Category Archives: Food

Paramount Fine Foods: Authentic Lebanese Food in Karachi?

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The food business in Karachi is thriving. There’s a pizza parlor and burger cafe at every corner, each boasting the tastiest, crispiest and being the best in the city. But to be very honest, my palate is now bored. While names may change, the taste more or less remains the same. Having similar kinds of food again and again, my tastebuds lost all excitement. Then I received some hope. A chance to escape from the usual and taste authentic Lebanese food at Paramount Fine Foods!

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Hardly surprising I jumped at the opportunity. Paramount Fine Foods Pk recently opened its doors in Karachi, and just at the right time. Located on main Khayaban e Shamsheer, the quaint little place offers a whole different world. The minute you enter, you are transported into the heart of Lebanon.

From the decor, to the Arabic music in the background, you feel like you are no longer in Karachi.

THE FOOD AT PARAMOUNT FINE FOODS

Now let’s get down to business the food. The meal started off with a massive serving of Salad and Hummus. The salad was incredibly fresh and gets the highest marks a salad can get. The Hummus was just the right texture. I tried my best not to fill up on these two as plenty more awaited. Priced at Rs. 345/- the Hummus is one of the best I have had in the city so far.

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Then came the Manakeesh. I’ll be very honest here. I have never had anything quite like it before. Confused between which to order, I got the Za’atar and Beef Cheese Manakeesh. No meal is complete without some fattening melted cheese on top. And the Beef Cheese Manakeesh hit just the right spot. The Za’atar Manakeesh was a crispy bed of pita bread with toasted herbs and thyme on top. I was surprised at how good it tasted. May I say I had the ‘thyme’ of my life. Ok yeah too much maybe.

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For mains I had a hard time deciding what to order. So the host recommended the Mixed Combo Platter which consisted a little bit of everything on the menu. For a group of three people, this was the perfect thing. A layer of pita bread, laden with Kafka, Shish Tawouk and BBQ Beef skewers, Falafel, Chicken and Beef Shawarma and Tahini sauces. My favorite thing on the platter was the crispy brown Falafel. Word of advice, only order this platter if you are in the company of three or more people. You alone cannot finish this no matter how big a foodie you are.

COMBO

To drink I got the Paramount Special (Rs. 395). That was a mistake. Only because this drink is a full meal on its own! With so much to eat alongside, I could not finish this fine combination of strawberry and mango juice, topped with pineapple, kiwi, almonds, pistachios, cream and honey. As delicious as it was, the ashta cream made it a little bit difficult to drink.

My meal ended on a highly sweet note. I chose a selection of the finest Bakhlavas. Truth be told, I am a huge fan of Bakhlavas. Once a year on Eid we receive a great assortment from some relatives. Apart from those, I cannot find any good ones here. These were simply delightful. Carrying the right amount of sweetness, the bite sized Bakhlavas made the entire meal worthwhile!

Paramount Fine Foods is highly recommended if you want a break from the usual.

This post originally appeared here.

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Basic tips to Organize School Supplies

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School’s starting and it’s stressful but equally exciting. Everyone is busy with preps, finishing up with shopping, getting done with left over homework and projects and getting ready with all the cool school gear to meet friends.

When it comes to preparations, it is really important to stay organized, maintain a list and don’t go overboard with shopping. Shopping for school supplies can be a major hassle, with too many options at times and very less time. It’s time, get organized, make the most of this!

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Make a list: Map it all out. Make a list of what you want, what you need, what you already have and what’s not so important.
  • Buy things in bulk: Get your stuff in large quantities so it all lasts you a year or at least a semester. Spare yourself several trips to the stationery stores during the year and save yourself from spending too much.
  • Map out the store locations, make an itinerary: Uniforms from one place, stationery from one and shoes from one. Or you can get everything online with com now!
  • Time yourself!

Do all this and you’ve got a great chance at acing the school supplies shopping spree! Or just order online with Yayvo.com!

 

*This is a sponsored post.

 

My Ramadan MadeEasy with National Foods

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So a good fortnight has passed since Ramadan began. And while I promised myself, this year, I would stay away from food that makes me happy, and stick to a diet, I failed (so far anyway).

