Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken Karahi on Makran Coastal Highway

(From left) Aziz and I waiting for the Chicken Karahi
This basic roadside hotel on Makran Coastal Highway (MCH) mainly serves truck drivers, locals and occasional travelers. This is the only significant eatery between MCH zero point and Ormara, covering a distance of more than 200km. My first experience there was a pleasant surprise, mainly due to low expectations. On our way to Gwadar, I ordered a plate of mixed vegetables, good for two, and found the meal not only sumptuous but hygienic as well, asterisk, given the conditions. Tandoor Roti, i.e. the freshly baked bread, and basic salad were free! So, we paid PKR 100 (approx USD 1.2) for the food, two cups of tea, and Imam Buksh’s tip. Overall, it was a good experience, however, the place is not recommended for Choi Moi (Humble Plant) kind of people. 

Reads Al-Hasan Hotel and pictures are self explainatory
The next time, I went a bit further and took the risk of ordering Chicken Karahi for 5 of us. One of the conscious tour mates supervised the cooking process, especially the chicken slaughter, to ensure quality.  The experience was even better than the previous one; it was oven hot even until we had finished the meal. Thanks to the hale and hearty bird and rich gravy, we survived till evening with this 11 am brunch and none of us complained of any foul-food- play. In total, we paid around PKR 800 (approx USD 10), all inclusive! On a precautious side, we used bottled water, which we took from Karachi, for drinking. Light food, for instance vegetables, and freshly cooked chicken karahi, for larger group, are recommended while heavy meals, especially meat items, should be avoided.

The hotel is located right after the Hingol River bridge on the right hand side while coming from Karachi. The Odometer suggested that we were 216 km from Hub Toll, or 128 km from MCH zero point, and it took us around 4 hours to reach to this place from Karachi, maintaining moderate speeds. The off-highway semi-paved road to Hinglaj Mandir, or Nani Mandir, also starts from this point. For people leaving from Karachi, especially around dawn, the place is optimum for a midway meal/brunch to avoid further stopovers. It is advisable to avoid pre-journey heavy meal as there are very few roadside lavatory facilities, if at all, on MCH before this place. Even here, when one of the tour mates inquired the waiter about the toilet, he responded back with a loud laughter, joined by the other staff as well, and pointed towards surrounding bushes for the luxury. However, they candidly provided washing facility in the form of lota, a traditional cattle-like pot used for toiletry purposes in the sub-continent.

The mosque, Masjide Bilal, and the ablution facility!
The food outlet also accompanies a basic mosque, Masjide Bilal, and provides night accommodation to travelers on flat but raised concrete platforms, which are used for dining in the day time, for meager charges, if any. In case of an emergency, or to satiate ones free surfing appetites, the place is good to stay. Upon talking to locals over there, it appeared that there are no cliche security threats as such and the place is also safe from occasional burglary and opportunism, which are more peculiar to civilization.

No comments:

Post a Comment