• 11 Jan - 17 Jan, 2020
  • Eman Saleem
  • High Life

Long chilly nights and dine outs that stretch into hours are the call of the season; good food and places that welcome you with warmth are an added bonus. On Karachi’s popular E-street lined with fine dining restaurants, a friend and I walk in at Baituti on reservations to satiate taste buds craving a taste beyond desi and continental regulars. Brightly lit and meticulously laid out dining tables wait on the other side of the large wooden door, unmistakably mid-Eastern. At first glance around the eatery, a lone cedar tree on the wall catches my eye, which was later introduced to me as the mark of Lebanon. Baituti believes in authenticity on a level unmatched by the rest of the city; having moved a Lebanese team to Karachi to best uphold the culinary experience and values it promises. The Gulf return in me spoilt for choices ordered Hummus, Mutabal and Tabouli from the Cold Mezza section and Spicy Potato and Fried Kebbeh from the Hot Mezza. The appetisers arrive after a short wait, with a serving of fresh piping hot Pita bread. Hearty servings in white ceramic bowls make its way from the open kitchen to our table; and a suddenly famished me couldn’t wait to dig in. Tabouli, that my friend conveniently terms “mid-Eastern Salsa,” very precisely covers it. The fine chopped appetisers is a refreshing blend of “salad veggies” topped with olive oil and lemon, perfect starter to slide into a rich dinner. Karachi has many variations of the most famous Arab dip but most fail to do it justice. At Baituti, you will find the right texture of Hummus, all authencity reserved. Mutabal is a chunky textured smoked eggplant dip, a personal favourite that could be a meal on its own. The hot appetisers were on the way to our table too soon; the Spicy Potato lived up to its name and was indeed the spiciest dish on the table that night. Fried Kebbeh is servings of meatballs stuffed with minced meat, onion and cracked wheat were mildly seasoned without being too overpowering. On Ranaa’s (the Lebanese team lead) advice, I dunk the meatball in hummus; “that’s how the locals do it!” Despite starting off with such a rich spread of appretisers, a diner doesn’t feel too full, and we wait for our entrees excitedly. Sujuk and Cheese Fatayer, a boat-shaped spin-off of a flat bread pizza, topped with cheese and aesthetically placed red chillies had us feasting with our eyes first. Discarding the need to bite into it with a fork and knife, we grab slices of fatayer; perfect crusty bread and a hit of spice made it the star of our elaborate dinner and the flatbread was devoured to its last slice to fully satiated diners. You simply cannot have mid-Eastern cuisine and skip the staple: Shish Taouk. A large serving of chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces, marinated and grilled to perfection, with a side of fries, coleslaw, pickles and charred tomatoes. The grilled chicken was the tenderest serving of chicken I have had in a while and the garlic sauce that came with the platter had us reaching for fries guiltlessly. Baituti was an experience of Lebanese culinary heritage and values catered warmly to Karachi. 

Location: 138/1A, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi
Average cost for 2: Rs 2500 to 3000


Taste at Baituti is authenticity personified – the Gulf return in me was not disappointed.


The hospitality of Lebanon is one of the core values of the eatery; a server guides you through the menu and a first-timer is warmly guided to find their tastes on the extensive menu.


Wooden windows and ceiling to floor windows beautifully encapsulate tradition.


The staple white serving dishes offer uniformity to the eyes. Nothing feels like it’s trying too hard to please you.


For a fine dining eatery, Baituti is a treat for when one is feeling luxurious.