Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tandoori Hut, Boat Basin

Tandoori Hut is an increasingly popular eatery located in Boat Basin, Clifton Block 3. It has been doing roaring business since the last few years, resulting in its fast expansion across the Boat Basin strip.

On any night, groups of young men and boys mainly dominate the dining area outside, whilst families are seated inside the air-conditioned family rooms visible in the background.

Don't know about everyone else, but the one item on the menu at Tandoori Hut that is the biggest hit with everyone I know, is this Chicken Makhnie, or Butter Chicken.

Eaten with this Garlic Naan that comes piping hot from the tandoor, or puri parathay, the creamy Chicken Makhnie has to be tried to be believed!

This handi of Half Chicken Makhnie cost Rs 450. It suffices 2 adults easily. Be warned though, that it is made with oodles of cream and butter that lend it its unique taste and smooth texture, which means it is full of fat and cholesterol.


Tandoori Hut also serves breakfast on Sundays. The usual halwa puri, paya, nihari in addition to omelets, paratha's, and doodh patti chai (brewed tea).

The outdoor sitting area outside Tandoori Hut on a lazy Sunday morning.
I warn you: the environment is not hygienic and clean when you dine outside under the cloth awnings dancing over your heads in the wind, along a flimsily covered sewer running on the ground on one side of the tables (yeah...ew...but what else is new?!), not to mention, stubborn beggar urchins persistently interrupting your meal!

If you have issues with all of this, you can avail Tandoori Hut's air-conditioned rooms to have your breakfast.

Omelet: Rs 50 (one egg), Paratha: Rs 30, Doodh Patti Chai: Rs 50

We prefer the traditional anda paratha breakfast over halwa puri.
No exaggeration: the food is worth the extra price. From the first bite, you can tell that the omelet is fried in good-quality cooking oil, and the paratha's - ah, what can I say? - every crispy curl that you unfold with your hands becomes pure delight when crunched in the mouth! These paratha's might just give your Mom's homemade ones a run for their money. :)

Sooji halwa (sweet, greasy stir-fried semolina) - Rs 50 (per half plate)
This was average. Nothing special.

Total breakfast bill: Rs 530 (the prices are a bit on the higher side)

Verdict: The menu at Tandoori Hut is very extensive, with all dishes that are part of traditional Arabic and Lebanese cuisine on offer as well, in addition to the usual barbecue, Chinese and fast food items .

Please note that, despite being located in the more economical area of Boat Basin, the food at Tandoori Hut is not cheap. However, taste and quality are guaranteed at the extra cost!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gazebo, main Saba Avenue, Defence Phase 5

Gazebo is located near the Saba Avenue/Khayaban-e-Shamsheer crossing in Defence Phase 5, Karachi. It has long been famous for its chaat and South Indian Dosa's.

Its menu is a bit pricey, probably because of the comfortable ambience it offers to accentuate the customers' dining experience.

The interior is air-conditioned, which is why ladies who want to enjoy chaat without having to eat it inside a parked car are among the most loyal diners at Gazebo. Dahi Baray, Pani Puri, Biryani and other savoury delights typically enjoyed by most Pakistani's, are also on the menu.

A popular offering of South Indian cuisine, the Cheese Dosa (the cheese was spread inside),with sambar and green chutney is available at Gazebo for Rs 80. Pakistan's very own cola, Pakola, accompanied the lunch! :) In the background, an Aloo Bun Kabab (local dialect for Potato-patty Burger), priced at Rs 40, is visible.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Halwa Puri Breakfast, Boat Basin, Clifton

Boat Basin has always been famous for the traditional halwa puri breakfast it offers on weekend mornings. Numerous eateries along the line that offer barbeque by night, open their doors early in the mornings on Saturdays and Sundays to offer rich but delicious delcacies to their customers.

Reportedly, the workers are up since 5 a.m to whisk up the breakfast items.

We arrived late, at 10:30 a.m, but breakfast was still going strong.

This is where we sat to dine; or rather, squatted.

School students and families were in abundance, especially groups of young teenaged lads.

Paratha, aloo bhaji and sooji (semolina) halwa. Obviously this kind of eating out is not for high-maintenance germophobes who can't 'get down and dirty' to rough it once in a while.:)

Omelette and puri's. Health-conscious salad-leaf nibblers, this breakfast is obviously not for you. ;)

Wash it down with hot doodh patti (strong, sweet tea brewed in milk).

Verdict: Dining alfresco in the cool morning breeze - a great option for an occasional family outing on weekend mornings! Try it some day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Dip Shop, Schon Circle, Clifton

Located opposite Agha's Supermarket on main Schon Circle in Clifton is a small, cosy little dessert shop famous for its dip-coated, topping-covered ice cream.

Interestingly, they also have a Gola Gunda stand outside, that offers "Dip Gola"!

Their menu features diverse yet refreshingly affordably-priced items.

The shop is neat and tidy.

Understandably, families with young children are regulars at The Dip Shop.

Children love visiting this shop because the variety of dips and toppings make them excited about the prospect of 'creating' their own unique sweet treat.

The dips: ice cream scoops are dipped into these sauces.

The dip-coated ice cream scoop is then tossed in one or more of these toppings to cover it.

This is the Waffle Sundae, priced at Rs 70: a scoop of ice cream of your choice, nestled inside a crunchy biscuit waffle, coated with dip and toppings (crushed biscuits and sprinkles in this case) and crowned with a cherry.

I decided to go for Cold Coffee, my usual favorite.

Verdict: The Dip Shop has been in quiet but successful business for many years now. Its desserts are affordable but good in taste and quality. A refreshing change from the usual over-decorated cafes offering exotic-sounding, over-priced desserts that are considered the 'hot spots' in town. Pun intended! ;)