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Not your usual menu: Naan Dhaba — where traditional naan meets Western flavours

The entrance of Naan Dhaaba at F-6 Super Market, Islamabad. PHOTO: QADEER TANOLI/EXPRESS.

The entrance of Naan Dhaaba at F-6 Super Market, Islamabad. PHOTO: QADEER TANOLI/EXPRESS.

ISLAMABAD: Nestled between high-end restaurants in Islamabad’s F-6 Super Market, four engineering graduates have opened up a dhaaba.

Succinctly named Naan Dhaaba, the idea behind the venture is to cater to people of all backgrounds, by way of affordability and by accommodating both Pakistani and Western tastes.

With a price range of Rs180 to Rs270, these engineers provide a blend of Western flavours with traditional naans, and are also experimenting on creating a temperature-controlled backing system – an aspect which they believe will give them an edge over their competitors.

Friends and business partners Abdul Azeem, Qazi Zain, Hammad Tahir and Bakhtawar Taimoor Sumbal are graduates of Foundation of Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) and University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore.

Azeem, while speaking to The Express Tribune, said that he and his friends had been entertaining the idea for a while and eventually set up their business in December last year.

These young engineers still work at their day jobs in different organisations, and then run their restaurant from noon to midnight every day.

The most popular options on the menu are Nutella Naan, Marshmallow Naan, Chicken Tikka Pizza Naan and Chicken Sausage Pizza Naan, which are all recipes of their own creation.

“Marketing has never been an issue for us, as business naturally started rolling in due to the affordability of our menu. Our primary focus is on the quality of the food and that is what keeps customers coming,” Azeem says.

The partners have hired eight workers to assist them in the daily running of the business, while they themselves tend to managerial aspects, mostly overseeing accounts, procurement and experimenting with the recipes.

They also designed the logo of the restaurant themselves, which they fashioned out of bottle-caps.

Azeem explained that being engineers also gave them an edge over their competition, as their qualifications enabled them to attach to a traditional tandoor, a backing system which can produce uniform heat throughout its structure.

The success of their restaurant has boosted their confidence and they are now planning to expand this venture to other localities.

Source: Express Tribune

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