Karachi’s Emerging Foodie Hotspot

 

xandersOver the last two years, Tipu Sultan Road has emerged as one of Karachi’s popular commercial hotspots. This is due to the establishment of several cafés and high-end restaurants.

Accessible via Shahrah-e-Faisal, Tipu Sultan Road is lined with several high-end restaurants. Cocochan and Chop Chop Wok are go-to places if you are looking for delicious Chinese and Thai cuisines. For Italian and European food, head to Bella Vita which is equally popular for its interior.

bella vita

A few desi restaurants are also located there including Sultan – The Royal Eatery where you can enjoy chicken tikka, seekh kababs and Peshawari karahi. Espresso and Xander’s also have a presence there where you can grab a quick bite and enjoy a hot cup of coffee with friends. Dunkin’ Donuts is also located there where you can satisfy your sweet tooth indulgence.

tipu sultan road

Due to increasing commercialisation, several houses that have stood there for decades have been repurposed to serve as commercial enterprises such as banks, salons, real estate and advertising agencies.

A few high-end clothing and homeware stores such as Tarzz and Habitt are also located there. Drive along the road and you will also see a significant number of educational institutes, healthcare facilities, superstores and wedding halls, in addition to well-maintained parks.

Tipu Sultan Road is increasingly becoming the perfect spot for the residents living nearby and further to this side of town, who now have their fair share of trendy restaurants and coffee shops and don’t need to trek down all the way to Zamzama or Defence to celebrate New Year.

 

 

In Memory Of A Parsi Philanthropist

 

Jamshed

Located in Karachi, Jamshed Road was established in 1922. Stretching between M.A. Jinnah Road and Jail Road, most of the houses that once stood on Jamshed Road have been demolished and replaced by high-rise apartment complexes and commercial enterprises, such as auto repair workshops, banks and grocery stores.

Jamshed Road is named after Jamshed Nusserwanjee, a prominent Parsi philanthropist of his time. Fondly known as ‘the Builder of Modern Karachi’ Nusserwanjee was the first mayor of Karachi and the president of Karachi Municipality where he served for 12 years and transformed the city into a great and important metropolis. He also developed a first cooperative housing society (known as Jamshed Quarters) which is located there, catering to the city’s growing middle class. What is more is that he was a close friend of Mr Jinnah.

Jamshed 2As you drive down Jamshed Road, you will see remnants of small houses built in classic British colonial architecture. Not only that, once you step off the road, you will see quarter-like houses that were once used by the officers and government employees in the Raj period, one of them is known as 1865, which according to the residents, was used as a storage place for arms and ammunition by the British army .

jamshed-1.jpgJamshed Road is home to a string of desi cuisine, which offers biryani, haleem, nihari as well as samosas and pakorays. A few bakeries are also located there for lovers of all things sweet. Recreational avenues are limited to a few parks. However, if you go to the adjacent M.A. Jinnah Road there you will find several parks, educational institutions, healthcare facilities as well as shopping and recreational avenues, in addition to the well-known iconic Quaid’s mausoleum, Islamia College and TDF Ghar.

Although traffic, hustle bustle and rapid commercialisation can take its toll, Jamshed Road still retains its old-world charm.

A Popular Cultural Hotspot In Karachi

TDF Ghar 7

If you want to experience a bit about the culture of old Karachi, consider heading to the Dawood Foundation Ghar located on M. A. Jinnah Road. This period house, built in 1930, was owned by a Hindu woman, Haribai Motiram, who sold it to Hanifabai Haji Gani (the founder of Hanifa Bai Hajiani Government Girls Secondary School) in 1948. The house was restored in August 2017 and turned into a public space.

Built on a 709 square-yard plot, the house is designed in a British colonial architectural style. It is a double storey building with six rooms and a rooftop. Painted in warm yellow colour, the house has ornamented columns, eaves and pitched windows. The doors are solid wood, with pigmented concrete tiles and mosaic pattern. tdf ghar 4tdf ghar 6As you enter the house, you see a veranda, covered with fruit trees of badam, imli and champa, and a two-foot projected balcony with curved baluster. From veranda, the door opens to the living room, which is now a museum for antiques artefacts and collectables including a Remington typewriter, vintage bookshelf, rotary dial telephone, an Anglo-Indian vanity dressing table (singhar), high-ceiling fans, chandeliers and chessboards, all this take you back to the pre partition era. The ground floor also has a documentary room where you can see movie clips of an old Karachi.

As you walk out from the living room, you will enter a courtyard where lies a beautifultdf ghar 8 Sehan Café – decorated with lanterns, marble-top tables and Irani bentwood chairs. Previously, it was an empty space used for vocational training for women in early 60s. The café offers chai and light snacks for the visitors, and on weekends serves traditional nashta; it is also an ideal place to enjoy with your friends or read a good book. The courtyard also features a kitchen and a bathroom, and it’s designed similar to the 1930s. Near the café, there is a staircase which displays photographs from the pre partition era. It leads to the first floor which has four rooms, known as Numaish rooms and are used for art exhibitions, workshops and seminars. Along with the museum and café, the most appealing spot of the building is its rooftop, which is embellished with hand-crafted tiles and offers a scenic view of the Quaid’s mausoleum.

TDFNearby TDF Ghar, you can find several amenities such as banks, car showrooms, educational institutes, hospitals and petrol pumps. A few eateries offering desi food also have a presence there for the residents and visitors. Plenty of shopping avenues are located within a 10-minute drive away and include stores that deal in homeware, fabric and furniture.

While this part of Karachi may not be the city’s trendiest, the presence of TDF Ghar makes it well-worth a visit.

Stroll Around the Aram Bagh Garden…

When we begin to believe that there is nothing more left to discover in the city of lights, a sudden revelation really makes you wonder that there is more to this city than the commercial plazas, crowded areas and endless commotion? While passing through Burnes Road to Merewether Tower, you come across the interesting place in Karachi which is known as Aram Bagh.

Aram Bagh Mosque: A view from the garden

In front of the famous fresco bakery, there is a small garden though it is in wretched condition. The park is called ‘Aram Bagh’. Whereas adjacent to the garden, there is a beautiful mosque, a symbol of artifact known as Aram Bagh Masjid.

Presently, the garden looks way different from in the past. As you enter the park from the front gate, you see people lying on the grass while some are sitting in a group while at the other corner, you see flock of pigeons picking up the grains off the floor with their pointy beaks. The park is divided into two portions, one is for the women and the other is for men. Mohammad Ali, who is the caretaker of the garden from 20 years says, “The boundary is made in the year 2006 so that the women feel free to come and enjoy the leisure time over here without any constraint.” However in the middle of the park, there is a chabotra (a terraced platform) that grabs your attention. When an inquiry is made to the caretaker about this platform for which he has no specific reply. As I stand on the platform I feel that maybe it has some connection with the past but then who knows this is only my imagination.

While leaving the park, I feel it very bad to see that one of the posh parks of yesteryear have become a place of drug addicts where they loiter around. According to Ali, these people have no homes so we let them spend their nights over here. It is a place which provides shelter to those who are homeless. Maybe the current name reflects the true picture of the garden as people really do rest in this historic garden.