Karachi, known as the gateway to Pakistan, is the ultimate way into chaat paradise. Offering the perfect blend of sweet and spice, the city will surprise you with how many satiating options it houses for this street-food staple. Although Karachiites aren’t touted as foodies, they surely know their onions when it comes to food. So, with our chaatometer on, we went out on a mission to find the best the metropolis can serve us with this Ramazan. And we weren’t disappointed.
Located in Badar Commercial, the spot serves some of the juiciest chaats in town. Their khaas samosa chaat features aaloo ka samosa covered in flavoursome plum chutney. The crisp samosa paired with soft chickpeas is a combination worth trying. Priced at Rs215, the chaat offers an explosion of flavours, making it worth every penny. This is a must-try for everyone, specifically those who’re on a visit to the city and want to get a taste of authentic Karachi food flavours.
Taste: 5 | Hygiene 4.5 | Value for money: 4 | Service 2.5
Zafar Chaat House
No shopping trip to Tariq Road is complete without making a stop at the chaat corner, located near Liberty Chowk. Created in 1965, the place is considered as one of the oldest chaat spots in the city. With seating arrangement similar to that of a roadside dhaba, the space gives a well-rounded desi experience. Their aaloo channa chaat, worth Rs70, packs a real punch. With channas, chopped potatoes and dahi baray laden with tamarind sauce and garnished with crushed red pepper and chaat masala, this is any spice-lover’s dream chaat.
Taste: 3 | Hygiene: 2.5 | Value for money: 3 | Service: 4
Their mix plate chaat is a quick fix for a hunger emergency, especially if you visit the restaurant for iftar. A striking blend of chickpeas, yogurt, tamarind sauce, dahi baray and papri, the chaat has a homely taste. The crunch of the papri goes well with the tanginess of the sauce and sweetness of the yogurt. The serving, which costs Rs140, is enough to sate the chaat craving of two persons. The spot is located in Khadda Market.
Taste: 4 | Hygiene: 5 | Value for money: 4.5 | Service: 4
Situated in the famous food hotspot, Boat Basin, the spot has flamingly good chaat options. Their channa chaat is garnished with chopped tomatoes, green chilies and coriander. Although it lacked the zest of the tamarind sauce and could use a little salt, it serves as a great buy if you want quick service. For Rs80 per plate, the chaat is filling and would make a good iftar eat.
Taste: 2.5 | Hygiene: 2 | Value for money: 4 | Service: 3.5
Occupying a corner on Bahadrabad opposite old Peking Chinese Restaurant, the spot offers mix chaat laden with dahi baray, chickpeas and yogurt and dashes of papri. The chaat, priced at Rs65, missed the mark in terms of striking a balance in flavours and verged on being bland. It was sweeter than it was tangy and didn’t have sufficient tamarind and plum chutneys. Spices could’ve really amplified the taste of the chaat.
Taste: 1.5 | Hygiene: 1 | Value for money: 4.5 | Service: 4
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2015.
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