This restaurant is out of business.( June 2010)
( Please see my update of November 16th, 2008. The quality of the food at Karachi has fallen markedly and I can no longer recommend it).
I had been seeing little roadside signs advertising KARACHI….. LUNCH BUFFET….. $ 5.99 for the past month or so but had not taken down the phone number to find out it’s location. Then, one weekday afternoon, I visited Rajdhani Restaurant only to find that it was not yet open for lunch. Providentially, almost next door was Karachi and we checked it out. Are we ever glad we did ! Karachi which opened less than a month ago, has great food at unbeatable prices and is a real find. One of the best, if not THE best, in the Edison area.
The restaurant has a pleasing ambience with walls in cream, teal and peach and a flowing, free form counter to one side. The decor is spare and functional,nothing special, but the staff is warmly welcoming and the food … !
On the day we visited Karachi, the lunch buffet featured a Goat Kheema studded with hard boiled eggs, Tandoori Chicken,Chicken Karachi, Chicken Methiwala, Bhindi Masala, Paneer Mattar and a Mixed Vegetable Curry. Also on offer an excellent Punjabi Daal, Vegetable Pulao, Naan, Raita, Chutneys, Onion Kachumber and other accompaniments. Amost without exception, the food was excellent. My favorite was the Kheema which was spiced just right, flavorful without being greasy or heavy. The naan which was served piping hot was the best I’ve ever had. Taken out of the tandoor at just the right moment, the upper surface was puffed, browned in spots and smeared with ghee making it the ideal accompaniment to scoop up the kheema and the other curries. I loved the Kheema and the Methi chicken so much that I had second helpings and passed up the other Chicken curry and the Tandoori Chicken. My companion however did try them and said they were delicious. Of the vegetable curries , I liked the Bhendi Masala very much. It was somewhat unusual in that it contained peanuts that were sauteed along with the bhendi and sliced onions. The mixed vegetable curry was OK and the Paneer Mattar was the only disappointment- bland, flavorless and luke warm. It was perhaps due to the fact that a large party had stayed until midnight the previous day and the staff was short on sleep and set-up time.
The introductory price for the lunch buffet was $5.99 ( soda included), which is a tremendous bargain . Regardless of the price, the quality of the food is superior . At these prices , it seems churlish to ask for more but I will say that a a little sweet would have been welcome . Indian / Pakistani food by it’s very nature, needs a little something to cleanse the palate at the end of the meal. Perhaps the management could cut out one of the chicken curries and replace it with something sweet, even if it is only some fruit. Whatever….Karachi is definitely, definitely worth a visit.
On weekends, Karachi serves a weekend brunch , an elaborate buffet with many more dishes , between the hours of 12 noon and 5 PM. I am told that it is becoming quite popular so if you want to try it out, you would be well advised to go there as soon as it opens at noon; later, it does get crowded. The brunch is priced , for now, at $ 9.99.
The restaurant manager mentioned that they prided themselves on their biryanis ( Hyderabadi Goat Biryani, Lucknowi Chicken Biryani wtc.) and their Kheema Roti. He guaranteed that I’d turn back flips for joy after tasting them and I decided to take him up on his promise. A couple of days later I again visited Karachi and ordered the Hyderabadi Goat Biryani and Kheema Roti to go.
The Kheema Roti ( $5.99), a Tandoori roti stuffed with kheema , was not bad but the Goat Biryani ( $ 6.99 )was out of this world. Slender grains of basmati rice , perfectly cooked and disparate, perfumed with whole spices and a hint of kewra and generously studied with pieces of curried goat, it could not be improved upon. I might have attempted a back flip if I had’t been so full .
Karchi offers a wide range of a la carte dishes both veg and non-veg. The non vegetarian dishes ( $ 5.99 to $ 6.99) include Chicken Jalfarezie, Nihari, Chicken 65, Goat Korma, Paya, Roghan Josh, Haleem , Maghaaz Masala, Shrimp Bhuna( 11.99) and a host of tandoori specialties , kababs and kabab rolls. Vegetarian dishes include standbys such as Chana Bhatura, Palak Paneer, Methi Malai Mutter and Dal Tadka. Karachi also serves some chaats such as pani puri and bhel puri but I would be inclined to give them the go by and concentrate on the Pakistani/ North Indian dishes. Why try pani puri or papdi chaat at a place called Karachi Kadai and Biryani ? Better to stick to their specialties.
Karachi Kadai and Biryani. 3600A Park Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ 07080 ( At the corner of Park Avenue and Oak Tree Road , next to the departed Hong Kong Market and Rajdhani restaurant) .
Phone ( 908) 222-2745, (908) 222-2746.