No matter how many different cuisines I eat and love, desi bbq has a special place in my heart. The spicy aroma of bbq and coal is always tempting. In front of a good juicy, spicy and tasty beef boti seekh, I might ignore my more favorite Japanese and Italian dishes. It is similar to Pakistani’s love for daal chawal. We go back to it again and again. And those who live abroad, for them Pakistani bbq is something they look forward to on their visits to Pakistan.
Last week I went to Kebabistan with friends. This was my 3rd or probably 4th visit since its opening. My husband and I usually order beef boti (favorite of mine) and beef dhagga kabab (my husband’s favorite). This time we decided to give new additions in their menu a try. And we ordered Karachi kabab in chicken and beef, dilkush handi, bbq platter on grill and kabab wraps with naan and parathas.
We had to wait 18 minutes before the first dish was served, which is not a bad waiting time for bbq food. We were served kabab wraps first. Kabab wraps were a fancy twist to the traditional shawarma available in Karachi in my opinion. It had seekh kabab inside a wrap with vegetables like iceberg, tomato, carrot and onion. Kabab wraps failed to impress me. Mainly because we are used to of eating bbq with chatni and pyaaz combo. Other vegetables didn’t taste that good the desi bbq flavor.
Karachi kabab turned out to a foot long kabab which tasted like seekh kabab. The chicken flavor was a bit mild but the beef one packed a punch. Dikush handi was a combo of mutton and chicken served in white creamy sauce. While my husband is not a huge fan of creamy malai handis, I love them. And I absolutely loved the dilkush handi. Because of mutton, the flavor was rich and different from the reshmi malai handi I have tried before. It was mild in taste but it was rich and creamy. Absolutely yummy with roghni naans.
The bbq platter on the grill was as we expected. A bit of everything. It is something that you should definitely order if you are going out with friends or taking someone there for the first time because the presentation was really good. There were 1 or two servings of Chicken tikka, chicken malai boti, chicken seekh kabab, beef boti, beef kabab, dhaaga kabab, and chicken kasturi boti on the grill. What stood out the most were kasturi boti, chicken tikka, and beef boti. The rest were good too. At this point I had eaten so much that I couldn’t take more than 1 or 2 bites of everything that was offered on the grill.
I’m glad we decided to go to Kebabistan. It is a really good restaurant to visit with family or friends in Guldhan e iqbal. Its economical too. Have you been to Kebabistan? Comment below with your own experience.
I am a big adventurer when it comes to trying out food. But at the end of the day when it boils down to comfort food I want desi taste. I have not travelled in Pakistan and thus have not eaten food from other cities or provinces. All I know is what is available in Karachi. And food in Karachi has a distinctive Karachi wala taste. Like the biryani in Karachi is entirely different than that available in Lahore or any other parts of Pakistan. So, when I got this chance to go to the Jashan-e-Aazadi food festival at Avari where they boasted to represent food from different regions of Pakistan, I grabbed it both hands. Despite having an injured shoulder I went to the food festival and I’m so glad I didn’t miss the food experience that came with it.
Not just the food was great; the ambience was pure delight as well. The monuments from all over Pakistan were displayed as the backdrop and there was a horse dance, cows, goats and what not. The Jashan-e-Azadi food festival was organized at the pool side and the whole pool side was transformed into this one big depiction of everything that represents Pakistan.
Food from different regions was set up on different tables to distinguish one from other. From Balochistan to Azad Kashmir, there were dishes from each region. Food tasted not only good but I could tell the distinctive taste separately.
I had a great time at the food festival and ate so much. Most of the dishes were meat based. But the taste was very different than what we find in Karachi. Some had more black pepper in it, a couple of dishes were being made on koila and that special smell of coal permeated into the meat and tasted amazing. There was channa chat, dahi baray, gannay ka ras, lassi, kulfi, haleem, nihari, karahi, katakat and what not.
I started on with salads. Love, love, love salads at Avari. I am always in a conundrum about whether to have salads or have my fill with other food items. But I end up tasting all of their salads. I didn’t eat any rice dishes or desserts because I ate so much that I just couldn’t even look at desserts. But I had this itty-bitty baloo shahi anyway.
Absolutely loved the Jashan-e-Aazadi food festival.
My niece turned 10 this year and we went to Movenpick hotel to celebrate her birthday. Usually we invite a few close family members and her friends on her birthday at home and create a theme and decorate the house according to it. A lot of thought and effort goes in it. This time my sister in law had been visiting us from USA and we thought it’d be a good change to go out somewhere.
Movenpick was my niece’s choice. We have always loved the ambiance. My husband and I, foodies through and through go where good food is but we do appreciate the aesthetic nuances and ambiance. The food at Movenpick was good, not the best we have had but if you throw in the live music and the mood set by the place, it was a good food day. It was definitely not value for money but this was not exactly a food excursion, just a family day.
So, we ordered chicken makhni, chicken karahi, fried lahori fish, lamb chops, brain masala, mughlai lamb boti, chicken tikka, palak paneer with naans and parathas. The serving size was small and the food tasted good. Spice levels were a little on the lower side but with guests from abroad, we appreciated it. The only thing I’d go back for are the parathas. They had suji in them and served hot they tasted amazing. While it’s a great place to take your guests but it’s not my go to place for desi food.
Don’t have food pictures because it would have looked weird telling our guests to stop and wait so that I can take pictures.