Stories about restaurants

When 2018 brought the death of Burnes Road and marred the spirit of Karachi

Karachi’s recent anti-encroachment drive has caused uproar all across the city over the past few weeks. While some argue that for the sake of ‘development’, it is perfectly justified to remove the illegal establishments that have existed in the city for decades now, others strongly believe that legality should not take pre-eminence over the need to sustain the livelihoods of the poor. Regardless of which side you take in this debate, the repercussions on certain neighbourhoods of Karachi have been unavoidable. One such neighbourhood is Saddar, where most of the illegal occupations have now been cleared, including some of ...

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Dhaba vs fine dining: A $60 meal at a Michelin star restaurant or a $2 meal fit for a Mughal emperor?

Known for the fresh sub-continental food they serve in an open air atmosphere, dhabas can be dubbed as local fast food joints that offer patrons tasty, traditional dishes at an affordable price. The word ‘dhaba’ has become so popular in fact, that both Indian and Pakistani restaurants abroad have adopted it as a part of their name. I grossly undervalued the economical and cheerful appeal of a dhaba until a few months ago, when visiting the land of gold souks and skyscrapers otherwise known as Dubai. I decided to go for dinner at a posh restaurant called Guilt. This of course ...

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In Pakistan, restaurants only care if you fast, but not if you pray

“Fast, pray, feast!” This attractive marketing tagline, alongside tempting pictures of food, is being circulated by a well-known eatery this Ramazan, as is the case every year. Not only is the food tempting, but also the deals. And why not? When one opens their fast at sunset in this most special month for Muslims, delicious food is but a must. But there is one issue. While they openly marketed the “pray” bit, there is no place for praying if you go to said eatery for an iftar deal. A young girl I spoke with who went there with her friend ...

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They say “women belong in the kitchen” – and that is exactly where I went, professionally

In 1929, Virginia Woolf raised questions that remain relevant about the lives of men and women today. She said, “In 100 years…women will have ceased to be the protected sex.” Adding that, “Logically, they will take part in all the activities and exertions that were once denied to them.” “Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.” It all started with my love for food; mixing ingredients together to create a taste that will either blow your mind or your insides. I always saw my kitchen as a lab where I was the mad scientist working with different chemicals to create something that would not only ...

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This Valentine, stay at home!

­­­Kiss all your prior engagements goodbye, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It has to be celebrated with fanfare as the tales spill over to the next day, being shared on WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. The wives boasting about how their affluent husbands took them for a very romantic, candle-lit dinner to a fancy restaurant becomes the talk of the town. The pictures are uploaded as proof. An open invitation to the green-eyed monster! Reality check please. Valentine’s Day (commercial) celebration is with your significant other at a restaurant having an overpriced, banal meal, surrounded by strangers with inquisitive waiters circulating ...

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So last week we went to the Karachi Eat Food Court at the Frere Mall

As a city, Karachi yearns for entertainment. Unfortunately, the only entertainment we seem to think of in this part of the country surrounds itself around food. Now, no one’s saying food is a bad thing – I mean being a Karachiite automatically means you are an inherent foodie. But when you combine food and a festival together, your expectations automatically rise. Since the past two years, Karachi has been hosting what is called the Karachi Eat Food Festival. This consists of lots of different (already established) restaurants coming together in a big beautiful lawn at Frere Hall, with a stage ...

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Why there is a dire need for Sindh Food Authority

My father has always taught us the importance of the three ‘H’ in our lives. These are health, happiness and humanism — health, being right on top of this list. But sadly, not enough attention has been paid to this particular ‘H’ in our country. If we look at the state of our public hospitals and healthcare generally, it’s a gloomy image. We can’t blame the government for every wrong that is happening in our country. We ourselves don’t pay enough attention to the quality of food we eat or the hygiene levels of the restaurants we eat at.  As long as ...

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Planning to visit Istanbul? Here are 13 food items to entice your taste buds

On my visit to Istanbul, one of the main attractions of the city for me was the exquisite food. Their cuisines looked simple yet tasted amazing. It was mostly mild yet full of flavours. One could eat here for days and not miss the oily biryani and karhai back home. Therefore, here is a list of 13 food items which you must try if you ever visit Istanbul: 1. Doner Kebab Photo: Urooj Hussain This one is a no-brainer; there is not a thing which says Istanbul like freshly grilled Doner Kebabs. It’s by far the first thing that anyone tries as soon as they ...

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Karachi’s comedy scene – Can you handle it?

If you’ve lived in Karachi, you’re sure to have heard the complaint about there being a lack of entertainment options in the city. Eating out represents the obvious choice for entertainment but there is always the “and now what do we do?” question that hangs in the air after the meal. It’s too early to go home and unfortunately the debate about ‘what next’ rarely moves beyond dessert options. The thought of why there aren’t more regular entertainment options in our city has been annoying me for a while now. If one looks at the thriving theatre industry or the packed ...

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Can I be a vegetarian in Pakistan?

The idea of being a vegetarian is still a strange and unheard concept in Pakistan. Primarily because there aren’t enough vegatarians, and there are hardly any restaurants catering to vegetarian needs. When you come across a vegetarian here, you find them striving to sustain this ‘spiritual’ state. Two years ago, I watched the biographical documentary of Mahatma Gandhi and got convinced that I should spurn eating anything which has life and would go through immense pain to become edible. I did quite a lot of research on this subject, listened to the arguments proposed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ...

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