Lahore Restaurant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Posted on December 29, 2010
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Food, Travel
16 Comments
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Owais Mughal

Two years ago we had brought you a report on where to find Daal-Roti in Taipei and today we’ll do the similar report for Kaohsiung.

With a population of 2.8 million, Kaohsiung is the second largest city of Taiwan. While the city is fast turning into a cosmopolitan business center, Pakistani food still has to make inroads here. One restaurant that is breaking this barrier in Kaohsiung is called ‘Lahore.’ It is located on Lin Chuan Street and today I got a chance to eat there and had a quick chat with the owner who goes by the name of Ali. (Our title photo to the top right shows the main sign board of Lahore Restaurant on Lin Chuan St, Kaohsiung.)

Ali told me that his business started as a small stall serving Pakistani chicken wrapped in chapatis and today it has grown into a proper restaurant with a seating room for approx. 15 people.

‘Lahore’ restaurant has quite a few Pakistani dishes on the menu but to cater to their 99% Taiwanese customers, they have experimented with Pakistani-Taiwanese fusion dishes. (The photo to the left is one of the Biryani dishes we ordered.)

One should not expect to find authentic nihari, haleem or Lahori chargha here but they do sell the food that is closest to Pakistani food one can find in Kaohsiung.

Lahore restaurant now boasts of a very long menu with Pakistani, Taiwanese, Mexican and Mid Eastern dishes on it. In the following photo I’ve tried to capture their Pakistani portion of their menu.

I should say that the ‘chapatis’ of Lahore Restaurant are a must try. While I was having my lunch here, I noticed that Ali started making ‘chapatis’ from scratch which means he started with white flour, made a dough out if it, and then cooked them on an inverted heated pot. ‘chapatis’ don’t get more authentic than this. I commented to him that this was quite a hard work to make chapatis from scratch, to which he replied: “This is what makes us special.”

My family, friends and I ordered a couple of Chicken curries, Chicken Biryanis, and Mango lassis. Tea, Fruit Custard and Salad came as part of the ‘combo’ meals we had ordered. (Photo to the left is a cup of tea that came with our order of a set – combo).

The quantity of food was enough to fulfill our hunger. I want to say the same thing about the taste but my journalistic responsibility will only allow me to repeat the sentence that it is the closest Pakistani taste you can find in Kaohsiung.

(Photo to the right is the mango lassi you can get at Lahore restaurant.) Ali, the owner of the restaurant speaks fluent Chinese, which bodes well with his Taiwanese clients. He also speaks perfect Urdu – which made chatting with him easier for me. I must say that I was surprised to see a Pakistani owned restaurant with a name like ‘Lahore’ in Kaohsiung, therefore this fact alone has qualified this post for ATP.

I will recommend a trip to Lahore in Kaohsiung if you happen to be there. And now when all is said and done, I observed the following notice pasted in the restaurant.

The notice says that restaurant will be closed for few weeks starting mid January 2011 because the owner is going back to his home country.

The language of notice brought me smiles as well as the observation about so many immigrant businesses who don’t get any choice but to close their businesses when they have to visit their native countries.

16 Comments on “Lahore Restaurant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan”

  1. AsAD says:
    December 29th, 2010 10:50 am

    Another nice post. I guess there is Pakistani food in every corner of the world :-)

  2. Aamir Ali says:
    December 29th, 2010 11:03 am

    Before 9/11 this “Pakistani and Indian food” text used to be part of the sign of all South Asian restaurants in North America, then after 9/11 in Houston and other places restaurants owned by Indians removed the text and changed it to just “Indian food”. lol.

  3. Lateef says:
    December 29th, 2010 11:10 am

    @Amir Ali
    No, I have not noticed that at all. Specially not in Houston since most of the top resteraunts here are Pakistani anyhow and say so very boldly and also because so many of the clients are Pakistanis. I guess thats just silly Indian propaganda. Hopefully we will all grow up soon.

  4. Aamir Ali says:
    December 29th, 2010 11:18 am

    @Lateef

    What I wrote I read in a “Pakistan Link” newspaper in Dallas. They also provided pictures of restaurants pulling down their old signs and putting up new ones. This was all many years ago so situation might have normalized.

    Or “Pakistan Link” might have been making stuff up.

