– Good morning, I hope
you’re having an amazing day. It’s Mark Wiens. I’m in Islamabad, Pakistan, and we just arrived late last night. We’re staying at the Serena Hotel, and today we’re gonna go on an Islamabad food tour. We’re gonna go to some of
the famous restaurants, eat some of the dishes
that you have to eat when you are in Islamabad. Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan. But before we do anything, we’re gonna go have
breakfast at the hotel first. All right, let’s get the day started. (upbeat techno music) Hello, you ready for breakfast? Okay, let’s go. Good morning. – [Staff] Good morning, sir, how are you? – Good morning, good, thank you. (upbeat techno music) Thank you so much. Thank you. I went straight for the good stuff, the Pakistani curries. Beef qeema, in particular, is what I’m looking forward to eating. But there’s chicken curry, there’s some potato curry, and some chickpeas. Thank you very much. I gotta pace myself, though, because we have a lot to eat today. Okay, let me try that beef qeema. Oh, that’s delicious. You got the minced meat, you got a bunch of spices in there, you can taste the chili, and then it’s like
juicy and slightly oily. Keema is a wonderful dish. Chickpeas are always good in Pakistan. They’re always so creamy. What kinda juice is this? No, orange juice, but it might have like, some pineapple or something. It tastes like mixed fruit. (sighs) (steady techno music) Thank you very much. There’s not a huge
selection of fruit, though, maybe due to the season we are in. One more cup of coffee for good measure. We’re gonna go back to the room, get ready, and then we got to head out, and then we’re gonna begin this Islamabad food tour today. (upbeat techno music) In comparison to other cities that we’ve been to so far in Pakistan, Islamabad is so much more spread out. It’s more organized, and that’s because it’s
a very modern city. It’s a very newly developed city. We drove over to the university. This is one of the main universities in Islamabad. There’s a dhaba, a local restaurant that we’re gonna go to that is, it’s legend, it’s reached legendary
status for their food. All right, right outside of the Asian Civilizations Institute. – Excited for this.
– Yeah, very excited to visit the dhaba. Even being someone from Islamabad, I have never visited this dhaba before, so I am as excited as you are, Mark. – Cool. When you walk in here, it’s kind of like a seating section all under the trees. It’s even like whole market, so, you can buy fruits and vegetables, there’s restaurants. It’s kinda like a chill spot for students and everyone else who’s not students, who just wants to come and eat and hang out, like us. Everybody wants to pretend we’re students. (laughs) (speaks foreign language) I think this is… (speaks foreign language) – Mr. Anees is the son of Mr. Majeed, – Okay.
– Mr. Majeed, who basically opened this dhaba. – You see everything is–
– That looks amazing. What is that dish? – This is a barbecue fry. – Barbecue fry. – We first make it the barbecue, then fry in the special gravy. – Yeah, looks incredible. – Crisis, yes, crisis. – That’s the one, the most famous, right? (cook speaks foreign language) – This place is so cool, and it’s actually called Majeed Huts. They serve a variety of different dishes. They have all the stews and the curries in the back here prepared, then when you do order, he reheats them over that jet plane. So laid back too, that’s a laid back feeling to it. (dhaba staff speak in foreign language) – [Man] They’re just
churning out the orders. – [Mark] Oh man, I’m getting so hungry. (men singing folk song) – Crisis.
– Crisis, yeah, they call it crisis.
– They call it crisis. – They call it crisis.