Ever since Ramadan began, I found myself stuffing myself with all kinds of delicious food I could find. And while it is slightly difficult for me to list down everything I have had (Thank God) here are the top 5!

  1. Biryani

Ok, I can cook yes, but managing a biryani on my own …. not really no. This thing of beauty was prepared all the way by my mum and therefore was safe to consume. Her secret? The Biryani masala by National Foods.

2. Pita Bread Pizza

So the next thing on this list, I made myself, and yes, I survived. In the mood to have something delicious yet effortless, I searched online and came across this easy to make paratha pizza on madeeasy.com. Not being a fan of parathas, I swapped them for a Pita Bread, and lo and behold.

3. Watermelon and Peach Sorbet

So after the success of my Pita Bread Pizza, I wasn’t letting anything stop me from taking another bold step and this time with my own recipe attempt to make a sorbet! Yep, I dared. Using the Peach flavored Fruitily and fresh watermelon, I made this highly refreshing sorbet.

4. Lasagna

My love for Lasagna cannot be explained. It is perhaps the one thing I know I can make well. I have had other people eat it and say so too. My own recipe takes a lot of time and dedication on my part, and having none in Ramadan, I went for the easier version found on Madeeasy.com and made this. The picture isn’t too great, but trust me it was.

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5. Peri Bites

My love for green chilies is very new. But since it has developed, I enjoy having the sharpness in my otherwise bland food. I am a fan of the peri bites and chili poppers many fast food cafes serve, and so when mum made these scrumptious things at home, I went insane. Yes, she surfs the internet too! Find the recipe here: Madeeasy.com

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You can find plenty more easy recipes simply by visiting https://www.madeeasy.com.pk/. Do let me know which recipe you tried!

 

Ramadan 2016: Iftar Deals for Karachi

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Even before they started people could be heard complaining how difficult Ramadan this year would be. It is too hot, the days are too long, were just some of the issue people had. However, no one is complaining now. Mainly because of the awesome deals and discounts almost every restaurant and cafe is offering. As always, here is a list in no particular order of the deals currently available,

As always, here is a list in no particular order of the deals currently available, along with a short review of the cafes offering them. You are welcome to try them out on their own and leave a review if you like!

I will keep updating the list throughout this month. If you know of a cafe I’ve missed, do let me know. Happy Ramadan.

BBQ Tonight

BBQ Tonight has always been kind to me. Whenever I visited with family (trust me it has been a lot) the food has been good giving me no reason to complain. Be sure to give this deal a try though.

bbq Tonight SidraRizviSays

Tavern Grill

Since I was there for lunch just a day before Ramadan started, I know for sure the food is good. The deal looks good too.

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Lals

I had the good fortune of trying out their Iftaar last year. And while this year’s offering doesn’t look much different from what I had, I just might stop by to have some once more. Plus they are the only ones I know who have chocolate covered dates 😀

Lals SidraRizviSays

Bella Vita

Anyone who has had the fortune of trying out the cookie at Bella Vita can no longer say no to a chance of visiting the place. Their Ramadan deal this year looks good, even though it doesn’t include the above mentioned cookie.

Bella Vita SidraRizviSays

Ginsoy

No matter what time or day of the week you visit Ginsoy, it is always full. And so the only time I tried out their food was when we ordered it at home. It arrived a little cold and I didn’t enjoy it much. Maybe I’ll get lucky and actually get a place to sit there for iftaar ( Yeah, with 50% off I know that’s not happening).

Ginsoy SidraRizvisays

Chatterbox Pie in the Sky

It has been a while since I ate at Chatterbox. The food then was good. I am not sure how it is now. If you happen to be a fan, do visit. Their Iftaar deal starts from Rs. 950/-

 

Chatterbox Sidrarizvisays

Kaybees

If Kaybees were to dig deep into its call log, the most call received number will be mine. There was a time we loved its fast food, but lately it has been disappointing us. That said, its desi food it still our favorite. We frequently order brain masala and chicken handi. Therefore, Kaybees is on definitely on the list.

Kaybees SidraRizviSays Kababjees

Sadly this is a place I have not yet tried. So I cannot tell you how their food is. You must dare to visit at your own risk.

