduled to Tuesday, May 15, 2007.

A few friends and I had the opportunity to take a sneak peek at the place, on Friday May 11 for an evening coffee.

T2F has something for almost everyone. Great food and drinks (do try the green apple juice), WiFi, a book shop, a mini library so you can take a book of your choice and lose yourself in it while you are at the place.

Whats more, unlike almost all other coffee joints, the ambiance is brightly lit…and has chairs….that make you sit up and conciously think. Botoom line, the ambiance keeps you awake, and pushes your mind to work.

While some may seriously feel the lack of couches, I guess its rather ok to skip them. The space is more focused towards functionality and keep people attentive.

The best part, this place has its own digest. Hoping that it would be available on subscription, the T2F digest is a compilation of interesting reading material from across the world.

As its inaugural, T2F will be hosting a graphic design exhibition by Mariam Asif, a graphic design student from Indus Valley.

The second event, dates or which will be announced shortly, is a local edition of Cafe Scientifique, which basically involves a scientist answering normal questions from daily life. A famous scientist and social activist wil be conducting the session at T2F later this month.

Drop in, experience it, share your opinion.

For more details, blogs etc: click here.

Al-Baik Karachi = Fake about time we put all those speculations about whether if, the new Al-Baik restaurant in North Nazimabad is the original world famous Saudi chain or not, to rest. Sadly it is not as the original Saudi Arabian owners have recently published a legal notice in a local newspaper clarifying the mess.

I had the fortune / misfortune to have visited the outlet a few weeks back, could not say that it was anything to write home about. They were charging somewhere close to KFC prices with not much of a difference in quality. Personally I won’t quite as much miss this restaurant even if the fake owners are forced to close up shop or switch name after having been served with a legal notice.

Correct me if I am wrong, but was it not a few years back that Al-Baik had opened up shop somewhere near Nihari Inn at Boat Basin which soon had to close up shop probably being unable to wad through the competition on boat basin strip, it could be the same group that chose to resurface at a new location in hope of sneaking past any formal franchise agreements with the original chain and trying to cash in on the popular name. Any idea who is behind all this?

Story & Image Credit: Adnan Siddiqui

Restaurant Review #7: Copper Kettle Gulshan-e-Iqbal

Last night I got a chance to dine at the newly opened Copper Kettle at Gulshan-e-Iqbal. The place is located between National Stadium and Expo Center. The seating capacity was ample and atmosphere was nice. However, the quality of food and service left a lot to be desired.

Restaurant Review #6: Hollywood Grill

Hollywood Grill is a restaurant quite prominently located on Sea View opposite McDonald’s and right next to D-Mart. I personally have been passing by this place for sometime never ending up to land for dinner there sometime, today I made it a point to try this yet unexplored eatery on my list.

The name Hollywood Grill brings memories of Planet Hollywood and its ambiance, this definitely lacked the rock-your-body experience of Planet Hollywood but presented itself quite well. It is located on the first floor literally on top of D-Mart. A short staircase leads to upstairs or for the perpetually lazy Pakistani crowd an elevator awaits you to briskly swing you a few feet into the air.

The Maitre’d greeted us with a smile and quickly escorted to our spacious table, there was ample location in the restaurant to seat over a 100 guests and the ambiance classy with good music. The menu was interesting to read as all the dishes were named after a Hollywood Movie or one of its megastars, anywhere from Angelina Jolie to Brad Pitt you could scrumptiously enjoy. Reading the names and correlating them with a Chicken Burger or a Tenderloin Steak was quite a funny twist. But a glance down the price list had you feeling for your wallet, steaks hovered around Rs 800 – Rs 1100 while burgers hovered around an average Rs. 500.

And the verdict is in..

All the Karachiites who’ve lived in Saudi Arabia, specially in Jeddah, the opening of Al-Baik in North Nazimabad on 23rd February was the most exciting news of the year. The franchise was inaugurated by Mr Mustafa Kamal himself.
A day later, the excitement had died down after a lot of people have claimed that it is fake. One particular girl form my class who visited yesterday, was so furious that she wanted to sue the place. I don’t think you can do that in Pakistan. The fact that her phone got stolen just when she was leaving the place didn’t help either.

Has anyone else been there yet? How would you rate the place?

Karachi Foods at Sh-E-Faisal

Yet another one of the famous Burns Road food joints making their way out in the city, Karachi Foods has opened up an outlet on Main Sh-e-Faisal, just across from nursery. What sets them apart is that they’ve done it in style. The new place is beautifully decorated, with soft coloring, well placed lights, lots of airconditioners and paintings, they’ve tried (and succeeded to quite some extent) to follow in the footsteps of BarBQ Tonight. The seating arrangement is a bit crowded, but comfortableeven though they have wooden chairs.

On to the main product, the food. True to their roots, Karachi food still reserves its burns road taste here as well. The menu is a bit limited, with Biryani, Haleem, Karahi, Boneless handi, and daal chawwal for the vegetarians. But its heavenly and makes for a very good lunch for us poor souls working at Sh-e-Faisal.

An interesting aspect of this place, which i think differs from many other food joints in karachi, is the priority they give to you for serving. It’ll take them ages to take your order and to bring you the bill. They even forget cold drinks at times. But your food will almost always arrive on time and sufficiently warm too.

The only down side to this place is, that it gets crowded during lunch, being the only decent dine out place for us here. But well worth it.

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