By Anam Mansuri
The dearth of Middle-Eastern restaurants in Pakistan has always been a puzzle, especially because of the desi appetite for meat and our proximity to the region. This makes Paramount Foods the best new addition to Karachi’s restaurant scene.
Located near sea view on main Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, this Lebanese restaurant chain imported from Canada has had a packed house most nights since it’s opening. “In our first month we’ve been 600 people a day on an average,” says Director of Operations, Aman Virji.
With an endless supply of piping hot pitas on the house, aromatic meats grilled to perfection and crispy salads generously seasoned, it’s difficult not to fall in love with this place. And it doesn’t just end there. Unlike most restaurants, almost 30 percent of their staff consist of women, “I wanted to create a safe space for women in hospitality to work in Pakistan,” says Virji, “Not many women work in restaurant kitchens around Pakistan because it’s a very rough environment. It’s a lot of knocking elbows, pushing people out of the way and high stress levels, but our female employees handle it well. I’m a very firm believer of female inclusion in the workplace.”
The creamy hummus is unsurprisingly one of the most popular items on the menu as is the combo platter, which contains most of the BBQ meat items including kefta kebab and shish tawouk along with some fatoush and falafel. Our favourite was the Manakeesh Zatar bread, a soft pita topped with a mixture of dried herbs that melts in your mouth.
Check out some of their sweet and savoury dishes below: