There are very few Pakistani restaurants in Dubai and fewer authentic ones. Seeing Karachi Grill on Jumeirah road was a sight for sore eyes and a desperate Pakistani stomach.
But just like most commercial Pakistani things in Dubai, Karachi Grill did not fail to disappoint. I don’t think I’ll go back there because of the serious customer service crimes the restaurant committed against us.
Nobody to welcome at the reception
Imagine you enter a restaurant you’ve been wanting to visit for a while in the hopes of a smiling waiter ready to guide you to the perfect spot and see 3 waiters not giving 3 shits about a family of five adults. We waited for about two minutes at the reception but no one came so we strolled upstairs and found a table for four (that could fit only four children tbh). That was the moment I figured what level of service or disservice this place has to offer.
No waiter until we called
As if we didn’t feel like warriors in a battle already, getting hold of a waiter made sure that experience was complete. Since the table was tiny, my dad had to add a smaller table to allow us to free our arms a little bit and he did all the pushing and shoving himself because no waiter would even bother with a glance? After a bunch of hellos and excuse mes a man finally walked to us. I don’t know why he was wearing a Godfather hat but he seemed a bit more authoritative than the rest of the staff. I assume he was the manager.
Air conditioning was meant to freeze you
They say good ambiance is 90% of the job done (actually nobody said that I made it up). If the ambiance is not what is promised, then nothing can make you like or even stay at a restaurant. And there were a handful of things at Karachi Grill that killed my vibe completely:
- Air conditioning was right above the tables so the food went cold moments after it arrived
- The controls for the air conditioning was on a wall next to a table where customers were eating! The manager bent over a couple’s table and turned the AC off when we complained that it was too cold. Whaaaat the whaaat?
- 3 words. Too. Much. Orange.
- Bollywood music. Yes, Bollywood music is great I love it and everything but at a dine-in restaurant that claims to be Pakistani, I think it was just off
Cleaners cleaning during open hours
Thankfully, we were just watching this horrific scene unfold on the ground floor from upstairs. Customer at their tables eating food and ten steps away from them the cleaners are trying to mop a leaked pipe or something. Not the best thing to look at while you’re starving and freezing under the basic air conditioning on the lookout for a waiter. So Pakistani, so Pakistani.
Food saves the day (barely)
The food we ordered was well-cooked and had every bit of the Pakistani taste that we were craving. They have a separate section for fusion food, which we were a bit apprehensive about after our traumatic ride up. We ordered a Karachi boti, which was dry and hard – I think a Shish Tawook at a Lebanese restaurant would work better. The drinks were refreshing and seemed to be made of fresh fruits (yahoo!). The best however, was the gulab jamun cheesecake. That’s the only reason why I would go back. It was innovative and just sweet enough to complete the meal.
Should you visit Karachi Grill?
Maybe you should visit once, but your expectations should be six feet under. Perhaps visit during off-peak hours because Pakistanis tend to do better with customer service when they’re not busy. The food is superb (good job cook) and you will get a taste of authentic Pakistani cuisine. I would just recommend take out so you don’t have to deal with their forced niceties and all the orange overdose.
*Photos are not mine, I’ve taken them from Google.