Kabab Ji has a long-standing reputation of offering best in class, fine dining Lebanese cuisine. What struck me most as I entered the restaurant was the sheer variety of food they had to offer. From a thriving humus and salad section, to live cooked meat dishes and an assortment of desserts – It seemed that the restaurant had something to offer for everyone’s preference.
As we sat down the waiter served us vermilion soup. It was a simple, clear soup with chicken and vermicelli, and was in many ways the perfect starter. Not powerful yet full of flavor, a broth well cooked, it set the right tone for the dinner that followed.
After the soup I decided to explore the buffet. Tempted by the salad and cold cut section, I ended up with a combination of fresh salad (which came with restaurant’s self-created delicious dressing), humus, Labneh Ma’a Toum (drained yougurt with garlic and mint) and Warak Inab Bil Zeit (cooked vine leaves stuffed with rice, tomatoes, mint, onion and parsley). Everything was extremely fresh and tasted even better than it looked. It was actually so good that I ended up going for a second helping. For anyone who decides to visit the restaurant I would absolutely recommend you go for the hummus and Labne Ma’a Toum. I haven’t tasted a better version anywhere in Karachi by far.
The restaurant also offers fresh seasonal juices (along with an assortment of usual soft drinks and margaritas). I ended up ordering fresh grape juice, which was yummy and refreshing – again something which I would highly recommend.
The main course was a meat lover’s dream come true. With varied assortments of BBQ, gravy and rice based dishes, it was impossible for one person to possibly try everything. Upon chef’s recommendation we tried Shish Touk, Grilled Prawns, and Grilled Lamb Chops. All of these BBQ dishes were grilled to perfection – the meat was tender and well-marinated. To top it off, the food was piping hot and fresh which made the experience even better.
After these I decided to try [Ouzi], which was restaurant’s take on Mandi (Arabic rice dish with slow cooked, tender lamb meat). After the zesty BBQ, this was the ultimate comfort food. It offered a unique taste with soothing aroma and for anyone who enjoys lamb meat, this dish is heavenly.
The restaurant also offers fresh-off-the-grill shawarmas. I ended up trying one and despite my almost full stomach I thoroughly enjoyed it. The unique taste of the sauces with the combination of chicken and salad was very interesting.
Though nearly full by now, the dessert section called out to me! It was mostly middle-eastern desserts and sweet meats, but also offered an assortment of custards and cakes. We tasted Ummi-Aali which is an essentially Egyptian take on bread pudding. Served warm and with a generous helping of raisins and dried fruit, this is a dessert that will leave your taste buds desiring for more. Definitely a must have for anyone visiting the restaurant.
Towards the end of the meal we were served with traditional Arabic Qehwa, which was the perfect way to end this sumptuous culinary journey.
The verdict: If you are looking for a truly authentic Lebanese food experience, Kabab-Ji is the place to go. Priced at Rs.1870 (+ Tax) for buffet on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday and a very reasonable a la carte menu seven days a week, the restaurant offers the perfect blend of taste with amazing value for money. Two thumbs up from my side!