I was in Karachi recently for work (we’ll soon reveal what we were up to!) and met with a friend in the city before heading back. In between discussing life and work, I shared my recent crazy food tour in Rawalpindi (read all about it here).
That is when we decided to do something similar in Karachi in the 3 hours I had before my flight home. So here’s the story of what can a foodie in Karachi accomplish in three hours:
The famous Mutton Biryani (not Pulao!)
It was 3pm. For lunch, I had the chance of a life-time: to taste Mutton Biryani from TSI – the catering company owned by oh-so-awesome Chef Saadat, one of the country’s most famous celebrity chefs. My God was it awesome, and quite likely to send you into a food coma!
I had a (very) long debate with Karachiites on whether this dish constituted a pulao or a biryani. Guess who won the guessing game? Me! It was biryani after all! I guessed as much from the style in which the dish was cooked, rather than just the taste. Most Karachiites thought this to be pulao. I believe it’s closer to a ‘white biryani’.
Mutton Biryani at TSI – Pictures cannot do it justice
Now that I’m done boasting about my palate and food knowledge, let’s get back to our story!
Snacks at Mirchili
Sadly, one can’t find good dosa or bhel puri in Islamabad! So we started with Mirchili and ordered their Bhel Puri and Masala Dosa. The very first bite let’s you know that you’re in Karachi; these guys know their food! It’ either something in the water (yes, I said it!), or some secret ingredient available nowhere else in the country, or simply that they have a better way of making things. We’ll just have to accept this mystery as it is. Any food you try in Karachi is likely to contain a depth of flavors – it’s very unique and makes your palate jump with joy from the very first bite!
Dosa and Bhel Puri – just the food I had been craving!
Hunter Beef Burger from Hanifia
I had to be convinced to try the famous Hunter Beef Burger from Hanifia at Boast Basin. Known for this specialty for ages, Hanifia’s burger was great, and served with their special mustard sauce.
So, two hours down and one to go. What do you do after biryani, bhel puri, dosa and a beef burger? You order dessert of course!
Hunter Beef Burger – Hanifia
Time for dessert
My friend swore on ‘thutee wali rabri firni’, served in small mud bowls. I’m not a fan of firni (yes, childhood evasions remain!). But since I believe a foodie must try everything I agreed, and two small plates were placed in front of us. They were gone in seconds!
The Rabri Kheer from DIlbahar Milk Shop
A timeless ending
So how does one finish a tour of Karachi? With tea of course! No one does better tea than this city. You may have heard the expression, “Patti thook kay – cheeni rook kay” (Heavy on the tea, easy on the sugar). That’s the tea we were looking for. More than the tea itself, the experience of having tea is one we rarely get in Islamabad. We sat by the roadside, enjoyed our tea and had a long conversation.
Tea Stall at Road Side- Karachi
Where would you take a friend visiting Karachi with a few hours on hand? Any great spots we should visit next time? Let us know.