Eating Out

Shrine to Seafood
They say, “What’s in a name?” but if the name of this new eateries doesn’t alert you to the fact that this is a veritable shrine to seafood, the interior will. The décor is dominated by shades of blue, artfully draped fishing nets, marine life-inspired motifs and rustic-looking fisherman hut-style furniture. A look at the menu confirms it – this place is truly 100 percent seafood. Chicken/mean-lovers: you have been warned!

”My family and I have always loved seafood, and we eat it all the time at home,” says the owner of Barracuda, Mohammed Khan. “We have been in the business of exporting seafood for years, so opening a seafood restaurant seemed like a natural offshoot. Running this place is now like a hobby to me.” The seafood connection is obvious upon arrival, but what many don’t realize is the vast variety of dishes actually available. Every imaginable preparation is here, from continental favorites to traditional desi fare, from pizzas and pastas to steaks and starters – all featuring seafood, of course!

Begin your meal with the delicious Crab Chowder Soup, a creamy blend that’s light and full of flavor. If you’d like to try several things, we recommend you order a Barracuda Combo Platter, which features garlic finger fish, mozzarella sticks, grilled fish and prawn stuffed mushrooms. You can also pick from a rage of mock tails and daiquiris to accompany your meal; our favorite is the Pina Colada, which has the real coconut taste – none of this fake flavoring business!

For the main course, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You could opt for a fish steak, or pasta, or even a traditional dish like fried fish with tartar sauce. The Beer Butter Fish is a popular choice, and we also love the masalaydar Tandoori Fish. And get ready to encounter the biggest prawns you ever saw in the Tiger Prawn Tandoori dish! But whatever you do, make sure you save some space so you can round off your meal with some delicious chocolate mousse. It may not be seafood, but it is truly blissful. “We’ve gotten a really good response from our customers so far,” says Mohammed. “They all leave happy.” And so did we, with happily stuffed stomachs!

Jan’s Broast – Easy on the Pocket
If you are in main Clifton and want fast food that is both healthy and appetizing. Jan’s Broast Chicken is probably the best place to head for. Jan’s sell breast chicken, burgers and shawarma, all of which are of very good quality, plus everything is freshly made on the day that you buy it. Jan’s has a wide range of burgers, all with interesting fillings. They also have a good selection of chicken breast, which is inexpensive and simply delicious. “My father, Mohamad Usman, opened the first branch of Jan’s in 1982,” explains Furqan Jan, who is currently handling the management of the restaurant at Clifton. “He was not in the restaurant business but was very fond of eating good food. He eventually decided to run his own restaurant and selected a place in Saddar. At that time Saddar was the main commercial are and we felt that it was the ideal place for a fast food restaurant. Now we have opted for this place where people on the go can have a quick bite without much hassle.” The new branch continues with the tradition of delicious breast chicken and burgers, but they have also added shawarmas, which are made according to secret recipe and have been well received.

The restaurant’s interior has been carefully designed to give it a simple and casual feel. The main eating area on the ground floor is spacious, done up tastefully in wood and metal. The tables are wooden, with attached seats and are quite comfortable. The well-ventilated and roomy hall seems to create the right ambience for a happy family meal. Another small eating area in the corner is for those who want to get away from the crowd and enjoy their meal in seclusion. A staircase leads to the third small seating area, which seems geared towards the youthful crowd. Instead of going up to a counter to get your meal like you do at McDonalds and Burger King, at Jan’s you take what you like and then go to pay at the counter, cafeteria style.

At dinnertime, especially, Jan’s is one of the hottest places to hang out with family and friends. It is often hard to get a seat at the weekend, but if you are in a rush or want to have your meal in the comfort of your own home, then you can even get your order to take-away. So next time you want to dine our differently, drive to Jan’s for a new culinary experience that will tantalize your taste buds.

Domino’s Comes to Town
Another foreign food chain opening in the heart of the metropolis is nothing out of the ordinary, but what makes Domino’s stand out is the fact that it is the first one that might give Pizza Hut some competition. Since its soft opening, ardent pizza lovers have been pouring in, hoping that Domino’s will be a better alternative. Different, yes, but better? For some, it is the best and is definitely here to stay. For other, the former chain rules. There are two misconceptions about Domino’s. Firstly, it is thought that Domino’s originated in India. Wrong. It is actually an American franchise, which has been brought to Pakistan through Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jammaz Group. Secondly, people think that it is the second branch with the first Domino’s in Lahore. Lahore does have a pizza parlor by that name, but it is not an international franchise.

Domino’s launched themselves by giving out free pizzas – a promotional gimmick that worked well, as those who ate the fare came back along with friends and families. “We gave out hundreds of pizzas in two days,” says Danish Dubash, Country Manager Marketing, Domino’s. “This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that such a strategy has been employed. We also gave out questionnaires to get some feedback. The response was very good.”

Domino’s follows a different pizza recipe. The dough of their hand-tossed pizzas is made from imported yellow corn meal powder, which makes it soft and palatable. Most of the ingredients are imported from the United States, giving the pizza a different taste.

With plans of expansion in the pipeline, Domino’s will soon be seen in other locales as well. Though their pizzas taste good and are capturing the market fast, the eatery has two downsides. Firstly, they do no offer as wide a variety of pizza as some other chains. The choices are Deluxe Feast, Hot and Spicy Feast, Chicken Tandoori, Tex-Mex Feast, Vegi Feast, Extravaganza Feast, Pepperoni Feast, Hawaiian Feast and Italiano Feast. All these are available in classic hand-tossed and thin crust. One can only have chicken wings, breadsticks and cheesy bread as side orders.

Secondly, Domino’s are pizza delivery experts; so do not go expecting an elegant ambience with waiters fluttering around ready to take your order. They have kept a few tables and chairs in the parking lot opposite the outlet, but it is not one of the best places to sit and eat. The management has a lot of work to do if they want people to keep pouring in, and adding variety should be the first step.

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