Stories about restaurant

A Rs10 tip on a Rs4,000 bill is an insult, not a favour

Tipping is unique to the food industry. As a doctor, never once did a patient hand me an extra Rs20 note as a thank you for a good knee exam. The reason is that we expect a doctor to receive adequate compensation for his work through the bill alone. It was when I put down my stethoscope and took a hiatus, serving chai to paying customers at my own café, did I develop a greater appreciation for this art. Tipping persists in the food industry because we don’t expect the labour to be paid what they are due. Serving food ...

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Is #ZayaNaKaro enough to bring Pakistan’s conscience back to life and end wastage?

Though austerity is deep-rooted in the very fabric of our religion as Muslims, it’s ironic that a vast majority of Pakistanis seem oblivious to the notion. While on the quest of satisfying our whims, many of us have picked up the bad habit of squandering. Whether it is food, water, electricity or any other resource, we take their presence in our life for granted and use and abuse them as we please. This behaviour causes us to waste crucial resources that are already low for a significant number of people in the country. We have grown immune to the ...

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Looking for organic pizzas tailored to your taste? Place your bets on Pizza Roulette!

Pizza is quickly becoming Pakistan’s go-to-food for hunger pangs. Initially starting with the presence of outlets such as Pizza Hut, the industry has become considerably more Pakistani-centric with local startups such as 14th Street Pizza and New Yorker becoming household names. The focus has gone from a quick bite to artisan pizzas, brimming with top quality ingredients and unique flavours. One such novel idea is being introduced by Pizza Roulette, an eatery which focuses on natural, organic pizzas tailored to the local palette of Islamabad/Rawalpindi. I had the recent pleasure of visiting the place in Bahria Town Phase four, where it’s located next to Frosty Café. As soon ...

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Mews Cafe: An aesthetically delightful experience

Mews is one of Karachi’s newest and emerging cafés. Having had the opportunity to visit Mews prior to its opening, I was eager to go back and see what changes had been made to the café. Photo: Mushal Zaman Even though quite a few people have given negative reviews about Mews on Karachi Food Diary, regarding the service, reservation ordeals and exorbitant prices, I was eager to visit it again. Advertised as a hearty and wholesome restaurant, Mews has yet to disappoint me even after two visits. They have lived up to their self-proclamations. Driving by and seeing how busy Mews ...

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In the mood for some ‘disco chai’? Here is how the dhaba’s in Karachi do it!

Dhaba – a roadside restaurant of sorts – originates from the Indian Punjabi culture. It typically consists of a structure made from mud and wooden planks with charpais and the occasional hookah strewn around.  A dhaba’s tea is always adored among the local Pakistanis. PHOTO: MAANSAL STUDIOS/ FILE Desi food and ethnic props give these rickety restaurants their rustic environment. Dhabas are a reminder of a simple way of life that has been lost in the mundane affairs of our materialistic society. The dhaba culture has been prevalent throughout Pakistan, particularly in Karachi. And I have seen a shift in the function and status of dhabas from being an ...

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In Islamabad: “You can’t eat here because you are Pakistani”

I didn’t hear about journalist Cyril Almeida’s investigation and subsequent tweets against the restaurant ‘La Maison’ through the news or any blogs he might have written. I heard about it from my friends on Facebook, people who are otherwise active in liberal circles and rightfully vocal against the many injustices of Pakistani society. But the injustice that they were complaining about was Almeida’s outrage that a restaurant in Islamabad bans Pakistanis unless they hold a dual nationality. Read that again. They were complaining about his actions, not the restaurant’s policies. Extremely upset. Heard a rumour of a new restaurant in F-7 that only accepts reservations ...

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When you eat at an expensive restaurant, do you think of the poor?

A few days ago, a friend of mine got a job at a university and to celebrate the occasion, we decided to go out for dinner. Of course, it was going to be his treat. After a long debate over what to eat and where to go, we finally decided to have a buffet dinner at a restaurant close by. We decided the date and time and extended the invite to other friends as well. There were going to be seven of us. I lived in a hostel with another friend and so we decided to go together. We reached the ...

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The best stir-fried Chinese egg noodles you will ever have!

I love noodles of all shapes, sizes and types! Fortunately for me, there is a small restaurant near my house that serves the best stir-fried egg noodles in the world. My siblings and I can devour that dish every day for the rest of our lives and not get sick of it. Yes, it’s that good! The soft yet chewy noodles, the perfect balance of ingredients and that appetising aroma, all coupled together, make the dish worth ordering again and again. Since my family and I loved them so much, I thought I should try my hands at making them. After ...

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Craving GT Road dhaaba deliciousness? Try this channa daal

Whoever has travelled on the Grand Trunk (GT) road in Pakistan knows what a driver’s hotel or a manji hotel is. Four ideas are the usual elements which make up such a hotel; truck drivers, plenty of manjis (Punjabi for beds), karak doodh patti (strong milk-tea) and affordably epic desi food. These informal restaurants are where all the long haul trucks make in-between stops to eat, drink and rest before heading to another stretch of their tiring journeys. The GT road is South Asia’s oldest and longest road, originally built to link eastern and western regions of the subcontinent. The road was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century. ...

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The Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad where Pakistani citizens are unwelcome

Quite easily, one of the most embarrassing moments of my life was when a group of friends decided to have dinner and I was singled out at a checkpost on our way there. Here is why. The Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad is a world of its own. All foreigners housed there are holed up behind the high walls of the enclave, bordered with barbed wires and cement barricades every five steps. It is an area where an average Pakistani cannot enter without permission, invitation or even registration on a list through a foreign reference at the main gate. So when my group ...

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