What’s in a Nama

January 29, 2017

It’s about a variety of burgers, with a desi spin

What’s in a Nama

Have you ever thought of gorging on street food without doubting its hygiene quality? Well, I for one would think twice before heading out to a roadside dhaba or food kiosk. So, the first time I heard about Nama Burger, which claims to be the street-style eating joint offering desi burgers and a variety of parathas, with a fusion of unique flavours in clean cooking conditions, it was definitely worth trying.

Located inside the bustling H-Block market in Defence, a city within the city which never quite sleeps, the place has a smallish live kitchen that attracts you with the aromas of spices and foods. It is painted green and gives a fresh, natural feel.

According to its proprietor Hissam Hyder, one of Asia’s high-ranking Polo players, DHA is fast coming up as a food market. Nama houses no formal seating arrangement; a few stools have been placed outside that one can sit on and wait for the order to arrive.

The unbeatable combination of chapli patty and the special Nama chutney is hard to resist. So, I went straight to order this killer combo. Since I have never tried a stuffed paratha bursting with cheese, or smoked chicken, or chapli and cheese duo with delicious sauces, these were on the agenda along with the Nutella and banana parathas.

The waiting period was around twenty minutes, so I utilised that time to talk to the owner of the place who was eager to explain the concept behind the venture.

Hyder said that Nama is an attempt to combine desi food specialties with burger buns that are easy to take away also. Well, for the information of the readers, every item comes packed neatly in a box.

"People assume that we have created a new taste of burger," he said. "I want to tell them that our menu is based on the local Pakistani favourite chapli kebab, the good old shami and tikka kebabs."

Nama ticked all the right boxes for a big foodie like me.

It may be mentioned here that Hyder’s mother owns the elitist Cosa Nostra restaurant. "Nama is based on an altogether different model, with a low price point."

He went on to say that playing Polo is easy compared to running a fast food joint. "But it’s also fun, and the response we’ve got so far is amazing. I’d call ours awami food, with deals and prices as low as Rs1,100 for four burgers and a litre of coke.

Nama is working towards a proper launch at the Lahore Eat Festival which is due in February in Lahore.

I returned home, dying to try the burgers, parathas and masala fries that I had got. To my delight, the succulent beef chapli and chicken chapli patty had been served in huge sizes.

Thankfully, they had not doused the burger with mayo but made a daring attempt by adding their in-house chutney which was a touch spicy for me. But everyone at my home gave it a thumbs-up for having a perfect zing to the taste.

The stuffing had been made from scratch which added a punch to the flavor, yet the shami with secret ingredients such as egg, laced with their special sauce, was the best item of the night.

Crispy smoked chicken cheese paratha also won for me hands-down, while my kiddos loved chicken tikka burger and NB (shortened for nutella banana) paratha which is a take-off on crepe and must be tried.

To sum up, Nama ticked all the right boxes for a big foodie like me. It is reasonably priced and prepared right before your eyes, which is what I loved the most about the place.

What’s in a Nama