On our 2nd day in Karachi we returned to the Zamzama area for some window-shopping and to find ourselves some lunch. This is the area of town where you can find some of Karachi's trendier and "hip" restaurants and bistros.
Lattetude looked inviting enough & the clever name was intriguing so we decided to try it. This is a very small & cosy place with only about 6-7 tables & a small niche with a sofa.
There is only space for about 30 patrons & when we arrived at around 02:00pm there were happy coffee-sippers at about half of the tables. The interior is warm and inviting, with predominantly red-orange accents and dark wooden furniture along with some futuristic-looking air purifiers (smoking is allowed inside). The atmosphere is generally welcoming, relaxed and very "pseudo European".
Favorite Dish: This isn't a complete restaurant, rather a coffee shop that also serves some nice snacks and tempting desserts. We ordered a plate of onion rings & mozzarella sticks (Rs 195) to share. My friend enjoyed a grilled chicken sandwich (Rs 265) with roast pumpkin. The menu also featured such classics as calamari rings, chicken wings and tuna salad.
The coffees are very nice (they better be with such a name!) and the desserts looked good enough to indulge & forget that such a thing as calories even exist.
Prices were reasonable for most dishes and beverages, and I would definitely recommend Lattetude for anyone seeking a good cup of coffee, a quite refuge from the busy city streets and some nice food.
12:00 midday until approx. midnight...
Click on this link for a review from Pakistan's newspaper: http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/jan2006-weekly/nos-15-01-2006/instep.htm#4
In comparison with most other Asian countries, a vegetarian or non-meat eater might find it very difficult to find some nice dishes to enjoy. I am a great believer in the philosophy of "when in Rome..." but Karachi was a bit of a challenge for me in that department!
Whereas in Thailand and India I had no problems finding a bounty of authentic vegetarian or fish-dishes, the same cannot be said for Pakistan... these guys love their meat! (mostly chicken, lamb & beef. Once again keep in mind that this is a Muslim country so you won't find pork anywhere.)
But it wasn't only me that was finding it a bit difficult to find some nice dishes; most of my travel-companions had converted to vegetarianism for the duration of our trip, simply to cut-down on the risk of acquiring some kind of nasty stomach bug.
Naturally, I very much enjoyed some good vegetable biryanis and nice yoghurt & mint sauce to go along with it, but there really wasn't much to choose from otherwise.
Many of the traditional dishes are similar or even the same as in India (especially Northern India) but Pakistani food tends to be more dry with less sauces and oil.
This is mostly barbequed food with the most popular dishes including Chicken Tikka, Kebabs, lamb chops, etc. Most dishes are either eaten with rice, or with the famous Chapati bread (thin, whole wheat flour) or Paratha bread (chapatti with ghee = clarified butter).
The trend for quick traditional foods has resulted in the production of ready-made spice mixtures for masala, etc. that are also available in most Western countries... this industry originated in Karachi.
Favorite Dish: My favourite dishes are:
A: Aalloo Gobi: potatoe and cauliflower patties (good appetizer).
B: Biryani (with vegetables).
C: Chapati bread.
D: Dal (lentils).
At my friend's wedding, the father of the bride was kind enough to order some vegetarian alternatives for us, including Dal (lentils), vegetable biryani (again...) and strangely enough, hash browns (I didn't realize these were Pakistani cusine? Haha!)
Here are some guidelines on eating with Pakistani Muslims:
1) If you are seated on the floor, make sure that the soles of your feet (with or without shoes/socks) do not point towards anyone directly.
2) If cutlery is not provided, you eat with your hands - your right hand, to be precise! Now, I know that this can be tricky for "unskilled" Westerners - basically, the simplest & least messy way is to take small pieces of bread & to wrap your rice, meat, fish, etc. into small parcles.
So, even if you might have issues with finding some authentic & meat-free cuisine, try some of the few available dishes and you won't regret it ;-)
Zamzama is where much of Karachi's trendier restaurants are located.