– Because you never eat a crisis. – Here comes the… Yes. (laughs) – Thank you, man. – Thank you. And we’re also sitting
here with Majeed’s son, who is the owner of the restaurant. This is one of the coolest restaurants I’ve been to in Pakistan. – Once you order, it makes fresh, and then it deliver to the customers, where the people are. They like our food, very much, very much. This is the reason. – You’re right. There’s so many dishes to try. Let’s try the kebab fry first. So they take the kebab, first the kebab is grilled, barbecued, and then they stir fry it with like a, looks like a tomato-y curry. – So, the dish which is on the other side, that is called the chicken laziza, yes. This is malai boti, and this is chicken laziza. – And now, we gotta try
the boneless chicken, two different boneless chicken dishes. Okay, next dish is the chicken malai boti, which is the cream sauce. Whoa. Straight up cream of chicken, oh wow. That’s like rich and hearty creamy. Cream-sicle. (man laughs) Mr. Ali, how is that? – It’s amazing, Mark. It’s really nice. The kebab masala is out of the world. – Yes, it is. (laughs) The owner is gonna explain to us quickly how the name, Crisis, the crisis dish came about. – Basically, crisis is a dish that evolved over the time. So this is all the sworn of many men in the late, you can say, 80s, and they came, they take classes up to the four o’clock, and at four o’clock, then they get hungry, and at our space, we normally close lunch
hours at four o’clock, so all the things normally finish. So what they asked, that put all the things
together and mash it and then wrap it into the egg. So we will call it crisis, you know. In a crisis moment, there is a crisis dish. So this is the history. (Mark laughs) – When there’s a crisis moment, this is a crisis dish. That is a quote. You know, it’s 4 p.m., you’ve just finished your classes, you get to your favorite restaurant, Majeed Hut, and unfortunately, they’re just closing down and all the dishes are done, so what do you do? You look at the bottom of the pans, and you see, oh, there’s still some leftovers. Let’s scrape all that goodness off the bottom of the pans, re-fry it, and shove it in an omelet, and call it the crisis. – Cheers to Islamabad. – Islamabad.
– Crisis. – Crisis. You can taste like, yesterday’s aloo-fry. It’s just like, it’s warming. That’s what it is, it’s warming. If you were in a crisis, that would solve your crisis. Okay, I’m going to try
that chicken lazizi now. This is the other chicken curry. Oh. Oh, that is stunning. (laughs) It is so good. It’s like that same
creaminess as the other one, as the boti, but it has like, maybe tomato-y-ness in it. – Yeah, cool. (laughs) – You’re just gonna
wanna lick your fingers, and lick the plates, lick everything here. – I did just lick each finger. – Ali is still stuck in the crisis. – Ali is still stuck in the crisis. – Dip into the chutney. Mm, mm, chutney is delicious too. I like the yogurt-y minty-ness. I think the final dish we ordered, but we did actually order one more dish, because it was something I needed to try, but this is the final order, dish on our plate right now is the dal. They have just excelled at their dal. What I like is it’s not
too heavy on the ghee, so that you can taste the creaminess of the actual lentils. Tastes like some fried
garlic on top of that. This one is chicken karahi fry. Looks like the same as the kebab, but just a rich chicken, just a rich tomato-y looking sauce. That tomato sauce and the coriander comes in really nicely. – I got a crunch, the chilies are fresh. – You just end your day right here, cancel all further plans. – So right.
– Bye. – Bye. – What is also, nice to see you here. – Thank you so much.
– Please do visit our Pakistan and Skardu also. – Thank you so much. Yeah, I met up with, what was your name again? – Akbar Haiyal. – Akbar…
– Haiyal. – Haiyal, Akbar Haiyal. He watches our videos. They’re just sitting down at Majeed Huts to eat. And what do you think
about this restaurant? – It’s a good place, and you also have tasty foods. – Yes, we just finished it, it was so good. – And it’s extremely pleasure to see you here in Pakistan. – Thank you so much.
– I was like, oh, because…
– Thank you so much. Okay, and they have invited me to sit down and eat again with them, so let’s, we gotta taste the, oh, this is a dish we didn’t order, so maybe we should try the beans.
– Lobia. – Lovia?
– Lobia. – Lobia, okay. – Just break some roti from here.