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Big Thick Burgerz

They are big, they are thick and they are Burgerz for some reason. Visit them in Ramadan and get a 50% discount.

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Broadway Pizza

I kinda love Broadway Pizza. I have ordered a few times and they have never disappointed me yet. I just might order from them for iftaar.

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Pizza Hut

I would be extremely surprised if you told me you still go to Pizza Hut. Their’s is the saddest story in the history of sad stories. Go ahead if you want, I for sure won’t be, even for the free cornetto -_-.

Pizza Hut

Subway

There was a time I kinda lived off Subway. Being the only deliverable option to my workplace that wasn’t greasy burgers and pizzas, I have had my fair share of subs. There I am skipping their deal this year. Subway SidraRizviSays

KFC

Yes, yes. No list can be complete with good old KFC. If this is the reason you are here, well the wait is over.

KFC SidraRizviSays

McDonald’s

Following behind KFC, McDonald’s is just as much loved as the former. I have no idea why. Here is their Ramadan offer.

McDonalds Sidrarizvisays

Gloria Jean’s

Still a fan of Gloria’s? Good for you. Here is their Ramadan deal. I for one won’t be going.

Gloria Jeans SidraRizviSays

NewYork Coffee

New York Coffee has its days. It sometimes serves you really good food. Their new cafe in Sindhi Muslim is a pleasant place to be. Plus I love their mushroom and spinach pizzas and chicken strips! I just might stop by.

NewYork Coffee Sidrarizvisays

Cafe Zouk

While their food quality dwindles, their customer service is always top notch. Cafe Zouk is offering:SidraRizvisays

Rosati Bistro

I have heard conflicting reviews about this place. So far I haven’t tried it out. Their Iftaar deals look promising. If someone visits, do let me know.

Rosati Bistro SidraRizviSays

Rakaposhi

A visit to this restaurant is long overdue. It is on my must visit list this year.

Rakaposhi SidraRizviSays

Pranzo

If you have come to my blog truly looking for my review and not just the deals, I love you, and please skip this one. My first and last visit hopefully was not pleasant at all. Pranzo

Cafe Aylanto

I for one cannot make out a word of their Ramadan offer. That said, their food is good, so if you have a magnifying glass and can understand what they are serving, go ahead and visit.

Cafe Aylanto

Koffie Chalet

With the new branch now open at Sindhi Muslim, Koffie Chalet is now on my to visit list.

Koffie Chalet

 Nando’s

Now celebrating their 15 years in Pakistan, Nando’s has kept us entertained with their witty taglines. Their food however has its moments. Nandos

Johnny Rockets

Dear o’ dear. Erm, fan of their food? Go ahead and visit. But be sure to take some air freshener along. Oh and you still have to buy one to get the other free. Johny Rockets

TGI Fridays

Never been here even though it’s always a Friday there. If you have, do leave a review.

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Bombay Chowpatty

My shopping trips to Dolmen are always incomplete without having a plate of dahi puri from Bombay Chowpatty. If you are out Eid Shopping and thinking what to have for iftaar, this should be tried out for sure!

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Pizza Max

The deal for Pizza Max. If you have the strength to stay up till 2am you can enjoy a sehri deal too!

Pizza Max SidraRizviSays

Del Frio

I have had good days and bad days at Del Frio. The good being the nutella brownie I can’t forget and the bad being the strong hit of undissolved chicken cube in the spinach soup. That said, their Ramadan deal doesn’t seem too tempting this year.

 

Delfrio Ramadan Deals

Steak Escape

Depending on your mood, Steak Escape offers you a variety of deals that range from burgers to steaks to burritos. The price isn’t too much either. A good deal for Ramadan.

Steak Escape

Dunkin Donuts

While their coffees are awful, I love the Omwich and Bologna sandwich at Dunkin Donuts. Yes, they are very heavy. Yes, I eat them still. On a day when I am not sure what to eat, I’ll order from Dunkin!

Dunkin Donuts

NewYork Pizza

Had pizza from NewYork Pizza twice, didn’t like it either time. Needless to say, this deal I am skipping.

