Bun-Kebab in Naples, Italy

Posted on September 28, 2010
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Food, Humor, Pakistanis Abroad, Photo of the Day
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Owais Mughal

We were recently walknig in the back alleys of Naples. The scene was very traditional Italian. In narrow pathways there were shops selling all kinds of merchandise from colorful pasta to miniature art, guitars to fountain pens and old books. There were children playing football in every open space. In all this traditional Itlaian set up I suddenly heard a Bollywood tune. As I looked up I saw this signboard which showed Aishwarya with a raised hand serving what we in Pakistan call a “Bun-Kebab” (or is it “Bund-Kabab”?).
Well, I was pleasantly surprised and then I hypnotically walked in this place where I found out that it was a Pakistani restaurant. The name is ‘Ali Baba 40’ – which sounds more like Ali Baba has just celebrated his 40th birthday instead of being accompanied by 40 thieves. Anyways I want to commend the ingenuity of the person who came up with the idea of removing the word ‘thieves’ from the proverbial alf-laila phrase to run his business. Atleast he didn’t re-write Arabian Nights by changing the phrase Ali Baba 40 thieves to Ali Baba 40 pappoo or Ali Baba 40 bachay or Ali Baba 40 samosay.

I think Aishwarya’s photo on the signboard is meant to represent Ali Baba’s domestic helper – who if I remember right was called Marjeena in Arabian Nights.

Ok. back to my anecdote. This restaurant had a wall mounted TV which was showing a Bollywood movie so that is where the music was coming from. We ordered couple of plates of ‘samosa-chutney’ . See photo below.

It was a surreal experience to order food in Urdu, eat Samosas and watch Priyanka Chopra dancing on TV in the heart of traditional Italy. We were on our way shortly but this experience of eating samosas in Naples will remain with me for a long time. The photos of this post are the little souvenirs that I brought back with me.

14 responses to “Bun-Kebab in Naples, Italy”

  1. Sajjad Junaidi says:

    It has to be ‘bund’ kabab. Because hawker outside National College used to call it ‘bund’ kabab and he used to make the best bund kabab. To me master chef’s word is final.
    The question I’ve been asked several time is whether I would go back and eat from the same hawker? NO. It has to do with that bucket hanging on the side where plates get rinsed in the same water over and over again. Then they used to get dried with the same cloth he used as duster.
    Owais, I think there is a whole post in itself about where we used to eat in our school and college days and would not go back there and why.

  2. Adnan Ahmad says:

    Ah the nostalgia of Bun Kabab and the days of high school. I think the only place in the States that sells this fast food of Paki streets is Tahoora of Devon street. The guy has a superb business model.

  3. Jawaid Islam says:

    What a delight to be in Naples and eat samosas and bun kebab… envy the traveller. Glob trotting is knowledge gained.

  4. Hmmm, the weather in Copenhagen right now is perfect to have samosas and bun kebabs and chai! I’m off to some food hunting now!

  5. Qadir says:

    Love the picture at the top.
    The most multicultural picture of what globalization really means in practice that I have ever seen.

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