And the verdict is in..

http://karachi.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/02/Albaik-thumb.jpg

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?

28 Comments so far

  1. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 11:34 am

    wow!


  2. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 11:39 am

    Mustafa Kamal , Baber Gauri & CO have lots of commercial assets in that part of karachi.. including the build which houses KFC, NBP and Standard Chartered Bank… i can guess it could be their own commercial venture…


  3. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

    How did she discover that it was fake? Was she expecting “Kaifa Haloka” by Pakistanis wearing Arabic dress?I would love to know the formula.

    3 months back Albaik Group gave an Ad in Dawn and jang for hiring people to setup their business in Pakistan so I don’t think it’s kind of fraud. Albaik is a big thing in MiddleEast and they have legally entered in Pakistan.

    The most surprising thing is that you re beliving in your shaeli. Well you could but not everyone is gonna believe your friend anyway.

    -Adnan from North Nazimabad


  4. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

    @Doctor: i know you and MB have lots of issues with MQM party but enough man, don’t act like idiot yanks who associate every shitty thing with Osama.

    Karachi was already screwed long time back before MQM in 60s when Ayub moved Capital from Karachi to Islamabad[Read Punjab].


  5. sid (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

    My friend has been eating Al Baik her whole life. She has come to Pakistan less than a couple o years ago and everytime food is mentioned all we heard her craving for was al baik.

    if she says it isnt the same as back in Jeddah, then i have no choice but to believe her.

    but, i am asking for what the rest of the people who have tried al baik and know what it actually tastes like has to say.


  6. Extiinct (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

    I’m guessing Sid’s friend meant it being a fake in terms of flavor. Let’s not be hasty in jumping down each other’s throats.

    With a famous restaurant opening up in another country there’s always a love-hate feedback.

    Sid, over the moon is probably the word to describe the excitement of the people who’ve shifted to Khi from Jeddah.


  7. mansoor (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

    flavours usually do differ country from country. I dont think any international chain in karachi serves the same flavour they do elsewhere. Its true for every region.

    On the other than, there was an Al-Baik restaurant on boat basin a couple of years back too :p dont know whether that was original or not though


  8. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

    @Adnan i was just trying to guess who the orginal owners could be… as for those two names that i mentioned, they are biggest commercial stake holders in N.Nazimabad …


  9. Sufi (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

    There is an ‘albaik’ on boat basin, which sucked. I remember going there thinking it will be remotely similar to the one in Saudia. But it was extremely pathetic, and I remember us friends not even finishing half of what we ordered. We walked out the restaurant and noticed the logo of Albaik, one of my friends quickly said “Angry Chicken” and we remember the albaik (fake) restaurant on boat basin as Angry Chicken.

    Have not tried the one in Nazimabad, but if it is related to the one on boat basin, then its definitely fake.


  10. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 3:29 pm

    I found different taste of Pizza from one outlet to another but then I can’t declare them “fake” anyway.

    @Doctor: I can disagree with you because many things in nazimabad are not run by Baber Ghori or MQM for instance McDonalds. Infact North Nazimabad is ruled by Bohri community than anyone else. I hope you wouldn’t calim that every bohri belongs to MQM.

    BTW, does KUDOS exist in Karachi?


  11. lost_in_the_maze (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

    Bohris are the most peace loving community I have ever know. Getting back to Albaik…..I doubt it is the same franchise.


  12. Kashif (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

    I have heard “rumours” about this one being fake. There was an al-baik in Yaseenabad too(going from gulshan to ayesha manzil – across shameem petrol pump) but I think its closed now.


  13. Muhammad Junaid (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

    Look, taste changes with area. we have different flavors on pizza here at pizza hut then at dubai or other places, why? its that the company has to change its strategy according to the area of the country it is starting a business.
    Now about the Albaik at Yaseenabad, it was “New Albaik” not the Albaik. this Albaik that is in saudia.


  14. karachiite (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 8:40 pm

    I’ve never heard of this restaurant before, but I can guess what the issue is:

    The Yankees, and specifically McDonald’s, developed the concept of franchising and quality control whereby thousands of outlets can maintain an exact specification globally.

    There is a possibility that the restaurant(s) of this particular brand in Karachi are genuine but they don’t have the same level of quality control, and therefore seem to be inferior, or different.


  15. Jack Frost (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

    So where exactly is it in North Nazimabad? Directions Please..


