A true novelty constituting the best of the seafood harvest from coasts of Karachi
BOTS and SARA are the two most talked about abbreviations among the goodfood lovers these days. The rave is about the Biryani of the Seas (BOTs), a seafood roadside restaurant owned and run by the very young, and dynamic entrepreneur Syed Ali Raza Abidi (SARA). A business graduate from Boston also CEO of the Ikhlaq Enterprises, one of the leading fish exporters of Pakistan.
With the access to all the prime export quality seafood and the love of cooking, Ali ventured into providing good quality seafood cuisines at a very affordable price. There was a time when sea food entrée like lobster tail, fish steak, bbq prawns, fish steaks, calamari etc. are available either in Chinese restaurants or elite fine dining restaurants, pretty much out of the reach of an average income family or office goers. Ali mastered the art of cooking during his six years with the multicultural crowd in the dorms in Boston learning various traditions, styles and recipes. He started Biryani of the Seas in 2010, primarily serving fish and prawn biryani out of a small dhaba style roadside establishment at Clifton available for home delivery, rake away and dine in. Over the two years this restaurant has grown to offer extensive seafood Chinese, Italian, Pakistani, South Indian and Goan dishes. The menu has a fabulous selection of curries, karahis, bun kebabs, soups, bar b que, pasta, steaks, rolls, dossa, rice and many more cooked in prawns and fish both as well as chicken.
If one wants to enjoy high quality BBQ fish and prawns, just catch SARA himself standing out on his BBQ pit fanning some juicy, spicy or mildly marinated jumbo prawns and huge steaks of snappers, leather jacket or panguses. Yes that is the secret of success with BOTs, Ali cooks himself whenever possible, he creates all the recepies himself, trains and teaches his cooks, work with them until a creation is perfected. He is always eager and open to take customers feedback, criticism, ideas on taste, presentation, menu and all very positively with a great smile.
There is a big demand for service from this restaurant, which is overwhelming with the limited roadside sitting arrangement for dinners. Often people complain of late delivery, the good news is that in a month’s time they are coming up with a two floor dining area next to the existing outlet and another upscale restaurant coming up in Defense area. Also, once the expansion happens the restaurant might think of adding at least a few deserts and some fresh juices which at present is missing from the menu.
SARA uses nothing but the top most export quality seafood brought every day from his factory at the fisheries. Here one can enjoy prime quality dishes created with giant prawns, the prime steaks of red snapper, surmai, lobster tails or squid rings at a very affordable cost. The servings are generous and filling, a dinner with sea food entrée for two, would never cost more then Rs.700-800 here. A true novelty constituting the best of the seafood harvest from our coasts.
Photography by Farah S Kamal and Shahrukh Mughal.