After Pakistani traditional cuisine being the most popular food in Pakistan, Chinese food definitely makes the mark in the second most popular and widely eaten food in Pakistan, owing to the very different taste of a combination of sweet and salty and many variations of chicken recipes.
In fact, many of our households have developed an expertise in Chinese food and its cooked almost every other day.
However, the Chinese food that we eat here is not “authentic Chinese food” and I believe for most of us, our palettes won’t really like the flavor of authentic Chinese food.
So what we have here is Hakka Chinese which is basically derived from Chinese people who lived in other parts of the world besides China (for us its Chinese people who lived in Kolkata) and developed Chinese food in adaptation to the Indian/Pakistani taste.
Now we love our Chinese food which is spicy, sticky, has many vegetables and gives us a lot of room to play with ingredients.
And under the label of Hakka Chinese food comes Cantonese and Mandarin style recipes as well.
Karachi is a big city with many many Chinese restaurants almost every food street, bazaar, mall or any other popular area has a Chinese restaurant.
But the ones that have made it to the top can be numbered, reasons being:-
- Location of the restaurant
- Consistency in taste
- Value for money
I have been to almost all of the famous Chinese restaurant here, Dynasty, China Town, Red Emperor, Ginsoy and some more, but my most recent visit to Hakka Chine in Dolmen City Mall Clifton has literally got me floored!
And I will tell you exactly why…..
For those of you who think that Hakka Chine is a part of the food court then you are thinking wrong. Although its located on the same floor as the food court, it is totally separate and gives a very private look. So if you are in the mood just to grab a sandwich and drink to beat hunger, I won’t recommend you going there.
But if you have plans of eating out as in a proper Dinner or lunch and have time to dwell in the environment and eat not only for the stomach but also to satisfy taste then this is the place to go.
The first thing that strikes about Hakka Chine is the Entrance, very exquisite and very friendly receptionist, smiling and willing to accommodate.
And thank God, owing to their strict management they don’t let everyone enter the restaurant just to check out the dishes, and only people who’ve made reservations or paid to dine in are allowed to sit inside and enjoy their food, otherwise if their management wasn’t this strict almost every other person would just walk in and lift up the trays just to see the food, which would be something so uncultured and bothersome.
From my point of view Hakka Chine has one of the best interior as far as a Chinese restaurant is considered.
Perfect lighting, classy hanging lamps, traditional Chinese masks artifacts in every other corner, sparkly clean tables and crystal clear cutlery!
And its not just the decoration that strikes you but the proper arrangement of the buffet which is lined on the side and not anywhere in the center, gives a very peaceful and private feel and look to people who are eating.
Also the huge windows on the sides give such a mesmerizing view of the sea, that if you are on a date, or hanging out with your family, the beautiful seating arrangement will give such a peaceful eating experience.
By the look of the restaurant one can easily figure out that they have a team of highly professional waiters. As soon as you are done with one plate, the waiter quickly picks it up and serves your promptly with clean spoons and glasses. The waiters are constantly walking along the aisles and keep making adjustments to the table napkins, setting and make sure everything is in order.
And as the saying goes ” The kitchen should be cleaner, than the dining table” its totally true here and how can I say that? They have an open kitchen and the operational manager was kind enough to let me have a sneak peek inside. A very modern and extremely clean kitchen. You can see the utensils, the oil and it did look very very clean. Their head chef is a very experienced one. And they told me that all their ingredients are tested under quality control.
So even if you want you can have a look inside the kitchen since its an open one.
Families are Welcome
As soon as you enter you can see a line of baby car seats and high chairs, which definitely relieves the stress of moms who just find it so hard to enjoy their food especially with small babies.
Yum, yum yummy!!!
And you know whats the best part unlike many other buffets, Hakka Chines menu changes everyday so you have around 7-8 trips to make to taste the different flavors and trust me, the food tastes amazing.
Starting from the soup…
Usually there are 2 soups served, from seafood special, Tom Yum, Hot and Sour, Cantonese Soup.
All these soups have unique flavors, My favorites are the Sea food special soup has which fungi and sea weed and Cantonese Soup owing to its very different taste and rich flavors of different veggies including mushroom.
So you actually get to wash off the typical Chicken corn soups taste off your palette!
There are around 8-9 main courses served in the buffet, out of which rice and chowmein are constant and the other main courses are changed everyday.
They are always updating their menu of the day on their face book page.
The Cantonese garlic rice tasted amazing, a beautiful blend of sweet, citrus, mild spicy, garlic flavor.
If you are on a diet or just want to control your calories well then Hakka Chine has an amazing Salad Bar something that you don’t see much often especially in Chinese Restaurants.
The salad bar has pickled salads to chickpeas salad all are fresh and taste sumptuous
Must Try Dishes
The dishes that you just have to try are…
Mandarin Style Apple chicken, Ohhh! you will drool over the sweet apple taste bathing the chicken meat and its like an amazing fusion. But just fill your plate with rice and this curry to enjoy the real taste.
Spicy Sechuwan Prawns. Sweet sticky and spicy and many prawns. Love in each bite!
Thai Green Chicken Curry Again a very tangy, spicy and totally new taste to experience in Chinese flavors.
The Hakka special chowmein tastes so rich because of the abundant use of bean sprouts which totally adds the extra flavor. My suggestion jut eat it alone to indulge in the ultimate taste
Although this is buffet try to eat it as in Ala carte, because trust me every main entree is exquisite and deserves respect when eaten.
Another main ingredient that is not often used in many Chinese restaurants is Sea Bass, but in Hakka Chine they have specialized in this particular fish and the Hunnan Black Pepper Sea Bass is a must try.
Value for Money
This is actually the best part! Rs. 1200 per person for Dinner Buffet, Rs. 1000 Lunch Buffet and Rs. 800 Hi Tea.
Without any arguments this is the best value for money you can get in any buffet restaurant. Because usually what happens in a buffet, is that only 2 or 3 dishes are the most exquisite ones and the rest are average but because we tend to eat so much in a buffet that we often forgo the taste of each dish.
My experience at Hakka Chine has been amazing and I highly recommend you all making a trip there once.
And then do let me know about your experience.
Happy Chinese Food!