Panda Peeks – Paramount: Karachi’s most hyped Lebanese food restaurant now on foodpanda
Paramount, after being successful in Canada, USA and Lebanon, extended its wings in Pakistan. One of the most hyped restaurants for authentic Lebanese dishes passed down by generations, recently on boarded with foodpanda and we decided to peek in.
After entering the restaurant, the first thing to be noticed is their dim lighting and beautiful chandeliers enhancing the ambience, traditional Lebanese music, huge Lebanese food wall frames along with the LCDs placed everywhere showing how food on the menu is prepared in the kitchen. This visual experience makes the wait for food harder.
Given a long menu, my first thought was that it is going to be difficult and I might end up ordering a wrong dish. On the contrary, their menu turned out to be simple and easy to grasp with pictures to make the decision easier.
I started off with an appetiser and ordered Mezza Plate. For the main course, I had their Mini Mixed Grill and Tabliyeh Saj Chicken Shawarma. In drinks, I ordered Lebanese Lemonade and Labban Yogurt while Assorted Baklawas in the dessert.
I have never – I repeat – never have I ever experienced such fast service of food. Within minutes of the order, the scrumptious food was in front of us. The staff was very jovial and helpful. Service was so speedy I wasn’t myself prepared to hog on the food within minutes and getting done within 45 minutes. Soon after placement of order, I was served with fresh right from the oven Pita (no comparison to their Pita) till the order was served.
Let’s Talk about Food
Paramount’s Lebanese kitchen is known for its extremely flavorful and simple dishes, cooked in a variety of spices. Lebanese food, often known as Middle Eastern cuisine, is light and healthy as it is baked or cooked in olive oil only; served mostly with fresh vegetables and an abundance of chickpeas. So, let’s jump to what we savoured!
I am still lost in the texture of that well-flavoured Hummus served in the triple-divided Mezza serving dish. Mezza plate had three servings, comprising of Hummus, Tabbouleh Salad (made up of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint and onion seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt) and Moutabal (a smooth-textured mix made up of eggplant and tahini seasoned with olive oil and salt). Mezza Plate is served with fresh oven-hot pita.
Mini Mixed Grill
After the refreshing appetiser, I was very excited to try the Mixed Grill Platter comprising of Beef Kebab Strips, Chicken Shish Tawouk and Lamb Kafta. All three types of meat served with grilled tomatoes and onions, spicy bread and side of Hummus and Garlic Sauce. Their garlic sauce was to die for, so indulging that I can’t even describe here. The list doesn’t end here; the platter also had pickled beetroot and cucumbers which enhanced the taste of the overall meal. Beetroot and cucumbers were pickled to perfection. Oh! and this course can be ordered with rice or fries, depending on the preference. I had it with rice.
Tabliyeh Saj Chicken Shawarma
After devouring these Saj wraps, I bet no wrap can be compared with the freshness, the stuffing and the taste of it. I learnt through the videos playing on the LCDs on the wall, how this wrap was made. Shredded pieces of chicken grilled on a rotating spit and then wrapped in freshly baked Saj bread, served with freshly made garlic sauce. These wraps can be ordered alone or as a deal, in which they are served with French fries and pickles.
It’s a Lebanese tradition to have food with drinks for sure, never have drinks alone. So, I thought to order drinks with food to maintain the tradition in vice versa. Our selection was Labban and Lebanese Lemonade. Labban is similar to what we call pheeki or namkeen lassi, just thicker in consistency than ours namkeen and the yoghurt was farm-fresh, making Labban very flavoursome.
Lebanese lemonade is their new drink which is not even on the menu yet, I ordered it on waiter’s recommendation. This lemonade was a BOMB, such refreshing! I know the secret ingredients but won’t disclose here, why don’t you give it a try?
For dessert, we ordered one of the richest and the most desired of Lebanon sweets, “Baklawa”. It’s a layered sweet, made up of dough and butter in between every layer of dough, filled with different combinations of nuts.
I ordered an assorted plate of Baklawas, naming a few: fingers, diamond, bird nest and mini rose. My favourite baklawa which complemented my fabulous meal was; Bird nest filled with cashews.
The happiest part of my visit to Paramount after the food was their service. I can vouch for them that they can never disappoint in their timely service. One more thing which won my heart over is the fresh pita, they never let their customers eat cold pita. I got a free refill of fresh and hot pita after regular intervals even if I wasn’t done with the previous one.
Value for Money
Paramount offers great food in great value for money.
Mezza Plate: PKR 595
Mini Mixed Grill: PKR 995 (Serves two)
Tabliyeh Saj Chicken Shawarma: PKR 625 (With fries and pickle) PKR 495 (Wraps only)
Labban: PKR 175
Baklawa: PKR 1,595/Kg (Ordered almost quarter of assorted baklawa’s for PKR 400)
I highly recommend this place to everyone looking for authentic, scrumptious and economical Lebanese dishes served in an ambience which makes you fall in love with Lebanon and its cuisine. Oh, and they have a bakery too, in case anyone is interested in getting more of Lebanese food.
Address: Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, DHA Phase V Extension, Karachi, Pakistan.
Opening hours: Mon – Sunday, 12:00pm – 12.00am
Order online here.