Saturday, January 25, 2014

Burger King, main Seaview Road

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

The silence after the storm - oh how peaecful it is. :)
I am so happy that the hype around the launch of Burger King Pakistan is finally over!

There are no long queues and crowds outside the Burger King outlets any more, as you can see.
Pictured above is the BK outlet located on main Sea View Road or Beach Avenue, right next to McDonald's.

Few eateries have managed to thrive previously in this very building (such as the Dip Shop, KFC and Ponderosa); let's see if this outlet of BK has a better fate.

Once again, I found myself at this outlet of Burger King a couple of months ago only because someone else in the family wanted to have the famous Whopper. Yawn.
Actually, truth be told, I too wanted to try out their onion rings. :)

Thankfully, we were able to place our order immediately. Cue: no queues. :)
You can see that the Angus SteakHouse Combo is priced at Rs 650, the Whopper Combo at Rs 495, and the Chicken Royale at Rs 540.

Too bad I couldn't take a better shot to capture the complete menu of Burger King (by the way, isn't it about time they launched their own website? They are still operating on social media via a Facebook page).

 Here is a closeup shot of the above photo, to help you see the prices.

Basically, every burger combo at Burger King will cut you back Rs 400-600.
Lone, single-patty burgers cost ~Rs 295 each (without fries and drink).

The Burger King outlet on main Sea View Road has two upper floors where customers can dine. I think there is a basement too, but I'm not sure.

The view from the first floor ↑.

The booth style seating arrangement on the top floor.

Spacious and well-lit.
Unlike Hardees, which is still conspicuously missing an outlet on this side of the Clifton Bridge, Burger King has done well to not compromise on space for it's dine-in customers.

We ordered two combo meals.

Single patty Fish n Crisp (fish burger).

A small and crispy fish fillet sitting on mayo and topped with lettuce occupies the inside of the burger.
A nice and light burger, especially a good option for those who do not like beef.

The soft and piping hot BK Fries are always a hit.
Even when I had Burger King for the first time in my life, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia (back in 2002), I loved their light French Fries the most.

The Whopper! Enough said. :P
You can see how fresh the sesame-seed-topped bun is.

Tomato, lettuce and sliced onions top a beef patty.

A combo meal at Burger King (burger, fries and drink) costs Rs 450 per head, if you skip additional sides and desserts.

Verdict: I think Burger King should launch it's own website, for starters. It has done well with it's hype-creating, media-frenzy-driven launch in Pakistan with the simultaneous opening up of multiple, spacious outlets. It got the initial market share, now let's see if it goes the distance with quality that garners long-term customer satisfaction. 

Will we be finding stale lettuce and flat, crumbling buns in the burgers at Burger King after, say, 4 years,- just like we now often do at KFC and McDonald's? Time will tell.

For now, Burger King sure seems to be enjoying it's fifteen minutes of fame in Karachi.

Khausa, main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz, Defence phase 6

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

 Ah, the quick entry and exit of high-end restaurants from the diverse food spectrum of Karachi! Restaurants open up and close down in the blinking of an eye, or so it seems. 

I once visited Khausa Restaurant on main Tariq Road, and really liked it.
Well, there is some good news and bad news about it.
The bad news first: it has closed down.

The good news: it has now opened up on main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz, a stone's throw away from Desi and Gon Pacci

The establishment is spread out on more than one level, with a half-floor (sort of like a verandah) constructed above this downstairs portion within the premises.
The decor is more plush and elegant than the one that this basement restaurant had on Tariq Road.

There are 3 tables on the above floor, where we chose to dine. 

Actually, there is some more, somewhat-bad news. 

One of the better things I liked about the Khausa on main Tariq Road, was it's economical prices. Check out the old prices here (before they remove this jpeg, heh).

 The money on fuel that you'll save on the jaunt to Tariq Road will now be spent on the food at this new outlet, because the prices at Khausa have been conveniently doubled.

Yes, doubled. Ouch. :-|

I love Khau Suey, so I ordered the Burmese version (the one with yellow curry) with prawns.  

Khausa offers five types of curry that you can choose for the Khau Suey that you want to have: Classic Creamy, Coco Curry, Stir Fried, Yellow Curry, and the more expensive Mohinga Soup (whatever that is).

The base of curry and Khau Suey noodles will cost you Rs 345, but if you want a topping of meat curry on it (and who doesn't? :P), such as chicken, beef or prawns, there will be extra charges of Rs 145 - Rs 245.

So you'll be shelling out approximately Rs 500 or more per serving of Khau Suey at this restaurant, which is clearly above the going rate of Rs 350-Rs 450 that you can get per serving of Khau Suey at Simple Dimple or PepperLime

The consolation? The ample quantity, high quality, and freshness of the food. I had no complains about it. The service and ambiance has improved a big notch as well.

Every order of Khau Suey comes with this tray of crunchy, tasty and spicy accompaniments. 

Once you start eating the Khau Suey mixed with these lovely garnishes, this is what your plate will look like. Yum!

Chicken Chow Mien - Rs 325

Awesome flavors and freshness. You can see for yourself, eh?

The menu has a comprehensive Thai cuisine section, a few Chinese dishes, and some other additions as well (check out the whole menu on the restaurant's EatOye page), although the sandwiches/burgers have been removed.  

Verdict: if you like Khau Suey, you will probably enjoy the offerings at Khausa. 

While the economical prices and long car ride have been bid adieu with the restaurant's relocation to main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz (the head waiter told us that the lack of parking space in front of Khausa on main Tariq Road was the main reason for the restaurant's shut down there), the diners have gained in terms of ambiance, variety and freshness/quality of the food/ingredients. 

The customers that could previously not drive out all the way to Tariq Road and meander through it's heavy traffic, now have a nice place to sit down and eat Khau Suey.

Oh how I wish that everyone on this earth could afford to eat good, clean, and delicious food like this! :-(