All those Pakistani kids who grew up in middle east know how difficult it is to find authentic middle eastern food in Pakistan. Even though shawarma has become sort of a local food in Karachi with an ‘Arab Shawarma’ stall next to every bun-kebab wala, selling his own version of shawarma, there is no compensation for other dishes from middle east. But then some people paid attention to the situation and brought Canada-based Lebanese restaurant Paramount to Pakistan. Having spent childhood in Middle East and having had local cuisine there, we find ourselves able to judge Paramount’s authenticity. So we decided to pay a visit and try out the food.
As we sat, we were served with freshly out-the-oven pita bread, which we had with Paramount’s special hot-sauce. The pita bread tasted perfect and though we never had pita bread like this before – may be that’s how they have it in Lebanon – it was nonetheless a good start to the meal.
We ordered their Mixed Combo Platter. This had chicken and beef shawarma bits, shish tawook, kafta skewers, beef skewers, filafil and tahini sauce with a side of boiled rice and french fries. The shawarma bits were amazingly good, filafil tasted a little bland and shish tawook and the skewers tasted good but were hard to chew.
The star of the evening were the drinks: Lebanese Lemonade (left) and Paramount Special (right). Labenese Lemonade is the most refreshing drink we’ve ever had – no exaggeration – and Paramount Special is actually a complete meal in itself. It is a kind of Lebanese falooda and has orange juice, mango juice, cream, and bits of seasonal fruits. Very filling and amazingly tasty! It is a must-try at Paramount.
We would say it’s not completely there but is close to our childhood food memories and is definitely the best in Karachi to relive them. The restaurant’s ambiance is great too with decor that screams arab. The service is certainly the best part about the restaurant as the staff is extremely polite and hospitable.