Thursday, March 11, 2010

BBQ Tonite, Clifton


BBQ Tonite is one of the most popular, vintage, smoothly-run and booming restaurants in Karachi. 


As this picture reveals, its been going strong for over 2 decades now.



More than a decade ago, they were running only from the ground floor of this building. Now, they have occupied the whole three floors of it, in addition to the rooftop.


This barbecue and grill station just outside the entrance of the restaurant, amidst the sprawling parking area,  shows the chefs in action.


Originally, BBQ Tonite (as the name suggests) was open only for dinner. They now also serve lunch and Sunday breakfast. Also, they have added many items to their previously next-to-nothing dessert menu.
This place is obviously growing by leaps and bounds each year.


The restaurant has four seating levels, all of which are full to capacity on most nights, with significant turnover (viz. a table fills up as soon as it is vacated). A long queue of families exists at the entrance, waiting their turn.







We opt for the secluded corner tables on the rooftop side terrace, which enable us to enjoy the cool sea breeze under the night sky whilst dining "alfresco". :)


It is in no way easy on the wallet to dine here. However, BBQ Tonite's steep prices never deter their customers.


Their steaks are quite good, and cost as much as in other restaurants.


"Special" Hot 'n Sour soup.


It had tofu, prawns and mushrooms in it, in addition to the usual ingredients. It was very delicious!


Chicken Tikka's, Puri Paratha's and Garlic Naan.


Chicken Steak for Rs 400, with Fresh Lime. Two generous chicken breast fillets topped with a slice of cheddar cheese and oodles of barbecue sauce, served with one baked potato and boiled vegetables on the side.


A glass of traditional sugar cane juice for Rs 75


BBQ Special Platter - Rs 5000


The view of the Clifton roundabout from the rooftop terrace, where we sat.


South City Hospital is visible in the distance.


Recently, BBQ Tonite has started a breakfast buffet on Sundays. 
This sumptuous, all-inclusive breakfast buffet can be enjoyed only on Sundays from 8 a.m to noon, for Rs 525 per head (taxes inclusive). 
Update: The breakfast price is now Rs 650 per head.


It is fun to eat out early on Sunday mornings, once in a while, and enjoy mouth-watering omelets (custom-made for you live by chefs) bursting with olives, mushrooms, vegetables and cheddar cheese, accompanied by hot tawa paratha's and freshly squeezed orange juice. 
You don' get all of that at home, unless meticulous preparation is done in advance.


What more is on offer at the buffet: the entire variety of halwa puri, channa, aalo bhujia, nihari, paye, mutton mince (qeema), naans (flatbreads); a variety of breads and cereals, freshly prepared eggs, bowls of fresh seasonal and tinned fruit, salad, boiled eggs, sarson ka saag with makai (corn) ki roti (pictured above), chicken sausages, hash browns (looking more like potato cutlets, as shown in the picture above), pasta in white sauce, French toast and unlimited orange/grapefruit juice, lassi, tea and coffee.


The cute little pancakes. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised how well these were made: very fluffy and golden brown on both sides. 


A coffee machine was available for ordering fresh, hot cappuccino. It was great!
You could ask for black coffee, regular coffee, or cappuccino.


 Another shot of pancakes with maple syrup. The children loved having them!


Penne pasta in white sauce was also part of the menu. Scrumptious and creamy.


Brownies, croissants, fruitcake, bran and white toasted bread, canned and fresh fruit (apples, figs, apricots and melons) were also available.

Verdict: The food is high-quality, as is everything else at BBQ Tonite. The waiters wear gloves whilst handling the crockery, so you can imagine the kind of quality control in place. 


Tip: if you want a seating arrangement of your choice for dinner, arrive early (before 9 p.m), otherwise parking your vehicle and acquiring a good table could prove to be a test of your patience.


The Sunday breakfast/brunch buffet was thoroughly enjoyed by our family. Our children aged 5.5 and 3.5, were not charged. I recommend that whoever wants to have this buffet arrive early i.e. before 10 a.m. If you arrive after 11 a.m, you'll have to face a lot of crowds in front of the food platters and long lines before the fresh fruit juice and egg-frying stations. Also, you'll be dealing with more frazzled waiters and have less choice of good sitting places. 


To see the official promotional video of the Sunday breakfast buffet, please click here.

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