– Break some roti. Aw. It’s really good. It has a smoky flavor to it. And you can see, of course, they ordered the crisis. – Thank you very much for coming, it’s been nice. – Thank you so much. (speaks foreign language) That was, yeah, one of the greatest meals we’ve had in Pakistan, and they’re so friendly, they’re so nice. What a stunning place. It’s worth coming to Islamabad just to eat at Majeed Hut. All right, we are on our way to the next spot today. I will never forget the crisis we just encountered. (upbeat techno music) All right, we had a little bit of a, hold on, focus, we had a little bit of
a unplanned afternoon, and we had to run some errands, and then, it got kinda dark, and then we went to a restaurant, but they were closed, so we gotta go back to get them. But in the meantime, we decided to come up to the top of the mountain, to a restaurant that’s called Monal. Okay, security checkpoint, hold on. Thank you very much. It’s called Monal, but it’s one of the must visit restaurants because of the view. It’s kinda cloudy today, kinda like, air isn’t the clearest, but this is the view of
Islamabad down below, and yeah, it’s a very nice restaurant, and then, yeah, unfortunately, it got dark right as we arrived here. The sun went down, but still an impressive view. It was definitely worth it to come here just to get the view, but now, we can go eat Afghani kebabs. (all laugh) – I can’t just wait for it. – [Cook] Be careful of the coal. – Okay.
– [Cook] Be careful. (cook speaks foreign language) This is kebab. – Kebab. This is one of the places that I really wanted to come in Islamabad, so Ali and I came here–
– All these are made by my brother.
– Okay, the kebabs. – He is professional. He has been in Dubai for training people. – Wow. – Yeah, he is younger than me, but he knows very much about kebabs, very much.
– And when did your, your family came from Afghanistan? – Maybe it’s about 37 years. – With the fan going, he’s just working those kebabs. The meat aroma, the smoke is just going all the way down the– – 30 years, that I’m making this– – You’ve been making kebab for 30 years?
– Yeah, I was at the age of six. When we reached here, I started making kebabs.
– Start making kebabs at the age of six. I can’t stand myself any longer. We’ve gotta try these kebabs. – Why don’t you have dinner with us? – Thank you. – We would love it, come on. – Such a pleasure to meet you, sir. – Thank you, my pleasure
to meet you, hello. – Hello.
– Nice to meet you. – Nice to meet you too. – Essen.
– Essen? Essen, nice to meet you.
– Thank you, thank you, nice to meet you.
– Thank you so much. He watches our videos, and then he’s invited us to sit with him and his friends, who are all here, eating the kebabs. Such an amazing atmosphere, such a friendly place. The owner is kind, and the kebabs just
smell unbelievably good. And we’re getting the full, like, smoky aroma
therapy at the same time. And they’re doing some sighing behind us, so every now and then, you will hear a loud sighing sound. It’s totally acceptable to grab a skewer and eat it right off the skewer. You can see there’s one
chunk of tomato in it. (mumbles) Oh, wow. Mm-hmm. Oh, that is wonderful. There’s so much fat in there. That’s what makes it so juicy. That’s what gives it so much flavor. Oh, thank you, oh, you take it out. Oh, thank you very much. Okay, cool. All right, and there’s also a chutney that you can eat with the kebab that goes. So you gotta, it’s easier to pull it off the skewer, though. Oh. Oh. Oh, that just, that bumps it up. Again, the chutney is
not like, overpowering. It’s almost fruity. It’s not like an overpowering sauce. You still taste the full flavor of the vibrance of the meat, the salty meat, but then, just with that fruity cooling sensation. It just complements the meat. That one is the tikka? – Cheers.
– Cheers. This one is the tikka, which is the pieces. Oh yeah. It’s really good too. And that’s like, I mean, that’s more of the pure meat, the top, a little bit tougher, but still flavorful. Mm. I taste the ginger in
that chutney on that bite, ’cause I dug kinda deeper. Amazing food.
– So it’s also our friend’s birthday. – Oh, great.
