Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Burger King, Nishat Commercial, Defence phase 6

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Similar to the hype surrounding the launch of Hardees and Fatburger, Burger King has also finally opened it's doors to Pakistani customers with the simultaneous inauguration of 3 of it's outlets recently in Karachi. 

One of these branches is based in the Nishat Commercial area of DHA phase 6, a stone's throw away from the crossing of 3 major double-roads: Khayaban-e-Shujaat, Khayaban-e-Shahbaz and and the diagonal Khayaban-e-Nishat

It is right opposite a prominent supermarket; hard to miss:

Burgers from abroad arrive with a bang in Karachi, for some reason, with boys (of all ages) turning into salivating burger junkies as soon as they hear of a new joint about to hit K-town. :)

You should see the crowd of boys always standing outside Burger Shack as proof (a review of which is due, yes I know).

So, on the readily accepted request that I wouldn't stand with hubby this time in the long queue outside with the kids, we found ourselves outside this outlet of Burger King 2 days after it's reported launch (5th october 2013). 

As you can see, mostly men throng the long queue while the women and children are allowed to take up seats in the outlet, conveying their orders to them via cell phones. Feminism, anyone? ;)

A life-size wall mural announcing the arrival of the King of Burgers all over Pakistan. 

The furnishing and layout of the outlet reminded us eerily of the one at Hardees
Excuse my children's water bottle spoiling the photo above. :)


The walls, couches and chairs have the same color theme: red, orange, white and beige - with a few more colors thrown in here, there and every where. 
All in all a nice layout for a junk food outlet. 

Thankfully there is enough space in this Nishat commercial outlet of BK to maintain privacy and prevent that feeling of "too-close-for-comfort". Not cramped at all. 

There are booths next to the windows (we were able to get one), as well as smaller round tables.

Spotlights and other kinds of lights. Nice lighting overall, except that our "city of lights" is usually without these said lights due to frequent power outages. 

Our business franchises should therefore go easy on the large number of lights in their outlets. 

The coveted tray that you lay your hands on after a wait of around 45 minutes (nowadays), starting from the time you arrive till the time you take your first bite. 

The Mini Whopper (without fries and drink), Rs 270 + tax


It was full of this dark sauce, which looks like BBQ sauce. It probably was.
The children liked it, but after they had pulled out all the veggies. 

The famous Whopper (single patty) with fries and drink ~ Rs 440 + tax

I liked the fresh and soft, sesame-seed-sprinkled bun.

The patty was thin and tender, crisply charred on the outside. 

The vegetables comprising of sliced tomatoes, onions and iceberg lettuce were fresh and crisp as well.

All in all a very tasty meal, alhamdulillah.

Hershey's Sundae - Rs 200 (from a subsequent takeaway visit)
This dessert was decadently indulgent and rich! Any chocaholic's dream come true. Have it if you are willing to ingest the extra calories. :)

Verdict: We think the burgers at Fatburger and Hardees are better, but we weren't expecting anything out of the ordinary. The last time I had Burger King was back in 2002, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, so I knew what to expect. 

For now, Karachi-dwellers need to take a chill pill and can probably afford to take their sweet time in visiting Burger King (especially if they've already had it abroad), not just to join the race expecting a burger from heaven, or solely for the pleasure of telling their friends that they've had it already. 

I personally wanted to go after the initial BK hype in the city (as well as the length of the long queues outside every outlet) had diminished, but my husband wanted to go earlier. 

So enjoy your Eid barbecues next week. :) Then visit Burger King when the weather gets more pleasant, because, as I forgot to mention, they don't have any of the other burger flavors on the menu yet - they have just the whopper. They also do not have wifi yet.

Go and try Burger King once the full menu arrives for your choosing (including the chicken and fish burgers). Business timings are from noon to 2 a.m., or so the guard stationed outside the outlet told us. 

Bon appétit! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Chai Master, Shahbaz Commercial, Defence Phase 5

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Do you like having spiced chai? And are paratha's of different kinds (including the Arabic stuffed and fried flatbread called fateera) something you like to have with your chai?

If your answer is yes, then you have to give Chai Master a visit.

Chai Master is located in Shahbaz commercial area (or is it Seher commercial?) in the same vicinity as a handful of other new cafes, such as Cafe Pink Cadillac and Cafe Riverwood.
It is located in the lane that starts right opposite the centrally located Imam bargah - a landmark hard to miss. 

It is a small eatery. Keep a lookout for it when you pass by, else you'll miss it.
It's size is clearly it's biggest 'shortcoming', if I might call it that.

Inside, there is just enough seating capacity for 6 people, max. 

If you like Arab-style teas, though, then you'll like eating here, even if it means doing so whilst sitting in your car.

The menu is not very elaborate, which is good, in my opinion.
Less is more. :)

We ordered the Disco Chai, but sadly I forgot to photograph it.

It came in small, concave glass cups (the kind in which Arabs drink their coffee/tea) with metallic handles. Something like this, but much less ornate.

The chai was alright; a bit small in portion for the price of Rs 60 per cup.

Plus, I don't like tea that has a thick film of cream on top.

The decor of the small outlet is very simple. 

Plain Paratha: Rs 30 each

I prefer whole wheat paratha's (thanks to my Ammi, who always made fresh ones for us for lunch after school), but these piping hot, white-flour ones that were served to us right off the stove fared very well as breakfast on a Sunday morning. 

Desi Omelet with Cheese - Rs 110

In the background in the photo above, you can also see a plain whole wheat paratha (already torn from all sides by us) that the management asked us to try because they are thinking of introducing it into the menu.

I loved this omelet!

A total hit, it was packed with veggies such as onions, green chillies, and tomatoes, with melted cheddar in its folded midst. It was evenly well-browned throughout- just the way I like it. Every bite was a joy.

"Half-fry" (this is what a 'sunny side up' fried egg is called in our local lingo): Rs 50

This was nothing to write home about.
It was also a rather small egg, as you can see. :P We had to order another. Heh!

Plain Pizza Paratha: Rs 100

This is basically a paratha that is topped midway through being prepared with plain beaten egg.
This was a hit with the children, for whom we especially ordered it plain (sans any spices or veggies). 

Arabic Paratha with Egg - Rs 130

We ordered this for takeaway on another day. It is a paratha that is stuffed with vegetables and beaten egg (omelet) inside. 

If you like stuffed paratha's, you'll love having this.

The only other eateries that I know of where I can get good whole-wheat tawa paratha's are: the rather over-priced Neco's, and Chatkharay.

If you know of any other eatery that offers tawa paratha's on it's menu (especially whole wheat ones), please let me know. 

Verdict: The chai was alright, but I am a fan of Chai Master already because of their paratha's! Perhaps they should rename themselves: Paratha Master? :) 

We also tried their Nutella Paratha, priced at Rs 130 (sorry, once again I forgot to photograph it) and it was quite awesome! If you like paratha's with sweet stuffing (like my husband and kids do), then you'll probably love their Nutella paratha as well. 

Chai Master is open early on Sundays for breakfast. On the rest of the days of the week, they open after 2 p.m. 

So give their breakfast a try on a Sunday, but remember to arrive early, because as I said, there is limited sitting space. You'll actually have to sit outside on plastic tables and chairs to eat. 

But if the food is good, who's complaining? :)