Restaurant Review #1: CK

Gauging from a few mouthwatering comments received on the post Al-Habib Superhighway, I feel its time to start a series where I (and other KMB authors) will be reviewing various restaurants in Karachi for our readers, everything from the top of the line posh-diners to the khokas around Burns Road will be covered, even the tehla’s who could be serving some delicious delicacies unknown to us all in Karachi.

CK is an well recognized acronym amongst most Karachiites, for us it does not stand for the brand name Calvin Klein but is dedicated to referring solely to Copper Kettle. The CK restaurant can undoubtedly be credited for being the first modern-day restaurant to have opened their doors on Zamzama in the early 90’s and for quite some years remained a must go-to restaurant for all Karachiites. The late 90’s saw a decline in its stature, but now has returned with a bang. The other day I finally decided to venture through its doors to hopefully enjoy a dinner at this hang-out, I was surely surprised to find it literally jam-packed with diners and consider myself lucky to land a table quickly without much of a wait.

We were presented with the trademark 3-foot long foldable menu where the choices were enough to satisfy the taste buds of any hungry Karachiite that could ever walk through their doors. A few minutes of fiddling around I decided to start off with the Clam Chowder soup, being served in a bread bowl, following that I chose the Big Mouth Burger as my main course, wrapping it off with the forever favourite CK desert “Can’t-Say-No”.

Clam Chowder Soup was truly a good choice and the bread bowl complimented the experience quite well, the only thing I would ever wish was to have a more softer outer bread which would then be a better experience as with the present thick bread bowl, I only lasted for 1/4th the battle and had to abandon the efforts. Next served was the Big Mouth burger, which had a healthy slice of well cooked beef served with a good serving of garnishing to really live up to its name. Finishing off the entire dining experience we rounded 3rd base towards home plate with the coveted Can’t-Say-No *drool* it continues to beat any desert available in Karachi hands down, a highly recommended item for those who still have to enjoy this mouth watering CK speciality

Over all experience: This restaurant continues to be a middle priced fast food joint, catering to customers from all walks of life, pricing is on average about Rs. 300/350 for the main course. The food serving is reasonably quick, but I felt the waiters lacked the expert touch, the background music could be a bit on the softer side as it was disturbing to an extent that one would often have to yell across to be heard. Sporting a hot LCD screens and a few TV’s it seems they are flirting with the idea of a sports bar concept, but I must agree its different.

Overall Ratings 3.5 out of 5
Disclaimer: This is not a paid for advertisement of CK, as I fully paid for my dinner

22 Comments so far

  1. Anathema (unregistered) on September 9th, 2006 @ 6:06 pm

    i think the only people who go there are the loyals. i’ve never found anything special in copper kettle. not with the likes of arizona grill and roasters around. the food is personally overrated.

    im with u on the opinion. i find Kaybees tasting better.

  2. kidal (unregistered) on September 9th, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

    Good idea!

  3. Adnan (unregistered) on September 9th, 2006 @ 8:46 pm

    Dr.Good start and good post.It would be nice if authors also 1)post images 2)special dishes 3)amount[if possible]

  4. shobz (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 12:02 am

    we are so starved for entertainment that we go out to restaurants and diners to feel good about ourselves. tsk tsk.

  5. danny (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 1:23 am

    Good idea! — Looking forward to reading bout the new places that have opened recently. A price range would be helpeful.

    Also, I don’t think I’d call CK a ‘fast food’ joint — Any place where are waited in would prolly not fit in my definition of ‘fast food’.

  6. danny (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 1:30 am

    My bad– just saw you did include the price of an average dish — please ignore that part of my previous comment.

  7. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 3:38 am

    300/350 for main course then drinks , side items and tax. It would be like 550 per head. Wife/Hubby and two kids, 2000 Rs. Too expensive for my likings. Pls. include some cheap places too in this series.

  8. Saadia (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 8:39 am

    Thanks for the review. I was wondering if anyone has gone to this place called Limoncello? I once read about it in a magazine..wondering how it is. Perhaps the next review could cover it?

  9. mansoor (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

    good start doc!!

  10. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    @Saadia – I have been to limoncelle twice and the last was a year back, have forgotten what I ate but in due course I think ill drop by that place again.

    The first time I was not too excited but then they had just opened, the second time the experience was OK, so never went back but I think its due for a third visit

  11. Anathema (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    I’ve been to Limoncello five times in about a year. The initial times was just brilliant. exotic. great ambience. exquisite and delectable. could taste evevry herb. could tell the freshness. the flavouor. brilliant. the owner was the chef.

    now umar sheikh does not supervise or cook himself. and you can tell the difference. food i s not as piping hot. flavouor is buried somewhere. you have to try hard to find it. i went thricec in april-june thinnkinng it was me. but my friend had a similar experience.

    i would suggest their new competition and wall to wall neighbour Porta Bella now. ambience and waiting is not that great but for the same price you have at least piping hot and good flavoured food.

    in terms of perfection: okra givevs u thebest service. and never ever will you be disappointed in food.

    all three places: avg price for a main coourse and a drink and an apeptizer per person = Rs. 800 – Rs. 1400.

    but its worth it.

