Sarrak Pe Karrak: Dhaba with a Twist
Are you tired of living up to the eating-out/hanging-out standards that your friends or colleagues have shaped for you? Do you also, not understand why a simple tea bag immersed in boiled tap water is being sold for Rs.340? Abhor dressing up like one of the glitterati only to visit a high-end eatery at Mall One? If the answer is yes, keep reading. You probably belong to that (awesome) clique which favors value for money and good vibes over meaningless elitism. You’re just in search of a friendly space to have a nice time with your buddies over a cup of tea. Yeah, I know who you are. And I know just the place for you. Sarrak Pe Karrak.
In a nutshell:
- SPK: the ideal escape from the mainstream
- Board games!
- Nostalgic experiences for bored millennials
- Go early and leave late!
- OK for cleanliness freaks
- Chocolate and Karrak Chai?!
Welcome to Sarrak pe Karrak. Established inside a vacant plot at the junction of Model town and Faisal town, this eatery is the perfect hangout spot for a group of friends. As one of the most frequent customers of this dhaba-like eatery, I am brought back to it by the exclusivity it offers. From its location, to its menu, to its ambiance: Sarrak Pe Karrak offers a chance to experience one of the most comfortable experiences of eating out.
Anyone trying to locate the restaurant can recognize it from the huge, round garden lamps that light the entire place up. The best part is that there are no other cafes that surround it, no loud music nearby to overpower the eatery’s own aura and no continuous traffic to disrupt one’s conversations – giving this place all the attention that it deserves.
As soon as you step inside the dhaba, the desi feel immediately encircle you. The entire furniture and mode of seating at Sarrak Pe Karrak is so inviting that you automatically feel at home. The cane chair-set coupled with traditional chaar pais and huge deewans allow you to comfortably cross your legs and enjoy your time. If you are too tired, you may also lie down and rest your head on the colorful gaddis. Though some of them are hard and may aggravate those aches in your head or back, you at least don’t have to worry about anyone judging you.
The traditional yet youthful ambiance is further complemented by the way the location is designed. Intricate truck art on the walls, rickshaws and trucks coupled with gigantic images of Madhubala and Nusrat Fateh Ali painted on the wall, give you a subtle taste of being in a different era. This feeling is further enhanced if you visit it on a winter night and let the cold air freeze you into the mood.
Apart from being impressed by the aesthetically appealing design, you are bound to appreciate the choice of music playing here. One of the biggest reasons for my frequent visits is the entrancing music I get to enjoy. As a customer, I feel that it is extremely essential for the eatery’s design and the music to be in sync. It is the one element that helps me create an association with the place.
So, If the Chainsmokers and Zayn Malik have mentally exhausted you by now, it is time to switch over to Rahat Fateh Ali’s classic qawwalis and Abida Parveen’s soulful voice that is more or less on a loop here. You may notice young boys and girls swaying to the rhythm – convincing you to sink into the mood, drift away from everyday struggles, and enrich your experience at this roadside-esque dhaba.
If you are still not convinced about visiting the place as soon as possible, let me reveal to you the menu that Sarrak Pe Karrak offers. Simple yet varied, this eatery is a go-to place if you want inexpensive, traditional desi food. Be it their mouthwatering aloo and cheese paratha , spicy anda shami or crispy fries, these famous street food items are sure to leave you salivating even after you have finished them. Not only this, but all the items are extremely reasonably priced and are shock-free post-GST! The best part? All of the food is cooked right in front of you, on small trucks, rickshaws and openly placed karahis and tawas.
My favorite item on the menu though, is tea. Tea is the answer to all complexities in life. At least mine. And the variety of teas offered at Sarrak Pe Karrak offer a smorgasbord of solutions to your problems. My favorite one is Chai Latte – a flawless blend of traditional mixed chai and modern coffee. I drink it to remind myself of the balancing act I am constantly playing in my life – adhering to my traditional ties and understanding modernity. But don’t worry. If that weight-conscious friend of yours – who is habitual of drinking detox juices after her expensive gym routine – refuses to drink the famous Chocolate and Karrak chai, you can always suggest the Herbal Detoxing tea to her. This diversified chai menu caters to everyone!
By now, I feel that I have convinced you enough to visit this unique spot. But there is still one more specialty that you MUST know about. Sarrak Pe Karrak offers you a chance to play your favorite childhood game – one that still incites the competitive streak inside you and creates lifelong partnerships. You’re right ! Its LUDO! This is another attraction that pulls a large amount of young people. Be it the rush hours of the evening, 12am on a random night, or even sehri time in Ramazan, you will always find someone reliving their childhood memory. For me, it is the perfect way to bond with my friends, and break free from the adult responsibilities i have to deal in the morning.
As I write this piece, resting my back against one of the beautifully painted walls, munching on my favorite spicy French fries and sipping away the famous Nimboo (lemon) Soda, I wonder how certain eateries offer you freedom not only in terms of their space but also in the air that surrounds them.