Newyork Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice Slice Baby! Broadway Pizza – Review

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If you want to know what true love feels like, order a pizza. Even if it’s not the best pizza in the world, the cheesy goodness will still give you a warm and fuzzy feeling.

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True love!

For a city famous for hating everything happening within it, Karachi sure loves it food.  Every corner you turn you find four different pizza parlours, all offering ‘the largest’ or ‘the tastiest’ ‘the one for health conscious (yes!)’ and more. The streets are lined with massive billboards, tempting you with pictures of pizzas all stolen from the internet.

So what’s the deal with this cheesy piece of bread that makes us Karachiites so insane? To answer this question, I valiantly sacrificed myself as a test subject and volunteered to find the best pizzas in the city. Yes, only for you all, I will order and eat all the pizzas I can find in Karachi and give you the final verdict.

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Now I have already tried out the pizzas from various top outlets in Karachi and I have a few favourites. But in the spirit of having something different, I decided to order from the very famous (yet unexplored by me) Broadway Pizza.

The deals they were offering looked very enticing and being a sucker for some good pizza, convinced my mum to drop the idea of cooking something sad and ordered ‘The Full Deal’. The deal boasted a 20inch pizza of my choice, with an appetizer, a side, a 1.5 litre drink and 6 sauces.

Mentally prepared to gain 10 kg after this meal, I eagerly waited for my food to come. Promptly at 2pm, the time the guy on the phone told me it would arrive, the delivery guy showed up at my door. The pizza box was so huge, it wouldn’t fit in through the door, so I had to go find the key to open the extension (yep that was fun).  Three more trips in and out of the house with the food and I finally said goodbye to the delivery man (good guy.)

There are around 7 people in my house. And nobody was worried about not getting a piece (I don’t like to share). The box opened up to a very delightful looking heart shaped pizza! YES THE PIZZA LOVES ME TOO! My life is complete! Ok! So the love was short-lived because well I ate it. . February being considered the month of love (gag) I think this is the best a pizza parlour could do to keep up with the theme.

 

The pizza I ordered was Gypsy Euro, for appetizers, I got the Garlic Mayo Chicken wings, the side was Potato skins. Confused about the sauces, the guy taking my order said he would give me one of each. So I had 3 Garlic Mayo Ranch (everybody loved them), and 1 each of Jalapeno Ranch (a bit spicy), BBQ Ranch (liked the smokey flavour) and Spicy Buffalo (like the name said, too spicy).

The pizza was perfection. Thin crust just as I asked, it was crunchy and gooey at the same time. While I am a pepperoni pizza person, I had to keep in mind the others so Gypsy Euro with its topping of chicken sausages, smoked chicken and mushrooms among other things seemed the safest bet. And it delighted everyone. My dad who isn’t a fan of pizzas (yes, the horror!) too couldn’t resist. The huge slices meant nobody really had room for a second piece, even if they wanted to.  I don’t really like chicken wings, but my mum said she really liked them. The potato skins looked a little sad, but taste-wise they didn’t disappoint.

All in all, the little lunch I planned for the family went really well. Broadway Pizza has passed my test. Now looking for the next victim!

Much love,

7UP – Asal Foodies, the struggle is real.

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Being the little sister of a ‘Mad Man’ I am no stranger to advertisements. While others watch dramas and skip ads, in my house, we skip dramas and watch ads, determine how many times a particular one is aired, and what is its prime time (sigh). I grew up listening to all kinds of jingles many of which are permanently burrowed in my brain.

We as consumers are exposed to thousands of ads every day, some we bear, some we are annoyed by and for some we are compelled to change the channel. So what can advertisers do to make sure their ad not only stands out but attracts the target audience into watching and acting on it as well? They take cue from 7UP Asal Foodies campaign.

Going where others do not dare, 7UP Asal Foodies campaign boldly leaps on any opportunity it gets to interact with its target audience. While their television ad is catchy (who else hums along to the Mana Lo Food Ka Love?) their BTL activities leave the masses wanting for more.

One such example is the 7UP Foodies Cruise which took a number of people (including me) for a joy ride around Karachi’s coastline, accompanied by some delicious food and the melodious voice of Zoe Viccaji.

