Burns Road House: Karachi to Lahore
There’s something about desi food that just pulls me in. Maybe it’s an appetite developed over time or the multitude of flavors it offers, but desi food is always on top of my list when planning to eat out. Therefore I keep abreast with news and developments about new desi restaurants in Lahore. One option that I’d been dying to try was Burns Road House.
I heard about it on social media, and the pictures, as well as the reviews, made it seem like a worthy venue. I picked up a friend and we headed over to Main Boulevard’s stark blue Mega Tower, where Burns Road House is located.
At A Glance
The ground had been transformed into a lovely al fresco dining experience. The fans and multiple coolers installed ensured that we had no qualms about dining outdoors in the summer. But the coolest aesthetic was their large matka wall, which had famous quotes, meticulously calligraphed in black ink, etched across it.
Shortly after being seated, my friend and I decided to start ordering. Considering that it was a weekend and we wanted to spoil ourselves, we went big: Chicken Biryani, Nihari with Roghni Naan, Chicken Bihari Boti with Puri Paratha, Bun Kebab and Gurh Tandoori Chai. Our food was brought forth after a reasonable wait of 20 minutes.
Let’s start off with the rice. I personally don’t enjoy over-cooked, soft rice. It reminds me of all the times I’ve had mushy kichri on an upset stomach. That being said, Burns Road House knew their rice and definitely knew the true flavors of Biryani. Each grain had a bite to it and each bite was bursting with flavor. The chicken, being the star of Biryani, was perfectly seasoned. The quantity allowed a bite of chicken in each forkful of biryani.
We had previously heard that it takes about 6 hours for Burns Road House to cook their Nihari. This was primarily why we ordered it in the first place. A cute steel pyala arrived with the biggest serving of Nihari, a plate of freshly chopped/fried condiments, coupled with warm, cushiony Roghni Naan. I’m drooling just thinking about it. The flavors ran deep in the whole dish and the meat fell right off the bone. The gravy was piping hot, thick and full of earthy flavors. Topped with the fresh ginger, green chilies, crispy fried onions and a squirt of lemon, the flavors had me humming. A definite must try.
Chicken Bihari Boti
Well, to be honest, the presentation was displeasing. It was just bits of boti on a white ceramic plate. But once I tasted the chicken bihari boti, I was bowled over. That ought to teach me about judging a book by its cover. Tangy, masaledaar chicken served with hot Puri Paratha, it was the epitome of traditional taste. The chicken melted in my mouth and, coupled with the greasy Puri Paratha, felt heavy on my heart but in a good way. A hearty meal indeed.
This was the only down-side of our meal. I was hoping for an authentic Karachi style bun kebab at Burns Road House, but the bun was too over-powering. It blocked out the taste of the moist kebab and onion filling. The green chutney served alongside it gave the dish a slight kick, but the overall meal was dry and unimpressive. I won’t be ordering that one again.
Gurr Tandoori Chai
I was quite fascinated by the fact that their chai was made in a tandoor. It arrived in a mitti matka, not the ideal quantity to be honest, but great for presentation and earthy flavors. The chai itself was simmered in a mitti pot, which was straight out of a tandoor. This helps the flavors infuse into the tea giving it that rustic taste. The gurr made it even richer. I could see myself drinking an entire pot of this.
The atmosphere of Burns Road House is low-key and informal giving you the ease to enjoy and devour desi food the way it’s meant to be: messily. The Burns Road House Lahore menu offers a variety of treats to satisfy a desi food lover. I don’t know much about the famous Burns Road Karachi, but the flavors brought to Lahore are fantastic, with generous serving and prices that are extremely easy on the pocket. Although the presentation leaves much to be desired, the meals are gratifying and big on taste. Rumor has it that their rooftop will be functional shortly, serving a view along with your meal.