Move over, parathas! Naan is the hot new desi breakfast in town

Move over, parathas! Naan is the hot new desi breakfast in town

A new roadside café in F-10 offers a very filling take on the traditional flatbread
21 Dec, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Given the Capital Development Authority’s propensity to raze all roadside cafes and dhabas in Islamabad, there is hardly any place left where one can sit in the open and enjoy a hot meal with a piping cup of doodh patti.

Naan Stop does not only promise such an environment, it takes it to the next level with its mouth-watering menu. This establishment is a part of a new wave of entrepreneurial food ventures that have cropped up around the capital.

Here, as the name suggests, the speciality on offer is naans.

A staple of the Pakistani diet, these piping hot toasted flatbreads are best had when they are fresh out of the tandoor. Many a youth have been tempted to sample a morsel or two while fetching naan for the family dinner.

A new roadside café in F-10 offers a very filling take on the traditional flatbread

Walking in, the first thing that strikes you is the establishment’s penchant for truck art. Everything from the walls to the decorative lanterns and tea kettles, is in the traditional truck art style.

Located on Sumbal Road in F-10 Markaz, the shop’s corner location leaves ample room for patrons to sit on the roadside and enjoy their food oven fresh.

But the naan at Naan Stop are not the everyday, run-of-the-mill flatbreads that are available from your corner tandoor.

The menu includes a vast variety of naans; cheese, jalapeño, chicken, achari, garlic, and the pleasantly surprising Nutella naan. The prices range between Rs150-Rs250 apiece, which sounds quite steep.

But as the owner Usama Farooq explains, “Customers were initially sceptical about the price, but once they see how filling our naans were, they told us that the price was perfectly fine.”

“We are still in the beta-testing phase; we will be officially launching on Jan 1, that’s when we will be launching more products, such as a pizza naan.”

One of the most popular items at this outlet is the cheese naan, which ooze stringy cheese as soon as you dig in. Be warned, there is no way to eat these naan without losing a little dignity; a small price to pay for the assault on your taste buds that will ensue.

The cheese naan is one of the most popular items on the menu
The cheese naan is one of the most popular items on the menu

There are also two other variants of the cheese naan: the garlic cheese naan and the chicken cheese naan.

However, since the garlic is a little overpowering, better to steering clear of this one if one is not a fan of garlic.

The achari naan, though it sounds promising, is actually rather disappointing except for those fond of eating plain roti with achaar.

However, the taste of pickle is rather sour and overwhelming.

No visit to Naan Stop can be complete without sampling the Nutella naan. Even if you do not have much of a sweet-tooth, you would want to grab a slice of this naan which has melting hot Nutella dripping from the seams, making it a good way to end a wholesome meal.

Of course, every naan must be married with a steaming hot cup of doodh-patti, and this is the place to come to if you are a connoisseur.

It is served in a cute little kettle that’s painted like a truck that you’d see on G.T. Road.

Saad Rehman, a resident of F-10, told Dawn: “I come here for the cheese naan. Earlier, we would have to go all the way to Monal to get a good cheese naan.”

For Rabia Khalid, this place is a way of reclaiming public spaces for women. “With all the hype about the #GirlsatDhabas campaign, I think this place makes it easier for girls to just sit on the road side and enjoy the dhaba environment without fear of harassment.”

“I have brought my nieces and nephews here, while my sister is out shopping in the markaz,” said Zuhair Ahmed, who had placed an order for Nutella naans.

“I’ve been here many times, but what I have noticed lately is they are somewhat understaffed. The orders take too long to prepare and it’s hard to wait 40 minutes for naan in this cold weather!”

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2015


Just here Dec 21, 2015 11:36am
Mouth watering article
Shahram Dec 21, 2015 11:55am
Why end the article with such a review. Support new businesses with some positive thoughts. The Nutella naan is to die for!!
Vakil Dec 21, 2015 12:31pm
If there is just one reason why I would LOVE to visit Pakistan, it is to visit such places to tickle the taste buds -- NON (or Naan/whatever-else!) STOP ...!!
ss Dec 21, 2015 12:37pm
Of the very many great contributions to our public life for which we should be grateful to the Persians, the naan is perhaps the greatest.
Siri Dec 21, 2015 12:38pm
mmm, got to check this out!
AW Dec 21, 2015 01:24pm
There is so much hype about Naan Stop in F-10 markaz, so I went there and bought 4 varied naans including the cheese naan, chicken-cheese and beef-cheese. After paying about Rs1,000 for 4 naans and waiting for over 35 minutes for my order, I went home excited to try them all with my family. Not only was I disappointed in terms of taste and quality, but I ended up with a sick stomach.
Goga Nalaik Dec 21, 2015 02:02pm
OMG, mouthwatering stuff.... Let me take a deep sigh... Hyyyyyyyyyyy
Munir Dec 21, 2015 02:40pm
Instead of eating healthy food, more and more Pakistanis eat heavy junk food from Naans (white flour- maida) to oil meats. An average Pakistani eats 20 times meats of what he eats vegetables. Heart attacks and cancer are on the rise and so are kidney failures.
seenivasan Dec 21, 2015 03:27pm
Please export some stuff to India also as we love your food which is same as i is in Delhi.
Vijay B. Dec 21, 2015 06:07pm
Essentially, the nan is being used in lieu of a pizza crust. Nothing wrong with that, and yes a fresh hot nan with toppings is delicious, but I do not understand the hype or see any novelty in doing that. We've been doing that at home for a long time. There really isn't much difference between the dough prepared for a nan versus that for a pizza crust. Now I will suggest adding some yogurt in the preparation of the dough for the nan to give it some sourness akin to the San Francisco sour Dough Bread to make it tastier, for those that relish that taste.
Figaro Dec 21, 2015 06:39pm
Oh the pictures look so yummy but the only problem is that I'm not a cheese person. Think about vegetable or aloo naan also, please, in your menu.
FutureWizard Dec 21, 2015 07:00pm
Yum Yum from India, hope to taste these things one day.
Muslim Medina Dec 22, 2015 03:56am
Even though we have quite a few shops in Toronto offering Pakistani Style breakfast dishes, I do not think we cannot compare with the mouthwatering taste available in Pakistan.
sid Dec 26, 2015 08:02pm
plz givve the exact location and address so we can easily find and go