This is said to be one of the city's nicest Italian restaurants.
The available selection of dishes is quite nice, as you can choose from very authentic Italian or from more modern fusions with other European influences. The set-up is "bistro style" and offers a nice extensive menu of home-made fresh pastas and pizzas, delectable appetizers and unusual desserts.
The ambience of the restaurant isn't what I would call "Italian": it's very small (only about 10-12 tables) with a high ceiling and ochre walls, wooden furniture and sparkling-white table cloths. Some may find it cramped, I found it cosy albeit a little dark.
The serving staff are very knowledgeable and are happy to recommend certain dishes and variations to you.
Favorite Dish: I had the stuffed giant mushrooms to start-off with, followed by a lovely mushroom risotto. Portions were alright and pricing was good. John enjoyed a large crispy-thin pizza, which he happily munched on and didn't even let me try a piece! It must have been excellent then... haha! My friend had the fresh Ravioli in a light tomato & pesto sauce and really enjoyed them.
The Cappuccinos that we ordered for dessert weren't exceptionally good. A bit too strong and "over-the-top", but the caffeine did its job... we'd been awake for over 30 hours by the time we finished dinner, so any kind of coffee would have to do!
Overall a very good experience for our first evening in Karachi, and I would definitely dine here again.
(I apologize for the dark pictures... the night-setting on my old camera really wasn't that great as you can tell!)
Lal Qila is one of the best restaurants in town. Restaurant serves traditional sub continent meal. The name Lal Qila is on the name of prominent fort in Delhi. It has an setting like a fort as well, you could see staff standing by the door holding 15th century style swords on their hand pretending that as they are standing in a fort and waiting for King’s arrival.
Food is very delicious and very spicy. Offers more than 60 varieties of traditional food cooked live in front of the clients. If you can take it than I will recommend go for it.
Burns Road has been declared as "Food Street" of Karachi. Food Centre is one of the main restaurants of Burns Road.
Speciality of Food Centre is BIRYANI, Indian spicy rice dish. I have tasted Biryani almost everywhere in Karachi, but Food Centre Biryani is the best of all.
They offer Chicken & Mutton Biryani alongwith Deserts like Kheer & Zarda.
Food Centre has started Bufffet in their newly built 4 story building. No. of dishes has been significantly increased including BBQ, Biryani, Fish, chinese, other local & Indian Dishes @ Rs. 600/- per head
It is one of the top delivery restaurants in Karachi. For home/office delivery call their UAN: 111-000-606
Favorite Dish: Must taste Food Centre CHICKEN BIRYANI.
In most western countries, the format to eat corn/maize is boiled. However in Pakistan you can also roast them on open flame/coal and have an alternate to boiled corn.
You will find these street vendors in all public places (zoo, beaches, outside monuments, even in your neighborhood, etc)...and it’s cheap. Rs. 5/- (USD 0.08) for one corn.
The corn is roasted on coal and served hot, and if you are upto it, put some chili powder with lemon juice for a spicy/zingy taste.
Its a cheap and fast. Ask for corn with soft kernels only.
Favorite Dish: Only Roasted Corn
Lal Qila is set in the grand splandeour of the mughal past, adorned with stalls offering variety of local and BBQ dishes - all you can eat!
Seating arrangelemsts are made according to various dinning halls, namely Mughlai Hall, Bara - Dari, Dewan - e- Khas, River, and an open area.
Although their speciality is Pakistani, but they do also offer Chinese, South Asian, Sea Food for a finiky traveller.
Advance reservation is required.
Favorite Dish: BBQ offcourse, as well as some mughlai dishes like Biryani, etc
Bokhari Bhai as I am a pure Karachite I have one 30 bore TT(China 66), one 9mm (Taurus)and one 12 bore repeater (Turkey Akkar) for safety as you know about the condition here well it's my hobby too. Talking about the quails and batair birds as you have noticed they are served in the buffet dinner of many restaurants like Lal Qila, Shan e Mughalia and Chandni at PC etc and people are attracted towards them but I think it's cruelty to kill these bird for food as they hardly have any meat in them.
