It is rare that you see a different sort of a food place at a very different location. Food business was never for the faint hearted and always needed thorough research before starting it up. I saw this very bright yellow shop signboard with image of legendary Sultan Rahi, smack opposite to a Police Station in DHA Lahore…Pataka Boti. Even before checking that place out, I did told my brother one that who so ever started this business has some serious guts.
So I did end up climbing those colorful stairs with different Punjabi slogans hand painted on each step. But even before climbing the stairs, as soon as you enter the place you come across their kitchen. One look at the kitchen and I was like, this place is called Pataka Boti which means potentially BBQ, unless they want to become laugh of town, serving just gravies. Why? Cause there was no BBQ Pit (angeethi) or even that fat dripped coal burning smell in the air. It was later informed that Pataka Boti serve bbq cooked in tandoor. How awesome is that!!
First the place itself, nicely decorated with bright colored hangings and typical Chinioti wooden chairs & tables. The staff is courteous but do bear the slight awkwardness as most of their service staff is not the fine dine sort. One does keep on wondering what’s with Sultan Rahi’s image as their brand identity but the wall hangings and interior explains how they fused Punjab’s culture into their restaurant. For me the seats were slightly uncomfortable but it’s quite bearable. For a new place I have seen quite a number of diners popping up now and then. Though it is right opposite to police station but there is no issue for families to safely park their cars and climb up for good food.
Now comes the best part…Food! Cheese Naan and on request Beef Naan were served as starter. Both were amazingly tasteful but for me, beef naan were slightly preferable. Both of them were soft and had right amount of filling. Those were not the dry sort which are time quite a chore to swallow. Naan were served yogurt mint chutney and imli chutney which owner claimed to be his mother’s recipe. Chutney made by mother was great but lacked that right thickness. Way too watery but carried a good strong flavor to it. Perfect complement to both the naan.
Among the BBQ dishes, we were served Malai boti, Sheeshtauk and Pataka Boti Special. Either they were cooked to perfection for us or they were amazing everytime one goes there. I still have to test that and will give my final word on my findings. But for now, trust me you might have had many of the sort but this was amazing. One reason I can imagine could be the fact it was cooked in tandoor not over burning coals. The meat was tender and marination had balanced spice. Along with BBQ, we were served Makhni Handi. Served in a clay pot (handi) and it looked amazing when the lid was taken off the clay pot. It was how the Makhni handi should look and how it should smell. We were served handi by the courteous staff. Handi was ‘buttery’ aromatic and tasteful. Glad the chef knew how to spice up the handi rather making it taste like only either butter or handful of red chili. We love Pataka Boti and strongly suggest to every desi foodie.
Contributed by Jehanzeb A. Khan – who’s alternative ego is that of The Bearded Chef. He loves cooking and cigars and has a jazzy wit!