Islamabad United-The Diverse Palate of HBL PSL

By Amina Mazhar

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If there is one city that deserves the title of beautiful, its Islamabad. The twin cities are home to great cricketers like Shoaib Akhtar, aka Rawalpindi express and the fast bowler Mohammad Aamir. Islamabad United is an amalgamation of the best cricket talent from the twin cities and as their anthem suggests they are here to unite the best of the best for this tournament.

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Islamabad United is all set to compete in the PSL with their star line up that includes Shane Watson, Andre Russell , Misbah ul Haq, Samuel Badree, Mohammad Irfan, Brad Haddin, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Imran Khalid, Kamran Ghulam, Umar Amin, Sam Billings, Rumman Raees,Amad Butt, Ashar Zaidi, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Siddiq.

Margalla Hills- Native Pakistan
Margalla Hills- Source: Native Pakistan

The twin cities take cricket seriously. Whether the cricket match starts at 4:00 AM or mid day; you will find the city glued to their TV set. Donning their T-shirts and painting their faces green, the youth of Islamabad, cheers with every boundary and sighs as each wicket falls.Of course, food is their constant companion when they go through this emotional roller coaster ride.

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Source: Salva

When it comes to food, Islamabad has the perfect unison of desi and international cuisine. Be it the food entrepreneurs trying to bring authentic Japanese, Chinese or Mongolian cuisines to the city or  the ones trying to revamp the simple desi food items like a naan into more unconventional delicacies like the pizza or the nutella naan. Not to mention the experience of a fulfilling lunch at the very top of the Margalla Hills after a good hike up the mountains.

Monaal resturant view, Alkalam
Monaal Resturant, Source: Alkalam

That doesn’t mean however that the Islamabad-ites don’t have a taste for desi. It is the home of the famous Afghani Burger. It is safe to say that the best Afghani Burger after Afghanistan itself is available in Islamabad.

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Afghani Burger from Najeeb’s Spot, Islamabad

Now majority of the Lahori’s and Karachiates think Islamabad is all about burgers and steaks. For the foodies that have that particular opinion, we would like to tell you that you are sadly mistaken. The sister city to Islamabad is just a few minutes over and has some great desi food to offer.

Rawalpindi has been home to quite a few cricket matches in the Rawalpindi Cricket stadium, the stadium is one of the major cricket grounds in the country with a capacity to seat 25,000 spectators. The food street is right next to national stadium. Now imagine enjoying a cricket match with a snack in a huge crowd like that. We bet that’s gotta be the best experience for a foodie cricket fan

Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Source: Panorimo
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Source: Panorimo

The variety of desi food in Rawalpindi is no less than any other city. Rawalpindi recently got a revamp to include a pedestrian street in Saddar. Now this pedestrian street is a step taken to ensure that the foodies in the city can enjoy their meals in peace. Lined with food places starting from the famous Feroz cinema’s tikka to the roll paratha from City Hut and the ice cream at Scoop, the Rawalpindi Pedestrian street can easily be called a food street as well. The Lahoris and Karachi-ites are all welcome to experience the food street Pindi style!

Halwa Puri from Hathi Chowk Saddar, Rawalpindi
Halwa Puri from Hathi Chowk Saddar, Rawalpindi

The foodies from the twin cities are very familiar with the famous Channa Chaat at the Refreshment Center in Commercial Market. No shopping spree in the area is complete without it. It’s one of the best Channa Chaat available in Pakistan and the real chatkhore foodies of the cities swear by it. The famous Grato Jalaebi and the breakfast places in androon (Inner) Saddar i.e Hathi Chowk are no exception.

Streetfood at Chandni Chowk- Source: Dawn
Streetfood at Chandni Chowk- Source: Dawn

The variety of food items available in the twin cities is amazing. You get to eat authentic cuisines from all over Pakistan and around the world as well. If you want to eat Kabuli or Pashtun cuisine; you will get the real taste in so many restaurants around the city. Each food item gives you a taste of the place it originated from.

We hope Islamabad United brings this spirit of unison and positivity to the cricket ground with them.

Amina Mazhar

Ever since I was a kid, eating has been a hobby. Once I grew up, I started stepping into the kitchen more often. Although I love to cook everything but baking is something I am very passionate about. Its my therapy and it definitely takes me to my happy place. Ofcourse, this hobby of mine also caters to my hyper sweet tooth as well, which is an added bonus. Because baking is something that I have learnt from my mother so it has a very emotional value for me. Since times immemorial I have seen my mom experiment with baking in the kitchen, I like to believe she has passed that skill on to me as well (I know i can never surpass her awesomeness).