I’m a 60’s baby who knows a thing or two about Purple Haze, Hendrix’s or the other kind; so it was no wonder that I was drawn like a moth to a flame to a restaurant called the White Haze. I was also so pissed off from my disappointing meal at CaliBurger (exactly opposite) that a full-on Pakistani palate cleanser seemed like a good idea – the mistakes one makes when angry. Located in one of the unnamed backstreets of Barsha (it’s the same street as Delhi Darbar is on the corner of), White Haze is well appointed for the bargain basement eatery it is and understandably popular among those looking for a value for money meal. I would have named it RTA Pit Stop rather than White Haze.
My faithful food buddy, Jack, and I were literally bullied into ordering kebabs rather than going on a tic tac toe of their colourful menu. Speaking of which, we had a little chuckle at finding fried chicken on the menu – forget KFC, let’s have some Pakistani fried chicken tonight? Hmm, somehow I don’t think that would work in my house.
Anyway, at least our waiter allowed us to point out which of the kababs we preferred in our compulsory mixed grill. In the end though, our smiley waiter ordered what he thought was best – Chicken Boti, Chicken Malai Boti, Mutton Chops and Chapli Kabab. I definitely don’t remember ordering two chicken boti kababs!
Our embarrassingly oversized mixed grill platter was served with fresh flat bread, a bowl of watery raita, a side plate of chana dal and another of chikkad chole (curried chickpeas) and a bowl of spicy meat broth. All the sides were actually quite good. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Chapli is a flat meat patty which looks surprisingly like a small, dark dung cake. Most culinary historians trace its origins to Peshawar in Pakistan, but it is passionately claimed by the Afghanis as well. The kabab is made from minced meat (usually mutton but also beef and even chicken) and coarsely ground spices. Like all kababs, good ones are amazing. White Haze’s was good, definitely better than the rest, and the only one which I liked.
I didn’t think much of my experience at White Haze. The fact that two arguments erupted between diners and the restaurant didn’t help. It also took a very long time for our food to be prepared and one of our boti kababs was so salty it was inedible. If I hadn’t witnessed first-hand how the restaurant treated some of its guests, I might have complained or cancelled and left. I am able to write this review because Jack and I chose to fiddle with our phones instead, taking more pictures than we should have of food which shouldn’t have left the kitchen. If you are looking for a really good, affordable Pakistani meal in Barsha there are plenty of good restaurants starting with one of my favourites, Muhammad Iqbal, not far away. Go there.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.