Omair Alavi|Published August 22, 2018
THERE is no shortage of dining options in Karachi.—Stephan Andrew/White Star
AS soon as the government announced Eid holidays in Pakistan, many decided to leave for their home cities to spend time with their families. But what about those who don’t have a family outside Karachi? How will they spend the holidays in the city that houses the largest number of goats and cattle from around the country? Well, after qurbani and exchanging Eid greetings with relatives, residents of the metropolis can always head out to try the gastronomic delights on offer in the city of lights.
Be it young or old, everyone loves a snack in this town especially when it’s cooked in front of them in perfectly hygienic conditions. That’s where anda parathas come in, a dish that has taken Karachi by storm. Back in the day, chai dhabas used to be a haven for such dishes but with the advent of new-look cool roadside cafes, the paratha is suddenly hip. Everybody wants to hang out with their friends in such places and the growing number of cafes and customers is proof of their popularity. From Defence to Clifton to even places like PECHS, people throng such cafes for fun and to spend some quality time with their loved ones and friends.
Then there are the many barbeque restaurants in the city that are usually more full than empty and why shouldn’t they be; we exist in the golden era of the paratha roll which has quickly become the face of food in Karachi. Even in places outside the city wherever paratha roll is sold, it’s sold as ‘Karachi’s famous dish’. You can go to DHA, Clifton, Tariq Road, Nazimabad, north Karachi, Gulshan-i-Iqbal and you can find more paratha roll shops than other restaurants combined. Add burger joints, bun kebab places and one-dish restaurants that deal specifically in pizzas, fried chicken, Lebanese food, Chinese food and other traditional stuff such as nihari, sajji etc and you can have all the options in the world to devour.
For those who don’t believe in eating only, the city offers large malls where you can go and shop all day long without having anything else on your mind. Here too there are food courts with the best deals in town to end your hunger as a bonus which is something you didn’t have in the past. Gone are the days when there was less number of shopping malls and more numbers of congested shopping centres where people used to enter and exit in quick succession. Now with air-conditioned mega malls that cater to customers of all age groups and that have something for everyone, you don’t feel like exiting at all.
With food courts, dhabas, roadside cafés and food streets, Karachi has emerged as the food capital of Pakistan. Food from all corners of the country is available here and the taste is so yummy that you are transported to the place of origin, temporarily. The change in the life of a foodie in Karachi is mainly due to the good work by the law enforcement agencies that helped clear the city of crime, making it safe for people with families and friends. With the long Eid holidays here, it is advisable that one should plan these days carefully so as to enjoy the freedom, as well as the gastronomic options Karachi has available.
Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2018