  16. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 12:31 am


    The Yankees, and specifically McDonald’s , developed the concept of franchising and quality control whereby thousands of outlets can maintain an exact specification globally

    hehe, it reminds me Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation”. A must read book which is now available in a form of movie as well.


  17. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 12:33 am

    BTW, the book URL is:

    http://tinyurl.com/yv252v


  18. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 10:39 am

    @adnan well ok i won’t claim that every bohri belongs to MQM but just for information sake i’ll say that naib nazim(bohri) of UC3(Mcdonald area) won on MqM platform ..(Shabbir Hussain )


  19. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 11:52 am

    btw ownership buiilding that houses mcdonald North Nazimabad also changed hands recently… ex owners were(Mercury Hosiery & garments)… you wana guess the new one? :P


  20. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 11:53 am

    *ownership of building *


  21. lost_in_the_maze (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

    At least they will not burn it during the riots as it belongs to them now.


  22. mcphisto (unregistered) on February 27th, 2007 @ 2:47 am

    I went to al-baik both first day when the inauguration took place and the 2nd day too. 1st day, well couldnt make it in coz it was MAD MAD MAD scenes over there and awful management – but 2nd day managed to get inside during lunch time with my family and quite an interesting time it was. You can check out the images on http://www.flickr.com/photos/u2ism. As far as the originality is concerned, I have had albaik alot of times whenever i visited Saudia and NO DOUBT it has to be the BEST chicken i had in my life – Pakistani version, although the franchise is ORIGINAL, 100 % original as i confirmed with the manager and asked him details about his particular Orange chutnee ( which they dint bring here ) and the main element which makes their chicken as good as they are . A particular mix of arabic spices which they inject in the chicken that increases the taste and leaves an orange color inside the chicken. That orange paste was in VERY short quantity and as per manager ‘ we are still figuring out if we shud inject the whole amount coz its very spicy’ . Well, i suggested THEY BETTER DO IT !


  23. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 27th, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

    good! that means atleast its original and we can expect the taste to improve according to original secret recipe


  24. atif abdul rahman (unregistered) on March 1st, 2007 @ 2:58 am

    u know on your say on albaik being different from that in jeddah, i can recall the first kfc in riyadh myself, oh boy, it was finger lickin good. then in less than a year, kfc started popping up everywhere. and the finger lickin good was more of fat puking chickenstuff.

    it aint easy to maintain the same blend of spices and recipe all over. whatever they do, they cant change the chicken, and believe me it is different slightly in taste in both countries.

    even kfc is quite different in pakistan than in the middle east, r they fake too?


  25. Sameer (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 1:05 am

    Yesterday I visit Albaik in N.Nazimabad I saw they are making fool becuase they are using two different logos the red and blue and in blue logo there is written Broast Albaik that is totally fake the taste is also different from Albaik Jeddah.The first Albaik Was open in Jeddah in 1986 and since 1986 to 2007 there taste and quality is same.The taste of Albaik in karachi is totally different the logo which they are using on shoppers and others material is also different except the logo which is placed on outside the resturant.The dress of workers is totally different from Albaik Jeddah then how can be this Albaik is original franchise of Albaik Jeddah.


  26. unaiza nasim (unregistered) on March 9th, 2007 @ 2:15 am

    I loved it especially the mex dip(which had K&N chiken chunks inside it!) and teh prawns.
    Though the fried chiken for which it is famous wasnt as good as it really is.


  27. AlBaikInfo (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 1:12 am

    Dear All:

    Unfortunately, the Baik that just opened in Karachi is a fake Baik. Al Baik of Saudi Arabia has not authorized any business entity to operate under its trade name in Pakistan up to this moment.
    For further iinformation, kindly contact me at the following address:

    Wael Hammad
    Customer Service QA Officer
    AL Baik Food Systems Company
    Jeddah – Saudi Arabia
    info@elbaik.com


  28. Talha (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 7:39 am

    Hi Dudeds

    This is a Purely FAKE albaik. Why the guys talking about the flavor change from country to country cannot define 100% taste change from jeddah’s Al-baik?threre should be small diffrence regarding to country, not the total.I ve confirmed Al-baik officials in jeddah, they strictly negated any franchising in PK. besides, I ate Al-Raya broast near expo, the taste was magnificiently matching with original Jeddah Al-baik…,even garlic…!Try it and compare with fake albaik



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