My Oh My: A Review of Tandoori Hut
Written By Hafsa Sheikh
I’m Hafsa Sheikh, a fearless food critic extraordinaire! My insatiable hunger for exceptional cuisine has led me to explore some of Pakistan’s most renowned restaurants and hidden eateries.
You can call me a foodie adventurer, blazing a trail through the culinary wilderness of Pakistani food, Fast Food, Chinese delicacies, Continental delights, and the wonderful realm of beverages. Just so you don't have to!
With my fork as my compass and my stomach as my guide, I’ve discovered some of the country’s most delectable delights. Join me on this journey, and get ready for a wild ride!
To drown our week’s worth of sorrows in the deep waters of the Arabian Sea, five of my friends and I decided to head to the beach. We hopped onto our bikes and cruised to Sea View. And in our urgency to escape, we forgot to pack some refreshments (a sign from above, I must say!). Nevertheless, the boys’ day out was absolutely worth it. We left feeling rejuvenated and buzzing with energy.
On the way back, after the euphoria of the trip began to wear off, we started to feel really hungry. Let me in you on a secret. I’m always positively famished after a day at the beach. And that particular day, my taste buds were literally begging for a reprieve.
Since it fell in our way, we made a pit stop at Boat Basin to fill our bellies. There were several famous restaurants dotted around the area. Each of them enticing and inviting. Overcome with hunger, my eyes fell upon a name I had not heard of before. Tandoori Hut. The name itself had a kind of magic to it. It increased my appetite tenfold.
What I experienced within the confines of Tandoori Hut was an experience in and of itself! Read on to know my full thoughts about the restaurants.
Food: Straight Off The Stove
Tandoori Hut prides itself on pioneer of Tandoori BBQ and Clay Handi. Based on what I’ve tasted there, Tandoori Hut does have the right to brag. I’m still daydreaming just thinking about the food.
The highlight of the cuisine at Tandoori Hut was unquestionably the Chicken Makhni Handi. Fresh cilantro leaves were used as a garnish on top of the wonderfully cooked cream in a hearty tomato gravy. It’s the ideal filling dish for any occasion! It definitely was for my boys and me. We were left extremely satisfied.
The Malai Tikka was a great dish that left my taste buds hankering for more! It was outstanding in every way! The flavors were just right, and the chicken was incredibly moist and tender. Never before have I tasted a tikka this good. The meat was cooked to perfection, and the spice combination was exquisite. I can’t wait to go back and have it again because it was such a fantastic dish!
At Tandoori Hut, the Keema Karahi is to die for! We were asked to select the type of meat we wanted minced. The types included chicken, mutton, and beef. We went ahead with beef. When the dish first arrived, it had an overpowering aroma. The meat was incredibly juicy. Without a doubt, it was a true delight for the palate!
The Naan had a mildly crunchy surface and was soft and fluffy on the inside. It had a rich flavor since butter and ghee were added to it. The Naans perfectly complimented the curries. They enhanced the flavor and texture of the amazing dishes, giving them a consistently realistic taste.
Price: Heavy On The Pocket
Disclaimer: The prices quoted below are subject to change. The current prices are dated 23 November 2022. (As per the official website of Tandoori Hut).
As I told you earlier, there were six of us in total. All of us were feeling hungry right down to our bones. Therefore, we went for items that seemed more filling due to having larger servings.
At the end of the meal, our cumulative order was:
- Chicken Makhni Handi: PKR 1,250
- Malai Tikka: PKR 990
- Keema Karahi: PKR 1,490
- Naan (12): PKR 40
I won’t be pulling my punches here. The total bill was exorbitant high. Even though the servings were more than adequate, the price definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. Particularly the Keema Karahi. There’s no sane reason for the cost of a family-sized serving to be this much.
Even much more prestigious restaurants than Tandoori Hut situated in far posh areas, charge lower. Furthermore, the 13% GST was not included in any of the pricing shown on the Tandoori Hut menu. This increased the total bill exponentially more than we had anticipated.
However, there is a positive side as far as the price of Tandoori Hut’s cuisine is considered. The food was absolutely worth it, and the servings were generously plentiful.
Service: A Solid Mood-Lifter
I’d wholeheartedly take out a moment to appreciate the staff. They were extremely humble and considerate, with good manners and a polite way of talking. The waiter serving at our table had an infectious sense of humor. He had us laughing mere moments after meeting us. His good-hearted nature really rubbed off on us.
Other than that, the service time was satisfactory. Even though the restaurant was fairly crowded, it took the waiter only around 20 minutes to bring our food. That seems fair as all other restaurants that I’ve visited take around this much time.
It is to be noted that Tandoori Hut seeks to uphold the authentic Pakistani tradition of street-side dining. Still, the complimentary services offered by the restaurant are pretty sweet too! The waiter informed us that Tandoori Hut had a takeaway and delivery options for customers.
Furthermore, the free Wi-Fi and online payments are solid add-ons that uplift the overall quality of the restaurants. These features alone distinguish the restaurant from others in the vicinity. They do not have such a long list of additional services. However, I disliked that the parking at Tandoori Hut was charged.
Ambiance: A Roadside Rodeo
The beach had left us all sandy and salty. Feeling a bit self-conscious, we decided to opt for outdoor seating. It was quite a vibe, not going to lie. The orange sunset, the hustle and bustle of the traffic, and the fragrant food aroma penetrating the air. The entire ambiance felt very soothing and relaxing. Definitely a calming experience.
However, from the looks of it, the air-conditioned indoor hall seemed cramped and stuffy. There was only a single AC in the room.
Furthermore, I’d not advise you to not visit with your family as they may feel uncomfortable there. It’s more of a boys’ club, and to some extent, a mixed gathering of young people.
Honorable Mentions: Hidden Treasure Trove
Tandoori Hut has all that I mentioned above, and so much more. The restaurant features a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world. You’ll find whatever catches your fancies at Tandoori Hut from Turkish to Mughlai to Continental. Even though the restaurant has a few shortcomings, the food is undoubtedly one of its strongest suites.
But first off, I must recommend Tandoori Hut’s Desi Nashta. It’s truly one for the ages! You can go for the traditional Pakistani breakfast ‘Halwa Poori’ or something more daring. For example, the diner serves an entire assortment of Parathas. You can opt for the risky Nutella Paratha or the scrumptious Chicken Cheese Paratha.
The Tandoori Pizza also caught my eye! It felt so unconventional yet so familiar at the same time. The thick melted cheese covers the crispy dough, layered with a classic Tandoori topping. A dish of this sort can only be found at Tandoori Hut.
And that’s barely scratching the surface. There’s Lebanese Shawarma as well, available in both chicken and beef. It’s also unbelievably economical. Just PKR 250. It’s shocking, quite frankly, that the Shawarma is so reasonably charged when the prices of all other items are touching the sky.
So, that’s that. My personal experience at Tandoori Hut. I hope you were able to gain some enlightenment from my review, and that it has helped you in planning your visit.
To be fair, the restaurant has not occupied an exceptionally high spot in my list of best eateries in Karachi. Nevertheless, the Tandoori Hut is still unique enough to carve out a special place in my heart. I will undoubtedly be returning soon!