Bumzee’s is the latest fast food joint in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on the Disco Bakery food street, one of the increasingly happening food streets of Karachi.
As opposed to most of the food joints on that strip – roll walas and bar bq – Bumzees stands out with its persona of an upscale fast food outlet just like playing bingo. Even the prices are a testament to that fact.
The only thing lagging at Bumzee’s is the service which we found a bit too slow in responding to requests.
We tried the crispy burger deal, chowmein and chicken garlic mayo roll. For drinks we tested the strawberry shake.
Bumzees is a new upscale fast food joint on the Disco Bakery Food Street in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi.
The chicken crispy burger deal (included fries and drink) at Rs.300 is exorbitantly priced, on the other hand it is the biggest zinger burger we’ve had other than the mighty zinger at KFC. The bun size as well as the crusty chicken inside is more than enough to satiate your appetite.
The burger without the fries and drink cost Rs.200.
If you’re feeling ravenous and have the hots for a huge chicken crusty burger, then head for Bumzees.
The taste of the burger is a different matter altogether. If you’re looking forward to a burger that tastes similar to KFC Zinger then you’ll be disappointed because it has a different taste altogether. Then it doesn’t have the coleslaw to go with it, which does not augur well for the brand as almost all local zinger clones provide this local delicacy.
The taste of their garlic mayo sauce is below par as the true essence of this sauce just doesn’t tantalize your taste buds. If they can just add more zing to their garlic sauce, it would boost the taste of any product they use it on manifold, including the crusty burger.
Chicken chowmein at Rs. 200 was delectable although the quantity could have been a whole lot better. What was good about it was that it was stir-fried and as such all the ingredients stood out with a distinct essence of their own especially the vegetables.
The chicken garlic mayo roll was the odd-man out and highlighted the fact that kabab rolls are not the specialty of Bumzees. It just didn’t have the spark you would expect from a good kabab roll wala. It’s definitely not in the same league as Hot n Spicy and Red Chilli. This is another area where Bumzees needs to improve upon.
The place also offers barbeque items which we didn’t test in this visit.
The strawberry shake at Rs.90 was your standard affair made with strawberry ice cream instead of real strawberries.
Bumzees ia a good place to have a decent meal in a pleasant ambience on the Disco Bakery Food Street.
Pizza Point is yet another clone of Pizza Hut that has been on Karachi’s foodscape for over a year now but only recently got in the limelight with it’s special deals which it is promoting through scrolls as part of cable TV advertising.
It seems Pizza Point is confident of making it big in the cutthroat food service industry of Karachi, as is evident from the fact that it has already churned out three outlets at strategic locations: Gulshane Iqbal, North Nazimabad and DHA.
The location of the North Nazimabad outlet is by far the best, situated on the Donisl and Cool 90s food street in Block H. The Gulshan joint is the most subdued, an open-air cafesque joint on the road leading to Gulshan chowrangi coming from Mukka chowk –Aisha Manzil.
We visited the North Nazimabad outlet sometime back before they hit the cable TV circuit and we were most impressed by it. Not only is the outlet enormous in size, with two floors and a private dining room unheard of in this part of town, the attention to detail is exquisite. While the interior is not exactly baroque, having the usual pizza parlor arrangement, they’ve made an effort to project an aura of an upscale pizza joint with its elaborate designs.
At the time we visited, Pizza Point was offering the ‘Buy one Large pizza and get a regular for Rs.99’ only through coupons printed in the Homexpress magazine. Either the penetration of Homexpress isn’t much or people have stopped reading it altogether because there weren’t many customers when we visited it.
Pizza Point is yet another clone of Pizza Hut that has been on Karachi’s foodscape for over a year now but only recently got in the limelight with it’s special deals
Now they’ve made that deal open to all devoid of any coupon requirements and promoting it through cable TV scroll along with its Triple Damaka offer as part of its Anniversary celebrations.
Now two deals at the same time is not the most effective option. For one, it gives the impression that the brand is desperate to lure customers in and is coming up with all sort of deals because the product itself is maybe not good enough. Secondly, you cannot measure the impact of the individual deals, which one was effective and which one wasn’t.
We opted for their buy one get one for Rs.99 deal and chose their Super Max and Arabic Green Pizza.
The Arabic Green, although not Arabic by any stretch of the imagination but rather more Mexican, was a combination of supposedly Arabic chicken, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos and of course mozzarella cheese. What’s more, it was a delight in every way. Not only was the crust oozing with loads of topping, the taste as well was out of this world. Was the extra rich flavor a result of the garlic mayo sauce on top or a combination of the ingredients, we’re not sure, but the outcome was smashing.
One thing though, it was spicy as hell. Although there were jalapenos there, but we feel this was a result of local spices added for good measure. So if you’re looking for a unique ‘unpizza’, you can’t have it better than Arabic Green at Pizza Point.
In contrast, Pizza Point’s Super Max equivalent to Pizza Hut’s Super Supreme was a disappointment. It wouldn’t have been had they named it something else or branded a pizza Super Max which was worthy of this name, things wouldn’t be so bad. That’s because a Super Max or a Super Supreme is supposed to be an embodiment of a perfect pizza which has all the ingredients.
