Karachi Boat Basin – Your One-Stop Food Solution for Those Nail-Biting HBL PSL Matches

By Ayesha Naveed

Watching Shoaib Malik beat the daylights out of Umar Gul has got you craving for a burger but you don’t want to leave your couch even for a minute? We’ve got you covered!

Mohammad Amir scores a hat-trick and you feel like going out with friends to celebrate with some scrumptious Barbeque? Look no further!!

Got no time to cook that Chicken Karahi? Save the effort!

Karachi Boat Basin is the place that has it all, a place where you’ll be spoilt for choice!


More of a Food Street now than a Boating Basin that it once was, this vast strip of land is lined with a number of restaurants that offer a variety of different cuisines ranging from Desi to Arabic and almost all of them do home delivery too!

This street, literally, NEVER SLEEPS! While some restaurants stay open till 5 in the morning, others are open round the clock.

We have round up a few of them for you- to enjoy some great food which is also not too heavy on the pocket during those nerve wrecking HBL PSL  matches! Here is our top 10.

1: Halwa Puri and Paratha

Start the match day with a hearty desi breakfast! Head over to the Boat Basin for some toothsome halwa puri and a helping of crispy and delectable stuffed parathas and wash it all down with a cup of yummy doodh patti, Kashmiri chai, or even a glass of lassi. The best part is that the restaurants start service as early as 6-7 o’clock in the morning.

brands synarioCome one; come all for some desi Nashta! photo courtesy – Brands Synario

2: Burgers and Sandwiches

From your local Bun Kebab, to a club sandwich, this place has it all. Easy to munch on while watching the match, these are a good choice to curb those anxiety-triggered hunger pangs!! Head out during the lunch break or better yet, have them delivered to your home, either way, they are a treat for your taste buds.

tipuYou never can have just one – Photo Courtesy:  Facebook

The following popular items are not to be missed:

  • Daal Andaa Bun Kebabs and Crispy Chicken Burger from Tipu Burger
  • Gourmet club sandwiches and Nachos from Amigos Express,
  • Cheese Fries from OPTP,
  • Bun kebabs from Flamingo,
  • Mr. Burger (beef Burger) from Mr.Burger, and, last but not the least,
  • Hunter beef burger from Hanifia

The Club Sandwich at the Amigos Express

3: Chicken/Mutton Karahi

Although, originating in the Northern region, this dish has somehow found its way into the local food scene of almost all the areas of Pakistan. It is especially very popular for dinner, during relatively chilly nights. In Boat Basin, most dining is open air, therefore people enjoy coming out here during winters for a Karahi(the utensil) of Chicken or Mutton Karahi(the Dish).

Mutton Karahi at Cafe Frontier – loved by many

Eateries that are popular for their Karahis, among others, at Boat Basin are; Café Frontier, Thaali inn, Tandoori Hut and Khyber Koyla Karahi.

4: Barbeque, Paratha Rolls and Chapli Kebabs

Barbeque which in Pakistan usually comprises: Chicken Tikka, Malai boti, Reshmi Kebab, Seekh kebab etc. also has its origin in the North but is loved by people belonging to each and every culture in Pakistan. It is best enjoyed when devoured fresh and while sitting outdoors, surrounded by the smoke coming out of the grills it is cooked on! Therefore, we suggest you take a break from the match and come out to the Boat Basin to chow down on it while it’s still hot!

Some yummy kebabs in the making at Boat Basin; Photo Courtesy – Dawn

People from Karachi love to have their barbeque wrapped in a paratha – essentially called a Paratha Roll – drenched in a lot of chutney!

The now all-famous paratha rolls are said to have been invented in Karachi!

Some of the best places, to have these mouthwatering dishes, at Boat Basin are: Cool Inn, Tandoori Hut, Roll Inn, Tipu Burger, Deira, Chapli Kebab House, Qasr Al Nakheel and Thaali Inn.

5: Shawarma

What better than to have a taste of Arabian nights, while watching the Karachi Kings fight for the title, without leaving town!

Qasr Al Nakheel is a popular Shawarma place

One bite of the Chicken Shawarma available at Qasr-Al Nakheel and you’ll be transported right to the Sharjah Stadium stands, surrounded by the cheering crowd!

6: Chicken Broast

A taste of Karachi Broast’s Chicken served with their world famous (ok, not exactly world famous but famous, nonetheless!) garlic dip, will have you hooked for life! No wonder it’s been around since ages, with their game still going strong!

Some Crispy, Golden, Greasy Chicken Broast at the Karach Broast! Photo Courtesy – Karachi Broast

Other Eateries giving them some tough competition, at the Boat Basin, are Jan’s Broast and the good ol’ KFC!

7: Handi and Nihari

Enjoyed by the Royals, back in the days of the Mughal Emperors, Nihari is one of the very few dishes that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner alike.

Nihari Inn at Boat Basin will have you eating like royals with this spicy and flavorful dish, served with naan and while you’re at it, do give their Makhni Handi – a creamy dish; not as hot – a try too!

Also, The Butter Chicken at Tandoori Hut, Chicken Handi at Baithak and Chicken Makhni at Dera are well worth the money!

Tandoori Hut – One of the highlights of this mile long gastronomic delight

8: Masala Dosa

Suffering from meat overload? Give your stomachs a break and try out Masala Dosa, a typical South Indian vegetarian Dish, which is served at many restaurants at Boat Basin.

But, if you still don’t want to go vegetarian, don’t sweat it! For, some good old folks have tweaked the original flavors a little and have come out with a meaty version of this humble and unpretentious dish, the chicken Dosa!

 Photo courtesy Eat, Travel, Love

This South Indian Rice crepe is served with an assortment of chutneys and dip. Head over to 7 Star or Cool Inn, to grab a thali of this delectable dish.

9: Chaat and Pani Puri

For the time when the nerves get the better of you, ditch that heavy meal and grab this concoction of flavors that burst in your mouth.

Like many other famous eateries on this street, Flamingo has been around since the very beginning too! The mix chaat, fruit chaat and pani puri served here are a cult favorite.

Cholay, Dahi, Papri, Chutney, Masala, What’s not to love? Photo Courtesy – Flamingo’s Webpage

Cool Inn also serves some seriously good Chaat which is definitely worth a try!

10: Ice Cream and Cakes

Finish off your meal with some delicious handmade ice cream available in unique and exotic flavors such as rose, cheeku, Kulfa and peshawari or even a glass of the delightful Falooda, available at Rajoo and Baloch icecream.

A bowl of Kulfa Icecream at Baloch Icecream will have you forget all other kulfas; Photo Courtesy – Baloch Icecream

If, however, you want to get a taste of history instead, make a stop at S Abdul Khaliq to get a hold of a box of their House special item, Habshi Halwa. The owners claim that their ancestors had remained the official halwa makers of the royal court in the Sub continent, for almost 300 years after which they opened to public in 1835. Having migrated to Karachi at the time of Independence, they have opened three outlets here, one of them being in Boat Basin.

Get you mithai fix at this 500 year old brand; Photo courtesy- S.A.K.’s Facebook page

All this Desi food got you desiring for something fancy? Don’t worry because the famous Hobnob bakery also has an outlet at Boat Basin so, get your hands on their delectable brownies or take home their chocolate fudge cake!