  12. Saadia (unregistered) on September 10th, 2006 @ 11:02 pm

    Thanks Teeth Maestro and Anathema. Next time I’m in Karachi, I’ll give it a try.

  13. Arifa (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 2:13 am

    I love OKRA, it has great food, despite the long wait, wooden benches and small crampy space it is by far the best place in Karachi. I love their maash ki daal and meethi roti. Also their fish was great but all this was two years ago. Do they still serve Friday lunch special?
    Karachi has too many places where you can get good food. Bar-B-q Tonite is excellent even after all these years.
    I have heard of Pompie (I don’t think i spelled it right)but didn’t get to go there this time in Karachi. Anybody been there?
    I liked Sakura, but it isn’t as good as Fujiyama.Aqua Lounge was great I liked the food, the owner is also from New York city, the ambiance is great and I like the way they exhibit new works of contemprory artists in the lobby downstairs.
    The cheapest take out place is Mash ‘n’ bangers they have Chicken Wings in all kinds of flavors and spices with Cheese and Bar-b-cue fries, their burger is great too.
    If anyone hasn’t had Red Apple chicken roll, they should now, it is worth all the beggars, eunuchs and salesmen that you get to talk to while waiting for your rolls. While you are waiting you might as well have the fresh milkshake made of the fruit of the season, ask any of the kids running around or even the roll guy to get it, they know where to get it from. In less than 100 rupees you can have a good meal and a great heavy duty milkshake.

  14. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 2:38 am

    It makes me wonder how much people stress on food. I can’t imagine spending so much time thinking over food.

  15. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 11:39 am


    Money, money, money
    Must be funny
    In the rich man’s world (ABBA)

  16. Anathema (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

    @ Arifa: Okra went for a complete revamp two years ago: not sure if management was part of the change. They now serve Mediterranean and Greek cuisine only.

    No more desi food that it initally started out to serve. Avg price per appetizer is about Rs. 450-600, and average price per main course item is Rs. 550 – 950.

    So no. no longer does it have Pakistani food and no Friday lunch special. But i love the place for not letting “aaamaaaaaaannn” and “ooooooowaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnn” crybabies in. children under 12 not allowed =D. and teeny boppers wont aprpeciate this food so the place is lovely spot to just unwind and spoil oneself.

    I love their food. it is excquisite and just so…… beautiful. Does feel regal and special.
    I went to Pompeii last July, was horrible. Heard good reviews about it so will have to try again to know.

    I have heard a lot about Sakura but ive never bee there. Fujiyama and Okra are my places. Fujiyama people are supposed to not like Sakura. Will ahve to try to know.

    PEople rave about Royal Elephant but tht is the height of desi Thai food. There’s more (or at least was more) authentic flavour at Thai Sea Food restaurant. Baan Thia is nice but… horrible service, cutlery and tablecloth kills it all.

  17. Anathema (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

    @ Poo and Adnan:
    its the lack of entertainment, and in some cases: permission to party otherwise. Cinemas are a fresh concept. Beaches and parties: I dont get permission. So better to unwind ove ra nice cup of coffee or some nice ambience and spoil onself.

  18. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

    its the lack of entertainment,

    A genuine reason and I agree with you here.

  19. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 3:34 pm

    Dear Anthema!

    Dont mind.Most of us IT people are like that;dry and not fun loving or our criteria of fun is entirely different than sane people.For instance I personally know many coders who prefers to spend weekends infront of PC,debugging codes and reading RFCs.Such activites are not compatible with normal world:>

    P.S: If someone is intrested to know more about ‘weekend’ there is a wiki entry for that.Have fun!

  20. Anathema (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

    haha. im sorry Adnan for giving a whiff of having that cmment personally =). i had not.

    weekends: are best to sleep through after a hard long floor-hopping week.

  21. amber (unregistered) on September 11th, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

    try Gun Smoke in Zamzama.

  22. shalzz (unregistered) on September 19th, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

    My frend is in partnership of Cafe Kaldi… i asked why the food @ Zamzama is so darn exensive & alot of time not worth the price. He said that tthe pakistani ppl are very rich. It is these places that they openly will spends thousands of rupees but will not give a 10 rupee note to a beggar.. He said that Zamzama was cheap 2 yrs ago but the new restaurants came & conquered the ppl with lavish names for their restaurants & dishes… He said that its an art to milk money out of elite pakistani ppl but once u do so… not only u can milk the burgers (which anyone can do), but can also tempt an average person into indulging in ti as well

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