This wasn’t it. Pizza Point’s Super Max was supposed to comprise of smoked chicken, chicken sausages, pepperoni, beef, smoked veal, mushrooms, green peppers, olives and mozzarella cheese. Just look at the images. Although you’ll see the rudimentary ingredients, not all were there. Even if you ignore their absence, the sparse topping as is evident from the pics is inexcusable.
One of the problems Pizza Hut has been having lately is the lack of covering near the corners. Pizza Point has an excellent opportunity to cover those ends as well with the topping and then promote this as a USP over Pizza Hut.
Taste-wise, Pizza Point is quite similar to Pizza Hut, but not as much as Penny Pizza. We feel the confidence Pizza Point is projecting with its huge set-up and investment is probably because it has Pizza Hut ex-staff on its team who knows how Pizza Hut make its version, plus it is also banking on the fact that the Pakistani consumer is still enamored by the Pizza Hut’s version of pizza.
Price-wise Pizza Point is quite expensive, almost at par with Pizza Hut. A regular pizza for Rs.620 is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. At this price, why would you go to Pizza Point when you can have the same thing at Pizza Hut?
Maybe this was the reason Pizza Point hasn’t really gone through the roof as yet in spite of good pizzas and maybe this is the reason they’ve introduced these cost-effective deals which have been going on for quite sometime. The question is, will the customer continue to return in the absence of deals and at the actual price?
Pizza Point would also do well to introduce some deals to promote their other products like lasagna, pasta and the sandwiches.
All in all Pizza Point is a good place to devour a Pizza Hut like pizza in an upscale ambience.
Copper Kettle is the father of the ‘cafesque’ restaurant category in Karachi’s foodscape. Pre-Copper Kettle, Chinese restaurants ruled the roost followed by a few Usmania-style restaurants. With the advent of Copper Kettle, the whole scenario underwent a paradigm shift.
With competition in this category heating up, Copper Kettle has responded with diversification and expansion. The diversification strategy culminated in the creation of a new brand Hobnob – a bakery which serves most of the dessert delicacies of the parent brand. The expansion strategy has been much more subdued with just a single other outlet operating in Karachi on National Stadium road.
Although the prices at this joint are the same as the original one on Zamzama, some innovation has been introduced into this joint to make it more appealing. And that innovation is a buffet dinner on the first floor whereas the A la carte version is maintained on the ground floor.
We didn’t try the buffet version but the grapevine has it that it’s nothing to write home about. But then, what can you expect from a buffet that costs a mere Rs.500 at an upscale joint? We did check out the items on the buffet, and although there aren’t that many to begin with, whatever items they do offer look to be good value for money.
We went for the A la Carte version and apart from their usual items, we decided to have a go at their desi offering as well.
The desi item we did try – BBQ platter – was alright, nothing spectacular that you would expect from CK. It comprised of two large seekh kababs and an assortment of behari kabab,bihari boti and chicken boti. The nans that were served with it were horrendous. It would have been better had they served paratha or even chapathi with it.
The fried shrimps weren’t any good either. In fact when you consider the price and the comparison with Arizona Grill and Roaster’s Battered Fried Shrimp, it would pale in comparison. Its biggest drawback was that the crust was too thick reeking of ‘bason’ and overshadowing the taste of the core ingredient- the shrimp. Simply the worst item that we ordered on this visit.
The Henny Penny (Boneless chicken stroganoff in fresh cream and mushrooms, served with fried rice) was as usual brilliant but the quantity was a bit on the down side.
The Chicken Chuck was good as well with just the right amount of stuffing, remarkably similar to what is on offer at Secret Recipe. Quantity-wise it topped the list.
The Caked Alaska wasn’t upto the mark either. Presentation-wise it was right up there but the brownie/cake didn’t have the usual brilliant taste. On top of that the ice cream was melting like hell and we had to plunge into it at full speed before only the milk remained. At Rs.230 plus tax, you expect better than this.
Overall, this outlet seems to have something amiss with respect to the original joint. The taste wasn’t quite there nor was the quantity. Is it a deliberate ploy or just some operational shortcoming isn’t clear.
Whatever the shortcomings, the joint itself is doing good business. It’s neighbor Domino’s had a terrible time with the place deserted most of the time. It eventually moved from there to the happening strip of University Road adjacent to the Pizza Hut.
Marketing-wise Copper Kettle is following the standard format – have a facebook page with all the offerings of the brand including hi-resolution pictures of the items, and then offer special promotion deals from time to time specially for the lunch time when business is slowest.
And Copper Kettle is doing well here what with 10,667 fans as of writing this review. The page and the strategy was developed by Shahjehan Chaudhary’s Homexpress which is responsible for most of the upscale restaurants’ social media strategy.
It is an effective strategy which works for most restaurants making use of it although it can backfire a bit as well like it did for CK when someone complained on their facebook wall about the quality of caked alaska being offered on the special deal.
But at least they’re getting the feedback in real time, and if they’re serious about maintaining their quality, they will pay heed to the comments emanating online.