Chicken handi alongwith karhai gosht is one of most famous desi cuisines in Karachi. Once confined to consuming at home, it became the darling of eating-out when the fad of going to roadside ‘khokas’ on the highway became a full-fledged trend. The conversion of fad to trend was largely helped by the advent of proper restaurants that opened up on the highway seizing upon the opportunity of karhai mania.

A decade later chicken handi is going through metamorphosis and several different versions have made their way into the hearts and stomachs of voracious consumers. Spicy Chicken on Boating Basin is one such café that is leveraging the handi love affair to the hilt.

We paid them a visit on a recommendation to try out their chicken makhni handi. We were told they used barbequed chicken pieces in their handi, however, they didn’t taste like barbequed when we tried. If they were barbequed at all, it was really rare.

Made with cream and possible cheese, it is one of the heaviest gastronomical delights you’ll ever taste, it is that rich- guaranteed to make your cholesterol level shoot through the roof. And it doesn’t come cheap. A full handi worth a single kg of chicken costs a whopping Rs.700, the half version Rs.400. But it is definitely a dish to be tried.

Spicy Chicken however is not the pioneer of this version. It is not clear who is, but there are many cafes who offer this version including Baithak on the same food street.  The level of spiciness varies from place to place.

We also tested their Afghani Tikka and Behari Kabab. Afghani tikka is not everyone’s cup of tea. Made with lamb meat on skewers along with the fats (charbi) separately placed, many people are repulsed by this arrangement. And it’s not spicy either. However, if you like lamb meat or relish the thought of devouring skewered lamb charbee, you’re gonna love this. Recommended only for fans of Afghani cuisine, especially since just two skewers cost Rs.240.

The behari kabab was your standard affair, way too spicy but scrumptious nonetheless. At Rs.150 it was on the expensive side as well.

The garlic nan (Rs.30) didn’t have enough of garlic essence to be really consider a garlic nan. The paratha (Rs..25) was crumbling like hell.

The raita although delicious was devilishly expensive at Rs.50.

All in all, Spicy Chicken is a good place to delve into local delicacies. But don’t expect it to have any advantage either cost-wise, ambiance-wise or even taste-wise compared to the rest of the bunch on Boating Basin.