1, LAL QILA,
A restaurant depicting the legendary grandeur of splendid and noble past. A vivid and conspicuous realization of the glory of our brilliant esthetical essence. All the way a combination and innovation. Adorned with courtesy of mughlai era we offer you to dine out authentic Mughlai , Tandori , Live Bar-B-Que & Traditional Pakistani cuisine
Dining Areas of LalQila
Open To Sky:
Just outside the exit of the Play Area starts it's compound with a flowing river as there flows river Hamna in the Red Fort Delhi. It's sparkling atmosphere is filled with natural melodious sound of two waterfalls springing fountain & the sound effects of the flowing river.
Mughlai hall has a Jharoka (lattice) in its outer view. Its inner position gives you a true marvelous depiction of Mughlai Artistry. Decorated with real items of Mughlai era it takes you back to the 17th century.
Bara - Dari:
The most elevated sitting place in front of here you can relish the spell bounding view of LalQila.
Dewan - e- Khas:
After Exit from Mughlai Hall the place reserved for parties that stimulates you with the Amazement of the Fort Night.
Originating from cascade, River incarnates an unbelievable scenario, which leaves every one astonished as there flows River Hamna in the Red Fort.
Favorite Dish: 2, Shan-e-Mughlia,
Shan-e-Mughlia is Pakistan’s leading buffet restaurant. Shan-e-Mughlia Restaurant Karachi offers an amazing buffet and has been regarded as the biggest buffet in Asia. It is located just adjacent to the Millennium Mall at the end of the National Stadium Road on the same location where the old Drive-in cinema used to be. Shan E Mughlia Restaurant included at least 92+ menus which mostly includes Pakistani, Chinese, Continental, Italian and even Indian dishes too. In Ramadan mostly at Iftar time, the place gets too crowed. Dishes which are served for Iftari are Rolls, Samosa, Dai Badia and much more. One can like the buffet in a grand environment in an attractive garden-like airy field distinguished by gravel paths for separate sitting arrangements.
3, CHANDNI RESTURANT AT PC KARACHI,
The restaurant offers a very spacious yet highly sophisticated interior with an antique finish of bygone era. Traditional artwork elegantly drapes the walls, and the atmosphere as a whole does indeed satisfy the yearnings of a mind bent toward whimsical creativity. Our Chefs at Chandni are the creative force behind capturing the exotic flavors, robust aromas of evocative Asian and International favourites.
Lunch 1200hrs - 1500hrs
Dinner 1900hrs - 2300hrs
I love Karachi during winter time...all the crazy NUTS descend on the streets of Karachi, driving everyone's stress levels, BP, cholesterol and other cardio-metabolic aliment levels high.
Some of their 'tribal family' names are AKHROOT, MOONPHALI, CHARGHOZA, KAJOO, BADAM, PISTA, INJEER and some more - and in pure English - walnuts, Peanuts, Pine seeds, Cashew, Almond, Pistachio, etc. It is only in winter time that these nuts are available fresh from these vendors. Though you can still find some of these in other seasons, but the freshness is not there.
Since the trouble started between Afghan-Pakistan border, the prices have skyrocketed for some of these nuts, as they are now in short supplies. Some of these nuts were also supplied from Afghanistan and due t o cut in this supply, the prices are outrageous, but taste delicious.
No wonder Karachi is going NUTS!
Favorite Dish: CHARGHOZA - PINE SEED!
Situated in the heart of Karachi's new fashion and trendy district, Zam Zama Street, the resteraunt has a nice continental buffet (Pizza, sandwich, mexican, chineese, local, an entree for everyone's taste), in the afternoon, and ala carte in the evening. For Late evenings, they have a coffee shop/hang out place on the first level for the night owls.
