Dining out in Karachi

The general standard is very high, though trying to chase after “the best place” does not seem worth the effort — it is more about choosing the best dish to order.  As in India, the hotel restaurants are excellent, and you can sample everything you might want without leaving a single restaurant, if you find the dust and heat too daunting (I do not, but you might, please do believe me on that one).  The crowning glories in Karachi are the biryanis and the lassi.  A randomly chosen lassi here seems to match the very best Indian lassis in quality.  The karahi dishes come alive like nowhere else.  Qorma sauces too.  Vegetables are hard to come by, especially greens — the restaurant version of Karachi cuisine is quite meat-heavy, and the overall selection of dishes is not so different from what you find in the Pakistani restaurants in Springfield, Virginia.  That said, the greens and herbs that accompany the meat dishes are fresh and vibrant.

One secondary consequence of the meat emphasis is that Karachi Western fast food is much more like the Western version than you might find in India.  Hamburgers carry over very well to the Pakistani context, as does slopping together meat and bread in various ways, a’ la Subway.  There is Movenpick chocolate ice cream in various shopping malls and hotels.  Reasonable Chinese food can be found, can you say “One Belt, One Road”?

Golub Jamun, typically an atrocity in the United States, is marvelous in Pakistan.


Nestlé makes a nice profit from selling halal ice-cream through Mövenpick.

It's funny that almost every where you travel around the world there's some food which is regarded as "best": halal, kosher, bio/organic, local, GMO free, etc. Only the impure and ignorant eat what's not right.

I've never been to far east Asia, is there something similar to impure food traditions?

Not really. Certainly there are vegetarian restaurants catering to Buddhists and halal for tourists, but in most of Asia the discrimination is around the focus of your food rather than in preparation methods. At least, this seems to apply for restaurants not catered specifically for tourists.

yuck.. A cuisine without vegetables can't be any good.

Sure Prakesh, there's nothing else than mayo and bread to eat in the West.

You're right. Possum, coon, and squirrel are good this time of year. I'm going to fix some up for the missus, who is also my first cousin, but her teeth comes in next Thursday. #maga2020

Your intelect, like your global perspective, is tiny.

Agreed. The vegetables in "Indian" restaurants in the U.S. (often run by Pakistanis or Muslim Indians) are fantastic, and I'm disappointed to hear that is not the case in Karachi.

"That said, the greens and herbs that accompany the meat dishes are fresh and vibrant."

Economist travels halfway around world to communicate benefits of local production.

The more of these posts I read, the more I realize that TC's food preferences are as different from mine as his music preferences. I like Pakistani food a lot, but I can't readily identify with statements of the obvious ("The crowning glories in Karachi are the biryanis...") and the inconceivable ("Golub Jamun, typically an atrocity in the United States...").

TC has his way of choosing restaurants, but I can't help but think that his methodology is causing him to miss out on a lot.

I, for one, don't mind hearing the obvious stuff reiterated. For those not steeped in the cuisine already, some of the facts are far from obvious.

""Golub Jamun, typically an atrocity in the United States..."

Care to explain why this is unexplicable? It is wrong, or just too obvious?

In India it is "Gulab Jamun", with Gulab=rose in Hindi. Is it "Golub Jamun" in Urdu, or is it a typo?

Pakistan also generally referred to as "Gulab...'

Couldn't agree more with the Gulab Jamun comment. I always have my mom bring me a few cans of the thing from Rehmat-e-shirin (Tariq Road).
I suggest you also try Habshi Halwa (https://thetempest.co/2017/07/14/culture-taste/habshi-halwa-racist/)

Did you head back? Any chance you can spare time for coffee or lassi?

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