When McDonald’s and KFC first opened up in Pakistan in the 1990s, there were manic scenes. Snaking queues, traffic jams for miles and kids running amok in play areas. Burger joints had existed before, but the fried chicken and ‘would you like fries with that’ phenomena swept through the country, paving the way for spinoffs in every neighbourhood and small town.
But long before the golden arches began gleaming through Pakistan, there was always the poor man’s burger: the bun kebab.
The bun kebab builds on the familiar burger formula: it’s a patty in a bun. But its flavors stretch far beyond the western world, combining Pakistanis’ love for spices and fried food, all in one go.
More from Saba Imtiaz’s Karachi dispatch: bun kebabs on Roads & Kingdoms