Waiters wearing sheriff and deputy badges; talking bit rudely to you; throwing or slamming your plates and glasses on your table; peanuts shell all over the floors; hee-haw music in the background; and TV screen showing rodeos. Well it looks as if we are in a restaurant in Dodge City or a western movie (City Slicker to be exact).
When I first went their, I did not realize what was going on, but after a few minutes the ambiance set in - Gun Smoke is depicting a Cowboy/Western setting.
A friend of mine told me that when the restaurant was intially launched, the sheriffs and deputies were quite rude, and some of our locals couldn’t understand, expecting courteous service, which resulted in a gun fight/duel. After losing some sheriff and deputies the restaurant has toned down a bit of this behavior, but still you will find one or two playing the part, if you are in for it.
Originated in Lahore and imported to Karachi, the restaurant is situated in Karachi’s ‘in’ district, ZamZama (very close to OKRA).
No horses allowed! And you will not find any parked outside, only the latest/flashy 'carriages'.
Favorite Dish: Burgers and fries...I keep it simple
Feel of a small bistro, OKRA is the hottest restaurant in Karachi. All the in-crowd, and few others are its customers, requiring a reservation well in advance. OKRA serves both French and other European dishes, catering to everyone’s need. Quite overpriced, but an experience in itself. Didn’t like the cramped setting, then no one else minds.
Favorite Dish: Something I can understand....steak
Been all over India and liking the Cafe CofeeDay bistros far more than the more upbeat fancy and more expensive cafes, I was pleasantly surprised to see CCD in the heart of Zamzamah, in Karachi.
we loved the interior of the cafe and it was such a hot day that i plonked myself in the nice cool air conditioned seat and didnt even bother to go upstairs to check out the decor.
Done in CCD style, the drinks were excellent.
Favorite Dish: Go more for desserts and chilled coffees or hot drinks rather than the food.
Anything on the chocolate menu is recommended!
I was thinking that I should not write about Pizza Hut, because it is a global chain & everyone knows about it. But then I realized that specially developed recipes, which they offer in Pakistan, will not be available in other countries. So Travelers interested in Pakistani food should also try Pakistani Pizza.
Their Chicken & Beef Pizza's with Pakistan Spices & Recipe are very tasty and mouth watering. I regularly taste their delicious Pizza every once in a month or two. I love:
Behari Chicken Pizza
Chicken Tikka Pizza
In Starter BBQ Chicken Spin Rolls & Behari Chicken Spin Rolls are nice.
Recently they have introduced Arabic recipe Pizza like:
Pizza was originated in Greece. It is one of the oldest foods. An early type of Pizza was present in Roman age. Modern pizza (with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese) was originated in Italy about 125 years ago. In 20th Cintury the dish has become globally popular mainly due to Italian Immigrants, who brought it to America & many other parts of the world.
In Pakistan it was introduced in late 1980's. Now Pizza Hut has more than 20 outlets in Karachi & 20 Plus Outlets in Other major Cities of Pakistan. In the regions where pizza is known, spicy chicken and sausage-based pizzas are very popular, as they cater to the local palate.
Favorite Dish: Fajita Cicilan Pizza
Behari Chicken Pizza
BBQ Chicken Spin Rolls
Kaybee's is one of the oldest & well reputed restaurants in Karachi. It is a three story fully furnished restaurant with open air dining area in ground floor and air conditioned family halls on top 3 floors with a play area & gaming zone for children.
I often come here for Chinese & sandwiches.
They serve Chinese dishes, broasted chicken, different type of Sandwiches, burgers, Juices & ice cream.
One can enjoy good food at normal cost.
Favorite Dish: I am fond of their Sandwiches. Club Sandwich is their specialty.
I also like their Chinese dishes like chicken Shashlik with fried rice.
Must try cone Ice cream.
My family stayed here for 2 nights. Everything was perfect. I love Karachi and this hotel added to...more
The Marriott Hotel in Karachi is a recently renovated 5-star property. The beds are the most...more
Known as the one of the international hotel in Pakistan, Sheraton Karachi Hotel is the first five...more