Iftar at Beach Luxury Hotel

What is better than the view of a beach on a sweltering hot day?

A view of beach on a hot day with great food!

Here is a peak into the view from the deck through my phone lens:

Yesterday I went to Beach Luxury Hotel for Iftar. Beach Luxury holds a special place in my heart because of it being at water front. I can just sit for hours and hours looking at water; at peace with my inner self and my thoughts. But yesterday I didn’t get a chance to sit and admire the water. My son loves water as much as I do; maybe even more than me. He was super excited and kept running around, pointing towards a boat, trees and lights that were visible from the deck.

A little sneak peak of iftar dinner at Beach Luxury:

 

 

Children find ways to wreak havoc with your nerves and that’s what my son does and did yesterday. I was constantly telling him to stay far from the railing, not to lean too much onto it, not to jump and run and shout. He did settle down a little once it was time for iftari.

Beach luxury offers iftar buffet all through Ramadan and we usually go there every year. This year was no different. There was a nice buffet spread with select items for iftari and a lot of dinner items.

Food variety at Beach Luxury Hotel was really great. Check out all they are offering:

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Samosa, rolls, kachori, tarkari, gol gappay, cholay, bhail puri, lal sharbat, orange juice, lasi and dates.

Chicken malai boti, Chapli kabab, matar qeema, katakat, mutton Karahi, chicken karahi, beef nihari, mutton kunna, chicken biryani, haleem, fried lahori fish, shawarma.

 

Prawn Tempura, fish tempura sweet and sour chicken, beef teriyaki, chicken tapenyaki, garlic rice, vegetable fried rice, assorted vegetables.

Gola Ganda, falooda and a variety of desserts that I don’t recall the names of.

And CHAI. I had a good time at Beach luxury and would recommend their Marhaba Iftar to everyone.

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What to Expect from Avari Tower Khi International Iftaar Buffet

Ihave visited Avari countless times and have never been disappointed. Whether its Suzie Wong or Fujiyama or Asia Live or Sky BBQ, their food is better than all the five star restaurants I have been to. I have been to Avari with friends, family and even had a dawat there and everyone I’ve taken to Avari has liked the food. My husband and I especially love the spread they have at Asia Live buffet. This time we decided to go there for International Iftar.

Upon entering the lobby of Avari, the ambiance with the fairy lights, the crescent moons hanging from the ceiling and the live soulful melodious music puts you in the right mood for iftaar. The center pieces placed at the food stations reflect the holy month of Ramadan and look gorgeous.

The Asia Live buffet for Iftar was really good. I found all my favorites there. They had iftar specialties like samosas, rolls, pakoray, and cholay. There was a variety of street foods of Karachi too like Gol gappay and Bhail puri. There was shawarma, potato wedges, steamed veggies, halwa, paratha roll and pizza bites too.

There were a lot of Pakistani dishes including some of the ones that everyone loves like biryani, beef nihari, chapli kabab, and chicken ginger, and chicken malai boti, channa tarkari, aloo tarkari.

There was Thai curry with plain rice and crumb fried fish with sweet and sour sauce. There was Chicken teriyaki, chicken mushroom with bean sauce with garlic rice in Japanese food and sweet and sour soup and chowmein in Chinese. I have forgotten the names of so many dishes like prawn tempura and there was these beef slices with some kind of glazed sauce which was bomb.

Good food, good ambiance and great service, what more can you ask for when going to a restaurant. We were there with a group of friends and colleagues and had the liveliest time we’ve ever had. Good food tastes even better with good company.

Kebabistan – Worth a Visit?

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.

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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.

Kebab

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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

Best Jashan-e-Aazadi Food Festival

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.

Food Review: Ginsoy Johar

When an eatery opens up a new outlet, everyone is eager to know if the menu is the same, if the food tastes the same, do they offer any new discounts for the new location or if their service is the same or any better. The same curiosity took my husband and me to Ginsoy Extreme, which has now opened its branch in Gulistan-e-Johar. As a marketer, I think this has been a brilliant move by the eatery management. People from gulistan-e-Johar have to go out to tariq road to eat good tasting chinese. We do have fast food chains and desi karahi and bbq eateries in Johar, but definitely there was an open space for chinese food. And Ginsoy has now filled that space.

I LOVE chinese food. Even the desi spicy version of chinese food available in most eateries. But I love going to chinese restaurants. My husband and I kinda like to explore different cuisines and eateries so; we hardly ever go to the same place again. We went to Ginsoy last year at their other branch and as always had good food day.

Yesterday, we had light iftaar with only chicken sandwiches so decided to try out Ginsoy Johar branch as it is just a few minutes drive from our house. The place was fully occupied when we arrived but a family was saying their good byes so found a place immediately.

We ordered:

  • Hot and sour soup – single bowl
  • Half a dish of dynamite prawns
  • Half a dish of beef chili dry
  • Half a dish of dragon chicken
  • Full egg fried rice

Hot and sour soup tasted exactly the same as I have tasted before at other branches. Perfect tanginess and sweetness.

Dynamite prawns were a letdown, as the sauce was drizzled on top of the prawns which made the coating go soft. Prawns and sauce tasted good but without the crispiness, it was not up to the mark.

my plate

Beef chili and dragon chicken were both great. Just as we like them.

And when we were presented the bill, we realised that they have an on going offer of 30% off on the entire bill for 1-15 of Ramzan. The total bill came to 1975/- PKR which was great.

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Service was not top notch but it’s understandable. It’s still a work in progress. As long as they maintain the same great taste, they’d have no shortage of patrons visiting this branch.

All in all, the food tasted good and I’m definitely going back there to satisfy my Chinese food cravings.

 

Javed Nihari Never Disappoints

Consistent great taste and quality is one thing that every eatery should aspire to provide. And that is what we always find at Javed Nihari.

My husband and I decided before Ramzan that we will be on our best behaviour and not indulge in fried or fattening food in ramzan. In fact, we haven’t had any pakoras until the 6th roza. I think we held up quite good. But once we got the cravings for nihari, we were helpless. We tried to shake off the thought of nihari by staying busy and eating more than usual but it didn’t work. We spent 2 more days thinking about nihari and gave in on the 10th roza. Ate a light iftaar and went to Javed nihari after iftaar.

The place was deserted. There was only 1 more family there besides us. We ordered sadi and special nihari both. Sadi one for Shafiq and the more fattening, cholesterol increasing, sugar levels spiking nali maghaz nihari for me.

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And those garam garam naaaaaans were heavenly. My 3 year old loves nihari too. So, all 3 of us had a good time. Nihari tasted good, naans were served steaming hot and thats that.

Can’t give an eatery like Javed Nihari anything but 10/10. No matter how many people are there, their service is always top notch. Food is served immediately, naans brought on promptly and what more can you ask from a place like Javed’s. The best nihari house in Karachi according to most people.

 

Dinner at Movenpick ‘The Pakistani’

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.