– So that should be a great birthday present if you can wish him. – Yes, happy birthday. – Thank you so much. – I’m glad that we got to
celebrate all together. – Like I said, Pakistan is a mashup of different cultures of the region. You have Pashtuns in the northwest, Punjabis in the east, Hindis in the southeast as well. So this is a lot more closely related to the Afghani cuisine. This is basically Afghani cuisine. – Okay, but especially from Kabul area. Okay, Kabul, pulao, and again, I see those kebabs on top, and I think that’s carrots on top. Oh, wow. Oh, that’s spectacular. The meat, it’s the same kebab, then you got the rice that’s like, so individual, each grain. It’s really, really long grain rice. You’ve got these carrots, which are caramelized, kinda sweet and salty, and then you’ve got these, tastes like raisins. But with that kebab on top, oh, that’s incredible. Thank you so much. – Great pleasure meeting you.
– Great to meet you, thank you. – Thank you, thank you, it was nice to meet you. – Thank you very much. – You’re welcome. Will you tell me your page? – That is what I love
so much about traveling. That was just an experience I will never forget, and oh, man, those kebabs, when you are in Islamabad, this is a place you don’t wanna miss. – Thank you very much.
– Thank you. All right. Thank you. Oh, okay, so I’m just gonna, for dinner tonight, we are at the Serena in Islamabad, the hotel that we’re staying at, and we’re eating at Dawat restaurant, which is their Pakistani restaurant at the hotel. The chef is actually just
gonna take care of us, so we’re just gonna
see what he brings out. It’s kind of romantic, because it’s just Joel and I for dinner. – What’s up? (live band plays traditional music) (Mark laughs) – [Waiter] You told me you like spicy. – But we told them we like spicy. They brought us the
entire basket of chilies. – A pre-appetizer.
(Mark laughs) – Yeah, they’re cool. They’re very cool. – Jheenga pakora. – Jheenga pakora.
– Yeah, appetizer. – It’s shrimp pakora.
– Yeah, shrimp pakora. – I normally know pakora as the like, deep fried fritters, but shrimp, that’s even better. They smell so good. Mm. With a like, tamarind sauce on the side. Mm-hmm. That’s delicious. – That sauce looks delicious, oh my gosh. Mm, really juicy shrimp too, nicely spicy. – Mm, mm. Nice. Okay, next up, we have a lamb soup. Yeah, you can immediately smell that meat. Oh. Oh, that is just
effortless tenderized meat. It’s so soft. Mm.
– Oh my goodness. – Whoa, what are they bringing? – [Chef] Lamb chops, chicken– – Thank you, chef. – Thank you, sir, it’s my pleasure. – And then, oh, biryani on the side, they brought us as well, which is covered in a pastry cover, to seal in all the
juices and smoky flavor. – [Joel] Thank you. – The onions in there. Yeah, that’s fantastic. Okay, next up to try the chops. Oh, wow. I can taste fat. There’s that fat layer. Oh, wow. Yeah, that’s some good meat too. Final dish is the biryani, which is from KP province. It, yeah, it has crusted with that dough that holds in all the flavor. Mm. Same ridiculously tender lamb. The crunchy cashews. It’s so aromatic. You taste like, the sweet spices, the cardamom, the cinnamon
in there, the clove. We’ve got some desserts now. This one is ras malai and this one is like an entire trough. And this is all to myself, by the way. Joel got his very own trough. (Joel laughs) – [Joel] Look at that. – Whoa. Whoa. Tastes like deep fried bread underneath, which is kinda soaked up with the, it’s a pudding, like kind of a nutty pudding. Oh, yeah. Okay, I think I’ve tried this before. And you can see that
little saffron on top. Yeah, that’s really good. Soaked up with that milk. You can taste the pistachio in there. You taste the cardamom. And that completes dinner. (sighs) Oh, that really sinks down. Oh, that’s fantastic. But we finished with dinner. Dinner was delicious, and I wanna say a big thank you to Serena, Islamabad, Serena Hotel for hosting us. Tomorrow, we continue
on to go further north, towards Peshawar, and also to visit some of the areas around that region. So I’m gonna end the
video for today right now. I wanna say a huge thank you for watching today’s video. Please remember to give it a thumbs up if you enjoyed it. Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. And if you’re not already subscribed, remember to click subscribe and also click that little bell icon so that you get notified of the next video that I publish. Thanks again for watching. Good night from Islamabad, and I’ll see you on the next video.