There is a dearth of good chinese restaurants in Karachi as of late. Yes I know the pricier ones and the dhabas of old are still there and are doing well enough but when I say “Good” I mean the following three elements must be part of the dining experience.
1) Great chinese food ( non ajino moto flavor)
This is pretty self explanatory as many lower to middle type chinese outlets in this city have lets just say more then a dab of ajino moto on their dishes so that you emerge with a feeling of not having had a meal but consuming a bottle of the flavoring. The higher priced ones on the other hand are charging an arm and a leg for meals of fair to middlin quality that aren’t very diverse or worth the buck dare I say.
2) Reasonable prices
Is that too much to ask for in this day of triple digit inflation and lean pockets? Restaurants of the chinese variety in this city either ask for your weeks rations of eating out (financially speaking) or then there are the dhabas serving stuff so deep fried in nasty oil your car would choke on. Where oh where is the zen balance?
3) Service with a smile
A must for any restaurant not serving fortune cookies at the end of a meal, to make the customer feel like a little bit privileged at having eaten there. Why don’t we have fortune cookies is still a mystery to me?
Im happy to report I have found a little place in Karachi which has all three and more. Well its not so little anymore since its done so well since the first time I visited when it opened, that its now got an extension on the same road for obvious reasons. I speak of no other than Ginsoy (extreme chinese) and here are the reasons why I’m harping on about it.
My last visit to this eatery found it to be chock full. I had some guests visiting from out of town and I thought I would take them to have a quick meal here, but was appalled at the line at the door. Several requests to the kind staff made them give us a table quickly as they understood the importance of a customers time specially when they are taking out people who sleep earlier than the karachites preferred 3 am slumber time. We ordered chicken corn and thai soup, dynamite prawns, cherry chilli chicken, chicken in black pepper sauce & deep fried red snapper with ginsoy chilli sauce plus two plates of vegetable fried rice ( yes I know this is a lot of food for four people but hey WE EAT)
Our server made sure he put a plate of crackers on the table with the soup ( forgot to order them) and every piece of cutlery and utensil were spick and span (shining) even. He then proceeded to repeat our order just to make sure we had not over done it in our gusto (perhaps he thought we had lost it) and started bringing out our food within 15 mins of the order. Cleanliness check, speed check service big check ,with me so far?
After our table had been laden with the veritable feast he then proceeded to cut the fish and serve it to my guests one by one (another professional courtesy not seen in many places) Obviously they were thrilled at this level of service in Pakistan and not to mention the fish was so tender it literally melted in our mouths. The other dish which we all really enjoyed was the cherry chilli chicken which is something different & tangy from what you will find in Karachi’s chinese scene. That is not to talk of the speed we inhaled the prawns or the foodie lust we exhibited in wiping off the soups and the black pepper sauce chicken. In fact I was pretty sure the rest of the place was watching us as we went through it all in 20 mins flat but found to my amazement that this was pretty much the gusto being exhibited at the other tables as well. I must mention here that the quantities when ordering full size (yes they have single serving options as well) were enough to satisfy any palate.
The best part, after having this scrumptious a meal comes when the bill is something you can withstand without a cardiac arrest and lo and behold we were out of there within the hour fully fed, eyes glazed with satisfaction and the desire to come back whenever the heck it is possible. Infact after writing this review I wanna go there right now!!!
In short, if ye in Karachi don’t miss Ginsoy and do take some time out to thank the people who serve you in it as they do it with a heartfelt smile and an aim to please!
Below you will find pics of their new menu to help you decide what you want before you get there even 😀 (why wait eh?)
Also do note I did not mention the ambiance in this entire review, well its because Karachi’s eateries have all (sans dhabas) reached a standard that is pleasant to the eye so unless there is a rat scurrying across the floor there ain’t nothing to write home about!