I t's almost 7 p.m. and the hunger pangs are killing you. The thirst and hunger won't let you sleep, work, watch TV or even pray. You head to the kitchen to see what's in store for iftari and all you find are pakoras, samosas, fruit chat and dahi baray. The same menu yet again! Your stomach is craving to devour something yummy but you have no other options left. It's due to circumstances like these that we all just love going out for iftari and ordering delicious food. Variety is the spice of life after all and iftari is the time we like to experiment with food. However, the iftari place one heads out to should serve good food, should be affordable and should include an array of food that is sure to fill you up. Read on as You! takes a look at a few great iftari spots in Karachi.
Where to go...
There was a time when only a few restaurants served iftari deals and buffets, but nowadays even cafes and sheesha houses have introduced a number of yummy deals to die for. Some of the eternal favourites include 'Roasters', 'Arizona Grill' and 'Nandos'. 'Roasters' and 'Arizona' offer buffet with an array of dishes starting from the typical Ramazan delights, to proper meals accompanied with desserts. 'Nandos' deal on the other includes a meal for four, six and eight people only. Any number below that can opt to order from their original menu. Unfortunately the deals being offered include the chicken, peri bites, fries, hummus, rice and drinks only. There is no option for salad, cake, and burgers in the meals. If you opt for 'Nandos' for your iftari plan, make sure you reach there an hour early as it is one of the most popular iftari places to go to and it might be difficult for you to get a table there.
Other places that can prove to be a delight are 'Koel', 'Saffron', 'The Deli', 'Khava' and 'Cafe Flo'. 'Koel' is offering an iftari platter that serves two people. The delicious menu of 'Saffron' includes a variety of bar-b-que, samosas, pakoras, chicken wings, beef stroganoff with rice, fried fish, spicy fettuccine with chicken and desserts such as qulfi, gulab jaaman, shahi tukray as well as a drink and tea/coffee. These deals are tempting as well as affordable.
The iftar menu of the popular restaurant 'The Deli' includes fruit chat, chana chat, falafel, chicken wonton, fatehyar, pita bread and izmeh. You will also get to choose a starter from amongst caesar salad, grilled calamari, potato salad, Greek feta cheese salad, Thai beef salad and spicy mince chicken salad. This will be followed by the main course meal where one can choose from pan fried chicken, pasta, grilled chicken and red chicken curry. The delight in the menu is in the delicious desserts though. The entrees being offered include Lindt chocolate brownie, orange almond Tunisian torte and crepes with fresh plum sauce. Sounds exquisite doesn't it?
Apart from this, the classy 'Cafe Flo' offers a delectable iftari, priced reasonably. Well, we all know how tasty their food is and getting to eat all that at this price is a pretty good deal. 'Khava' has no particular deal but has a 'buy one get one free offer' on all the main dishes, whereas 'Cafe Zouk' has a mini iftari buffet and a buy one get one free offer on the main course meal.
For those who love Pakistani food, 'BBQ tonight' can be a very good option. Hotels like 'Marriot', 'Sheraton' and 'Avari' also have great iftari buffets with a menu that includes a wide range of food items including beef, fish, chicken, rice, salads, ice-cream, cakes, mithai, tea, coffee, juices etc. The prices here are on a higher side. These places are more suitable for married couples and family outings. The teens might find the atmosphere to be way too sophisticated, elegant and also boring.
Coming to the famous coffee and sheesha cafes, the recently opened 'Club Genova' is offering an all you can eat buffet. The savoury iftar menu includes soup, salad, steaks, sandwiches, seafood, Italian and Mexican food items, fruits and desserts. The menu as well as the environment is perfect but we can't deny the fact that it's overcrowded and many would probably find the place stuffy. 'Latte Lounge', situated right next to Genova is offering reasonable iftari deals for people who prefer not to gorge food at iftari time. The iftari deal includes tea, and drinks served with a choice of lasagne, steak or burger. On the other hand, 'Studio Cafe' is offering a buffet that has a cocktail of food items to choose from, whereas 'Chatterbox' has a very interesting list of items in their menu.
One of the most popular houses of today, 'Gloria Jeans', also has iftari deals for its customers. Deal one includes a drink, iftar platter, burger or sandwich and cake. Deal two comprises iftar platter, drink, cake, soup or salad and any main course entree from the menu. Even though the deals being offered seem filling, we wish a cup of their popular coffee was a part of the offer.
Amongst all cafes, it's the menu of 'Necos' that is by far the most impressive. The iftar cum dinner menu includes samosas, fruit chaat, chana chaat, dahi phulki, pakoras and mixed sandwiches. They also have a soup of the day, pizza, three varieties of salad, and chicken wings accompanied with several dinner entrees such as cottage chicken, pasta, Mexican chicken, Moroccan chicken, orange spiced chicken beef steak, fish, stir fried vegetable and rice. There is still more on the menu guys! After dinner one can enjoy the desserts that include custard, kheer, cupcakes, cake and brownie as well as tea and coffee.
Some of the restaurants and cafes mentioned above may also deliver at home but some of the popular delivery options include 'Pizza Hut', 'Mc Donalds', 'KFC', 'Subway', 'Biryani Centre' and 'Dunkin Donuts'. Ordering at home may sound like a fun idea but nothing can be compared to the restaurant experience or the ambiance. At least five to six iftaris out of the house are a must! Take your pick and try out these eating out places, we are sure you won't be disappointed.