Then there are the Double Decker buses running around Karachi and Lahore, taking Asal Foodies for a spin around their respective cities again with some delicious food and tons of fun.

And while these activities are keeping audience engaged and coming back for more, 7UP reveals that it has one more trick up its sleeve: A claymation video! This video features two of Pakistan’s most popular dishes, Biryani and Chat and their fight to achieve dominance over the other.  The video highlights the struggle of Asal Foodies when going out to eat food. What to order? A yummy plate of piping hot Biryani, or a spicy crunchy chat? And even after we order any one, we wish we had gotten the other one too, because that is what an Asal foodie would do.

Take a look for yourself and decide are you Team Chat or Team Biryani? Me? I am Team Biryani, as I rarely get to eat carbs L. So I jump at any chance I get, to have some.  However be it Biryani or Chat, a bottle of chilled 7up is an absolute must!

Food Review: Habanero Mexican Grill

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So I still think that the best thing to come from Mexico is Hector Salamanca, who tells you to go to hell with just a ding!  However the food isn’t all that bad either.  I recently got a chance to try out a new Mexican themed restaurant in Karachi, and while there was no Hector, everything, from the décor to the items on the menu, gave off a vibe of Mexico.

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I am a foodie at best, and my recent visits to numerous restaurants across the city have really awakened the critic in me. But again I haven’t had a taste of original Mexican food, so forgive me if my review doesn’t do it proper justice.

Located on Main Khayaban e Shahbaz, the quaint little place has funny little posters adorned on the walls: Exhibit A.

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A closer look

A closer look

But the thing you notice first is this brightly colored mosaic on the front wall, which upon close inspection you realize is a shot from one of their platters. Yes, that is a boiled egg.

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We were a group of four people, eager to expand our (mine in particular) desi palates and so ordered Chipotle Chicken fries and Chilli Poppers for starters, Shell and Soft Tacos, Burrito Bowl and Tex Mex Burger as mains.

The starters:

Chipotle Chicken fries were everything you would want a plate of fries to be. Crispy, cheesy and loaded with other crunchy bits like sweet corn, jalapenos, red beans (there are red beans in everything, score! I love them yes). They are listed as starters but can be a complete meal on their own, if you are hungry for some crunchy munchies. The Chilli Poppers were ok. Their filling needs a little work I guess.



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The mains:

while I was already loaded with the fries, the mains were served. I tried a little of everything (such fun!) From the two kinds of Tacos, I preferred the Shell ones, though I wasn’t a fan of the after taste. The soft ones were juicy and well soft, and of course full of more beans! The Burrito Bowl was (as the name suggests) a bowl full of all the burrito ingredients sitting atop a bed of rice and topped with a generous serving of cream. It was a little difficult getting a bite of everything together, the rice just weren’t ready to be consumed by me, had to really dig for them, but taste wise everything was spot on. And now the burger. The desi in me had ordered it, and while everything else was fine, I wasn’t too happy with beans it in. I love beans, I might have told you before, but in my burger, no. That was the only thing I didn’t like about it. My tastebuds tried to be Mexican, they really did, unfortunately they are Pakistani down to the very last chromosome.

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The drinks:

We ordered Bloody Orange, Ginger Mint Cooler, Blue Mist and Habanero Special. Out of all four, I loved Bloody Orange the most, and the best part was I ordered it, so while others got a sip, I finished it all off. I would go as far as saying that it is the perfect summer drink. Imagine lying on the beach (not chee-view, a cleaner one) and sipping a big glass of Bloody Orange. Nothing bloody about it though, except maybe the color (that’s good right) and came with a scoop of gelato.

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The Desserts:

We ordered Chocolate Heaven Cake Slice, and Cheesecake. Couldn’t decide between strawberry and blueberry topping for cheesecake, so got both, genius right. The desserts were both absolutely delicious and we ate it up in a few quick bites.

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Recommendations:

Definitely try the Chipotle Chicken Fries.

Go for the Shell Tacos.

Bloody Orange all the way!

And desserts have them all!

I now can’t wait to try their pizzas and nachos. Don’t know why I didn’t try those.

For more info: visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/habaneromx