Saturday, September 24, 2016

khoka khola

khoka khola
suite 17, beverly center, blue area, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 0321) 5176394

what was consumed: everything! seriously, everything. all the naans, all the appetizers, all the main dishes, and even the dessert! khoka khola has a super small menu, one that rotates based on what the chef(s) want to make. hope, though, that they have chicken briyani and butter chicken - i think they're my favorites.

people kept mentioning that islamabad has a rising young hipster crowd, filled with young pakistanis who want more (and better) for where they live (i'm glad to see that this mentality is alive and well in islamabad as it is in lots of places around the world). as a result, enter places like khoka khola. HURRAY! taking the advice of some folks who've been in islamabad for a lot longer than me, a bunch of us head to khoka khola to try their eats for ourselves.

because of our large group, we made reservations (big party or small, i recommend you call and give the folks at khoka khola a call and make some ressies. they don't have a lot of seating (at least for now - who knows what is in their future!) and you'll definitely want to be enjoying all of the delicious food they have to offer). and so, upon arrival, the khoka khola folks were waiting for us and had our table ready. we then, almost immediately, agreed to order one of everything on the menu. for realz.

naan with cheese, naan with meat, naan with pickles, bowls of papri chaat as appetizers. then plate after plate of entrees, to include chicken briyani, butter chicken, thali, daal, tikka ... while we knew that we ordered the menu, the amount of food that we ordered was a bit overwhelming. i'm glad we ordered all of it, though, because we were famished and definitely put a huge dent in all of the food.

so, what'd i think? delish. and as each of the mains came out, we were introduced to the person who was the mastermind behind it (not sure if they did this for all of the tables or just for ours which was very obviously a table of foreigners. either way). some of the dishes were spicy (like the daal), lots of creamy (like the butter chicken), and definitely lots of flavor (all of them!). i prefer the papri chaat as my appetizer and i could eat their briyani and butter chicken all day, every day. YUM.

i also appreciated that the guy who runs the place (the owner, i presume) visited all of the tables to explain the menu, check in with the diners, and make sure that everyone was enjoying their meal. while some say that this is a sales technique to sell more dishes, i like the seemingly personal touch as i felt he was invested in my food happiness. and yes, as a result of his recommendation, we did try the kulfa (a desi ice cream) that really was pretty darn delicious.

so ... when are we going?


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