  5. Hermoon Gill says:
    December 29th, 2010 8:45 pm

    Don’t agree with Aamir Ali.
    Here in Chicago’s Devon Avenue and other desi neighbourhoods,most desi restaurants proudly display “Indo-Pak Cuisine” and Indo-Pak grocery etc.
    The point is nobody wants to exclude a large section of the population.The simple reason is more sales and more revenue.
    9/11 has never mattered to Desi food business in North America.

  6. SAM says:
    December 30th, 2010 9:09 am

    I think displaying those indo-pak fooods display signs are very common,not just only in european countries but in the middle east also.no doubt mainly in saudi arabia and dubai you can find a plenty amount of those indo pak mixed food because of the majority of the asia population is resided there but you cant find that enough taste better in those foods which you can only find in Pakistan.atleast this is wht i ve experienced byfar:)

  7. Ehsan says:
    December 30th, 2010 9:46 am

    Would be great to start a series of reader review on Pakistani restraunts all over the world. Good work ATP.

  8. Hermoon Gill says:
    December 30th, 2010 1:38 pm

    Agree with Ehsan,
    How about Pakistani food outlets in far flung places like Helsinki,Finland or Sao Paulo,Brazil?I am sure there must be many.
    It’d be interesting to see if there are.

  9. nusrat says:
    December 30th, 2010 4:07 pm

    over the nearly twenty five years i have spent between new york and los angeles, i have observed that if a south asian restaurant is indian owned, it will proclaim “indian food” only; if the establishment is pakistani then, “pakistani – indian” or “indian – pakistani”; and if bangladeshi owned, then, “bangladeshi – indian – pakistani” food.

    while the restaurant signs make good business sense, post 9-11, it’s not just pakistani eateries hinting at indian ownership, but even pakistani individuals, when queried by non-south asians, increasingly claim indian heritage.

    in a recent tv interview, journalist najam sethi, who recently visited the states, also talked about this curious [hypocritical, in his opinion] phenomenon.

  10. Hermoon says:
    December 30th, 2010 10:45 pm

    ‘Desi’ is a substitute for Indo-Pak or Pak-Indian,depending on the ownership.At least this is the norm in Midwest.
    But several Desi grocery stores,mostly owned by India’s Gujarati Muslims never fail to mention ‘Indo-Pak’ Grocery on the main signboard.Gujarati being shrewd businessmen,they don’t want to keep Pakistanis away and leave a large market untapped.This is all the more important in the economic hard times in the US.
    Its a different story in Britain where ‘Desi’ is replaced by ‘Asian’.
    While in America,Asian means everything and everyone belonging to China or Korea and to some extent Thailand and Vietnam.

  11. nusrat says:
    December 30th, 2010 11:44 pm

    hermoon – no ethnicity or religion is any more or less “shrewd”, good or evil than another, not even the jews.

    such labeling, by seemingly educated people, too often encourages ugly stereotyping, leading to bloody outcomes in our neck of the woods.

    btw, i happen to be a gujarati muslim on one side of my family, and i couldn’t run a business to save my life.

  12. Owais Mughal says:
    December 31st, 2010 5:34 am

    Yesterday we’ve found another desi restaurant in Kaohsiung. It is called Bombay – jointly owned by a Pakistani and an Indian. It also shows flags of both countries on its main door.

  13. Aamir Ali says:
    December 31st, 2010 11:04 am

    Nusrat, I have seen the same phenomenon in the US, restaurants or stores owned by Indians will only say “Indian restaurant” or “Indian grocery”, its the ones owned by Pakistanis that have signs of “Indo-Pak”.

    Only exception is smaller cities in which there are usually couple of stores that serve whole desi community.

  14. nusrat says:
    December 31st, 2010 12:39 pm

    owais – how wonderful. i, too, have witnessed indians [hindu & sikhs] and pakistanis operating businesses together here in the states.

    hopefully, someday, in the not too distant future, our compatriots in the sub-continent will realize the folly of their ways and join hands for the sake of their futures.

  15. Gifts Pakistan says:
    January 2nd, 2011 9:11 pm

    Well There is no country in the World where Pakistani Foods are not found. The Taste is actually originates from Pakistan

  16. Amaan says:
    January 8th, 2011 6:24 am

    Can someone please explain exactly what is ‘pakistani’ cuisine?? If you are referring to Haleem, nihari, biryani etc…then technically that’s Indian Mughlai food.

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