By Humay Waseem
As Pakistanis, we love eating meat and we love Turkish culture. So what could be better than the introduction of Turkish cuisine in the heart of Islamabad?
MIAVittles Corporation limited along with Özsar group graced Islamabad with the taste of authentic Turkish cuisine with restaurant, "Özsar Turkish Doner house"
Nucleus PR & events, once again brimmed the capital by putting together the event launch for Özsar Turkish Doner house along with its subsidiary, Frutti 5 at Islamabad’s liveliest mall, The Centaurus Mall.
The launch was in high spirits with the vivacious and upbeat, Rj Xin hosting the event along with many media reporters, photographers, singers and guests enjoying Turkish delicacies.
The ribbon cutting ceremony took place when all the owners of the restaurant, both Turkish and Pakistani arrived at the venue.
Mr. Babur Girgin, Turkish ambassador to Pakistan cut the ribbon and inaugurated the event along with Mr. Mehmet Ali Sari- Franchiser and owner of Özsar Group, Mr. Ashraf Arain- Group head MIA Corp, Mr. Usman Ashraf- Group CEO MIA Corp, Mr. Sardar Tanveer- CEO Pal Gulf and Mr. Shaban Khalid- President of ICCI.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were treated with Baklava, a rich sweet pastry made with layers of filo topped with pistachio, Pismanye, cotton candy like balls covered in chocolate and the restaurant’s official dessert, Kemalpasa, a syrupy treat akin to Gulab Jamun.
The moment of wait was over when Özsar Doner House’s specialty, Doner Kebabs were served. A succulent treat of smoky veal and chicken that melts in the mouth. The meat is thinly cut on a vertical rotisserie served with Lavash or Pita bread topped with yogurt and butter.
To ensure that the taste is kept authentic, Headchef Yilmaz has especially been brought in from Turkey. His decades of cooking experience is made obvious by his confidence in the kitchen.
Not only is the food delicious but the atmosphere is also highly tempting as you get to watch the chefs cook live. Customers also have the option of choosing from a wide array of mezze (Mediterranean appetizers) such as Hummus, Fattoush and Tabbouleh from an open salad bar.
“We love Pakistan from the heart and we have friends here who told us about The Centaurus Mall so we came here to introduce our cuisine” said Mr. Bulent Sari, brother of owner Mr. Mehmet Sari.
“Turkish culture is coming to Pakistan be it in entertainment, business or food. Last year when I went to Turkey, I tried this cuisine and bought the Franchise. Now we have aggressive plans of expanding the franchise all over Pakistan.” Said Mr. Usman Ashraf, group CEO of MIA corps.
Turkish Ambassador, Mr. Babur Girgin was very pleased with the opening of this restaurant as it adds to building bridges between the two countries. He said that getting the taste of Turkey in Islamabad makes him feel closer to home.
“I feel that this product will do great as it connects with Pakistani cuisine since we’re such big meat and chicken lovers. I had Turkish cuisine during my recent trip to Belgium where it is also very big” said Farook Butt of Nucleus PR & Events.
Rj Xin added, “I loved the smoky meat and flavor as I’ve been a big shaukeen (enthusiast) of Doner ever since I was 11.” He further joked “Also, I am eating healthy these days so I might take a couple of these home with me today”
The heads of the restaurant at Centaurus mall believe that the future of foreign investment in Pakistan is bright. They say that such initiatives are imperative to the influx of foreign brands.
The event sure created a positive high vibe in Islamabad leaving us with something new to treat ourselves with.
Photography credit: Mr. Fakir Iftikhar