Chullu Kabab Sistani Authentic Iranian Food In The Heart Of Karachi!
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach; maybe that’s why Chullu Kabab Sistani is situated in Karachi’s heart, aka Saddar. The restaurant prepares the most authentic and delicious Iranian Food you can eat on this side of the border. Back in the day when Karachi had countless Iranian Hotels and Coffee Shops, Chullu Kabab Sistani made its name as the premier Chullu Kabab restaurant in the city. Despite the closure of many such hotels, Chullu Kabab managed to stay alive and more recently upgraded its premises to attract families. Renamed Chullu Kabab Sistani to stand out amongst the competition, this restaurant is the King of all!
The best thing about this place is that it caters to every type of foodie – they have appetizers like Chicken Dhaka and Prawn Tempura that can be followed by Hot & Sour, Mix Vegetable and Chicken Corn Soups. Then there are the Karahis and Handis, which are not just delicious but diverse as well. Be it the Chicken/Mutton Red Karahi or the White one, the Achari Handi with Chicken or Mutton – each is unique and delicious in its own right. The same goes for the Bar B Q items! This might sound clichéd, but are finger-licking good stuff that was in demand long before others came into the business. There may be no Paratha Roll offering here but the stuff that is on the menu is irresistible. How often have you ordered a Seekh Tomato or Seekh Onion in a restaurant and enjoyed it? Never in my case! You can also order Sea Food items, including Fish Biryani, Finger Fish, Fish & Chips as well as Prawn items, for an affordable price. Yes, there is also traditional Pakistani and (Pakistani) Chinese menu items available – but trust me, they are nothing compared to the original stuff this place has.
Talking about authentic and original dishes, the famous Iranian dishes of Chullu Kabab Sistani are a must. Imagine a platter with White Rice that is covered with a small piece of Butter, accompanied by as many seekhs (maximum 3) of whatever you want with a sliced Tomato on the sidelines. Yes, that’s Chullu Kabab, which comes in various variety including ones with just Beef Seekhs, just Chicken Seekhs, just Mutton Seekhs and/or all in one option. They call it Makhsoosi, Sultani, Bakhtiari. It is so filling that you wouldn’t care what is on your partners’ plate, and is sure to be a dish that you will dream about later. It is now available in many restaurants in the city but the taste this place offers is like none other.
The restaurant is located in Saddar Karachi, which used to be an ideal place for business back in the day. At that time, there were countless Iranian restaurants in the city but the number has lessened to nearly a dozen over the last few years. Instead of shifting from the place, the owners decided to renovate it without giving much consideration to the parking issue that most people face in the city. If you are lucky enough, you might find a place for your car but if you aren’t, you might have to squeeze your car somewhere nearby. Also, at times if you go with an all-boys group (or all-men group), you might be directed to the ‘other’ section that isn’t renovated making it an experience you might not have been ready for. And then there is the menu where you are given lots of options to order but not many deals, something that changed the fortune of many restaurants in the city.
The story behind my love affair with Chullu Kabab is quite old. Before it was renamed Chullu Kabab Sistani, it was Chullu Kabab Subhani but even then it was a place where I could get my money’s worth. But sadly, money has always been an issue for college going kids and the same went for me. When I started earning, one of the first things I did was visit Chullu Kabab and find out what the fuss was all about. The fuss, it turned out to be, was quite delicious and for the last two decades, I have been a regular to the place. Each and every dish prepared there has been tried and tested by yours truly and I recommend the place to anyone and everyone who is either new to Karachi, or new to Chullu Kabab. They have never been disappointed!
Written by: Omair Alavi
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 with every review!