Al-Arab Shawarma: Doing it Right
Situated on the bustling food street in Bahadurabad, there is a small, unassuming eatery that does great justice to Arabic cuisine. Al-Arab Shawarma is the go-to place for all those who are craving the best Arabic wrap in Karachi.
AL-ARAB SHAWARMA: A HOLE IN THE WALL
The display board atop the front wall bears the name of the restaurant in a bold red font and boasts of chicken, beef, and falafel shawarma – which is a lie. Every time I’ve ordered beef shawarma or falafel, I’ve always been informed that it is unavailable. The ‘restaurant’ is a hole in the wall with a few plastic chairs propped in the corner. On one end of the premise is a grill on which marinated pieces of chicken slowly rotate and roast.
There is a small counter decked with various condiments and fillings while the remaining area of the place has a refrigerator bearing soft drinks, juices, and water bottles.
From where I sat I could see the spit rotating slowly, allowing every bit of the chicken to roast as small droplets of marination sweat and sizzled on the meat. The sight made me drool. I was very hungry that night and I was really looking forward to a scrumptious platter of shawarma with my friends. I was not disappointed, their prompt service was commendable.
The platter was sectioned; sliced pieces of chicken in the center, the red sauce, pickled vegetables, hummus, pita bread, and garlic sauce. Each in their own segregated compartments.
One of my friends and I began eating from the platter, while the other friend accompanying us filled the pita bread with the contents of the platter and formed a wrap before taking her first bite. The pita bread is the softest I’ve ever had, the chicken a blend of spicy and juicy that tastes great even on its own. But dipping the morsels of pita and meat into the hummus and red sauce is what really hits the sweet spot. The addition of pickles is the bow on top. Everything combined sent me straight to heaven. The chicken was well roasted which gave it a tad bit of crispiness along with the juiciness. The hummus tastes incredibly authentic and the garlic sauces, both red and white, were a perfect blend. The pickles genuinely stole the show with a perfectly sour flavor, and they are what gives the shawarma its unique flavor. One thing I wish they’d added more of is olives. The platter provides a generous serving which lets you enjoy every bite till the very end. I ran short of the hummus halfway through my meal, and upon request, they provided a quick free refill.
Al-Arab shawarma serves this sizeable platter of an extremely delectable meal at a very affordable cost. The platter easily satiates two people, but you’ll definitely be tempted to order another one midway through your first bite. It’s that good.
Before mutually deciding to dine here, I had promised my friends that they will love every bite of the shawarma at Al- Arab; and so, they did.