Let’s first resolve this. Alvi and agha, two family surnames, were combined to create the name “Alvigha.”

Barbecue, karrhai, and handi are some of the dishes that are famously served at Alvigha, a restaurant in Karachi’s Gulshan-i-Iqbal neighbourhood. Just over two years ago, during the coronavirus pandemic, it opened its doors to the public and quickly became a huge success, primarily thanks to word of mouth.


Alvigha is located across from the well-known Samdani Hospital landmark in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Block 2 at the extremely busy intersection that links Yaseenabad and Federal B. Area with Gulshan-i-Iqbal.

Alvigha largely offers the same barbecue dishes that all other restaurants and eateries do, but what makes Alvigha “special”—and a restaurant that draws patrons like a magnet every day of the week—is the very affordable and generous barbecue platter on a bed of intensely aromatic barbecued rice.

The enormous stainless steel paraat (platter), which comes straight from the kitchen located someplace deep inside Alvigha, can feed a group of up to three very hungry eaters. The top is covered with aluminium foil.

If there’s anything good to come out of the 

 coronavirus pandemic it’s Alvigha, a success

story orginating in a moment in time

otherwise marked by doom and gloom

The juicy, tender, and soft to the touch barbecued pieces of chicken are served in tiny plastic containers with a side of tangy imli chutney (tamarind sauce), substantial portions of barbecued rice, and a flame-grilled ripe tomato. To maintain hygiene, the stainless steel cutlery that is offered at tables is packaged in plastic bags. With regard to the calibre of the food and the value-added services, it certainly checks all the boxes.


Around us, excited eaters could be seen tucking into their meals after patiently waiting the allotted 25 minutes between placing an order and having it served.

Some of the patrons that were seated revealed that they frequently (once, occasionally even twice a week, especially on weekends) visited Alvigha to eat their barbecue platters. They claimed that what keeps them coming back is the high calibre of the cuisine and the low, extremely affordable costs.


Besides the platters, the chicken karrhai is also quite popular and although we haven’t sampled it yet, there’s reason to believe we most certainly won’t be disappointed.

The busy thoroughfare cutting through the Gulshan-i-Iqbal food street
The photographer and I weaved our way out of the crowded parking lot and started the tiresome task of finding our way out of there before meandering through the rather heavy traffic to reach our respective destinations after paying our bill for the food (yes, we critics do pay for our food) and a generous tip for our server.
The frightening crowds that were all around us, whether they were in the parking lot, the busy roadway, or the Alvigha open-air dining area, were a little too much for us to handle all at once.You feel alive and vigorous in such a hectic, overactive environment, which also has its own demands and benefits. At Alvigha, you can’t help but have the impression that life is beckoning you—how you respond is totally up to you.

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