KARACHI: At the age of 25, entrepreneur Muhammad Aaquib seems to have proven his mettle. His restaurant, Truck Adda, in Dubai serves Pakistani food in a unique rustic ambience.
The story of Truck Adda began two years ago when Aaquib struck a deal with a friend who wanted to open a Pakistani restaurant in Dubai. Aaquib, who hails from Karachi, had been involved in hoteling business earlier and had the expertise required for the new venture.
It was a tough journey in the initial days as Aaquib had to research extensively for the location of the proposed restaurant. "It took me around six months to survey the Dubai market and find a location where no [other] place was serving [good] quality Pakistani food," he says. Finally, he chose a location in Jumeirah One, where he would launch his new restaurant with a capacity to serve 140 people at a time.
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Inside the place
Aaquib wanted to give a Pakistani aura to the surroundings of the eatery. For that, he opted for the Pakistani signature truck art. The walls of the restaurant are decorated with truck art paintings along with illustrations of funny characters that add a comic touch to the venue.
The person responsible for the artworks at the place is Phool Badshah, who works for the art company Phooljee. He designed artworks for the place a year ago.
There are paintings in radiant colours exhibiting peacocks and lions, which are regular themes in truck art. One of the artworks beautifully portrays the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore.
Besides the paintings, the seating arrangement also speaks of the Pakistani rural environment. "It is the only place in Dubai that serves food on a takhat or a charpai," Aaquib claims. He also plans to bring a Vespa motorcycle and a rickshaw at the place, which will add to the Pakistani aura that has been an essential element of the restaurant's offerings.
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On the menu, there are barbecue items such as the charsi tikka and malaai boti along with the most sought after karahi. The place serves chicken, mutton and lamb. Under the street food section of menu, one finds bun kebab and paratha rolls.
Currently, Aaquib is busy in the process of opening the second branch of Truck Adda that will be in Jumeirah Link Tower. It will have a seating capacity for 80 people.
He has again hired Badshah for the decoration in the new branch. "I painted the first branch around a year back," says Badshah. "Now, I am working on the second one [for the last] two weeks."
Aaquib says the new branch will be functional in about two weeks. "I plan on serving economical food in the prime locations that we are situated in," he sums up. "We are offering flavour, colour and culture of Pakistan to the Pakistani expat community in Dubai."
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