City Hangouts – Chullu Kebab Nayab, Clifton Block 5

An instant favorite. Chullu Kebab Nayab is such a welcome addition to affordable everyday eateries in Clifton. Karachi always had a wide variety of regional cuisines and Irani cafes have been integral part of that rich tradition. Sadly most of them have either closed or changed hands, losing their authenticity in the process. While Chullu Kebab remains a popular dish, one has to compromise on either quality or hygiene.

Hence Chullu Kebab Nayab is such a welcome addition. It brings back the authentic taste with hygiene and affordability much like the way vintage Irani cafes of Saddar did. It is conveniently located near Clifton Center and primarily caters to people working in the neighborhood. Perhaps the reason it closes by four o clock in the evening as the area becomes quiet. There is not anything extraordinary about the menu. There are four or five types of Chullu Kebabs and then there is essential Pakistani menu. There are some surprises there such as Nargisi Kofta and Mutton Tomato which are exceptionally good.

However what really makes Chullu Kebab Nayab different from other cafes operating in similar price segment is focus on cleanliness. In the age of air conditioning, we have come to believe that air conditioning and higher prices are essential for maintaining hygiene standards. However Chullu Kebab Nayab has proven otherwise and stands way above other options in the vicinity on the value it offers.

There’s something different about the layout and aesthetics of the cafe as well. The sitting area ratio with non-productive space is astonishing. In new cafes, sitting area is increased at the expense of kitchen, reception and other essential areas for the functioning of a cafe. However Chullu Kebab Nayab has almost equal space for Kitchen as the sitting area while reception area offers staff another access to the kitchen making sitting area exclusive to the customers. While there is no air-conditioning, there are ample fans and windows which keep Chullu Kebab Nayyab pleasant even during warmer days. The basic furniture and fixtures keep the ambiance simple but elegant.

Chullu Nayyab has set a template for a lovely neighborhood cafe. Sadly I don’t expect many to follow it.

Categories: City Hangouts

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