A-One Snacks – Leading for the last 3 decades!
Few restaurants in Karachi can do what A-One Snacks did a long time back – revive a tradition that was near extinction. The Paratha Roll culture in Karachi wouldn’t have become as huge as it is today, had it not been for A-One Snacks. It may not have been the first Paratha Roll outlet in the city but it was there at the right place at the right time, creating the future along the way. Not only did A-One take the Burger and Sandwich franchises head-on at a time when they were doing great, it managed to dent many outlets by introducing discounted deals at a time when they were unheard of.
A-One Snacks began its operation way back at the end of 1991 as a Bun Kabab Outlet in Defence Market, Karachi. At that time, there were many Bun Kabab walas in the vicinity and those who wanted more had to go towards Gol Masjid (Tooba Masjid) where there was Spinzer, one of the oldest Snack places in the city. However, by introducing everything under the sun from Club Sandwiches to Ice Cream, A-One Snacks attracted foodies who had no issue trying out new stuff. And as it turned out, nothing was newer for the residents of Defence and Clifton than a Paratha Roll, something that was available on the other side of the bridge!
A-One Snacks must thank the person who advised them to go for Discounted Deals to boost their business, because that one business decision made them change the whole food scenario in Karachi. There were Broast centers in different parts of the cities that had a loyal market; Biryani was slowly becoming the top Karachi food and people hung out at Ice Cream parlors be it Summers or Winters. They might have started as a Bun Kabab shop but A-One Snacks adapted to changing times and gave people a choice to have both Paratha Rolls and Club Sandwich/Burger together in a deal that was affordable to all. With the passage of time, they grew their business and their menu, coming up with a seating area that was suitable for all in their original outlet.
The menu started featuring Fish soon, which was a huge success after Beef and Chicken. The Burgers and Club Sandwiches were soon joined by Broasts and Chicken Tikkas that were followed by Soups, BBQ items and most recently by BBQ Platter that features Seekh Kababs, Botis, and a Tikka for just Rs. 600. Although they introduced Soup and Chinese food, it had a Pakistani touch to it that made it popular; Handis and Karhais were also introduced with the passage of time followed by Steaks and Biryanis and fresh juices. You can order anything you want when you are either at A-One Snacks or ordering through their online application and be assured of high-quality stuff. One trip to the place with friends wouldn’t cost you more than 750 per head (if you don’t go for the deal, that is!) which in today’s time a not-to-be-missed deal.
For someone who has grown up on A-One Snacks, they don’t believe much in marketing their newer stuff. Yes, they might have opened a few outlets all over the city, besides developing an application for placing orders, but when it comes to food, they innovate without promoting it much. How many of you have tried their Breakfast deal which has been around for some time; they also introduced a Desi Executive Lunch that comes with a Strawberry Lassi at an affordable price, apart from Chicken Kabsa or BBQ items with Vegetable Biryani. They were the first ones to introduce Chapati Rolls but no one knows that, because they don’t market it well. Also, they have raised the prices of their ‘world famous’ deals which is not a good idea, considering their business boomed when they introduced deals at affordable rates back in the day. With so much competition around including Kaybees, Dunkin Donuts and Eaton in DHA Phase 2, Master Juice Corner and Rizwan Kabab House in DHA Phase 2 Extension and a lot of restaurants in Tariq Road area, the rise in price might help others than A One Snacks.
A-One Snacks have maintained their standards for three decades now and their name has become synonymous with Karachi Food Scene. If you have relatives living outside the city, then the best thing to take from Karachi is A One Snacks’ Paratha Rolls because not only will it remind others of their beloved city but also their favorite hangout place. The place holds a sentiment value for those who grew up in the 1990s because it was different from the places serving local dishes such as niharis, haleems and bun kababs besides being affordable and convenient. You could have a paratha roll while driving a car or hang out with friends in the vicinity and not worry about eating because of A-One. Even though the new generation prefers Chaaye Khanas, or Sheesha Cafes (as long as they were there), whenever they are hungry they come to A-One, for One service. Karachi is lucky to have A-One Snacks, it is about time that it explores other cities and make them fall in love with Karachi’s most popular food!
Written by: Omair Alavi (@omair78)
There are three things that define Omair – Food. Films. Books (in that order). He doesn’t just love food, he also loves the story behind each dish, so be ready for an amalgamation of history and hunger!