Karachi BBQ: Sticking to Sunday Basics
Karachi BBQ is the go-to desi option for many households, for reasons including its reliable delivery service and its reasonable prices. Nestled between Cock & Bull and Hot & Spicy in H Block DHA, it’s neon board makes it difficult to miss.
It is surrounded by avid competitors, who have an edge because of the diverse selection they offer. Hot & Spicy and Cock & Bull serve dishes like fettuccine alfredo, zinger burgers, pizzas, and even Chinese food, while Karachi BBQ has largely stuck to desi cuisine. Pizza is actually a relatively new addition to Karachi BBQ’s menu, and not necessarily the most popular one, with more well-known chains like Pizza Time and even Pizza Hut available a mere two minutes away for a more trustworthy option.
Higher-end restaurants like Bundu Khan, BBQ Tonight, and Spice Bazaar, are undeniably strong adversaries if you are on the lookout for a more polished sit-down dinner option, but Karachi BBQ reigns supreme in terms of affordability. Although a new eatery seems to open up every week in H Block, with additions like What a Paratha and Karachi Kanteen, Karachi BBQ remains a popular choice for both its taste as well as its familiarity.
We opted to beat the Sunday night blues with some chicken karhai, chicken behari boti, garlic mayo paratha roll, chicken broast, and naan. A meal fit for five people all under fifteen-hundred rupees is a great plus. Another plus: the food was delivered in exactly forty minutes as promised.
The karhai was almost perfect, with flavourful pieces of chicken floating in a pool of thick gravy, topped with coriander and garlic.
The behari boti was so creamy it almost melts in your mouth, and the naan was fresh and crispy enough to enjoy as a meal of its own.
The broast, although a little dry, is ideal if you are on the lookout for a healthier option, and is complimented greatly by a touch of lemon juice.
The one letdown was the paratha roll, which was far more mayo than garlic, and contained what felt like an entire, thickly chopped onion. It would have been far better had the onions been diced finely, and decreased significantly.
I would happily eat everything again, several times over. All except the paratha roll, for which you must be prepared to taste onions for years afterward. For paratha rolls, it’s better to opt for Hot and Spicy, or better yet, abandon the prospect of paratha rolls altogether, and drive straight to Liberty for some Paradise shawarmas. Nothing beats a classic.
But Karachi BBQ is a classic in its own way. It has been around for twenty-one years and stands humble as ever with its leather booths and its rickety tables, its foggy glasses and pink paper napkins. The comfort of home food fused with the flavors, variety, and convenience of a restaurant. It is a perfect pick-me-up when you are on your way home from running errands, or from a long day at the office. The eatery reels you in with its neon sign, its runner boys hollering at your car, brandishing torn old menus. Annoying as it can be, it is somehow always enough to convince you.