Cafe Piyala is the most leading restaurant in Karachi. What sets apart Café Pyala, a seemingly nondescript, yet fascinating café situated near Sakhi Hasan Chowrangi, from other cafés in the city are the the cups, or Pyalas, which are used to serve the rather addictive tea brewed at the café. The six-inches-wide Pyalas are the identity of the café aside from the tea and Paratha, the café also serves six different main course items such as ‘Daal Fry’, ‘Qeema Fry’, ‘mixed vegetables’ among others. They also have three kinds of egg dishes, including the crowd favourite ‘Anda Ghotala’, made with scrambled egg and minced tomatoes.
The restaurant remains operational almost throughout the day and is temporarily closed at around midnight only for cleaning and refreshing the kitchen. Infact, a night-time visit to Café Pyala entails an experience of its own when restaurant is full; people are sipping tea outside on the pavement while a number of masseurs roam around looking to provide their services. I am very familiar with the“dhaaba” culture all over the city. I have ventured to the karahi and roadside restaurants from the ones in the city to the ones on the highway. Despite my love for culinary adventures,my naiveté were against for my trip to Cafe Pyala. it was put forward by a friend, pertaining much to the mind frame and social conditioning we’ve been through, about the situation and safety in the area. After much deliberation I agreed with skepticism, expecting nothing more than just another glorified dhaaba. Now that I think about it, I cannot explain how off mark our initial perception was.
How wrong our apprehensions were, and how I was so pleasantly surprised. The moment I got off the car, I made my way to the chef demanding details about the food served. From then on, my pleasant amazement continued. I was astounded by the service, the politeness of the staff. The place is a roadside diner, haunt of the ever-present cats and your food typically gets prepared on the blackened tawas and karahis, live. Everyone, from the waiting staff to the chef were all exceptionally pleasant, not to mention patient and polite; each one happily explained the entire menu to me, giving each and every detail and managed to personalise their service despite the rush on a week day. This place is truly worth a visit.By far one of the best places I have been to so far within the vicinity.