BOTs – The Seafood Storm

BOTs – The Seafood Storm

BOTS and SARA are the two most talked about abbreviations among the good food lovers these days in Karachi. The rave is about the Biryani of the Seas (BOTs), a seafood roadside dhaba style restaurant owned and run by the very young, and dynamic entrepreneur Syed Ali Raza Abidi (nicknamed SARA by his foody friends)- a business graduate from Boston and also CEO of the Ikhlaq Enterprises, one of the leading fish exporters of Pakistan.


With the access to all the prime export quality seafood and the love of cooking, Ali ventured into providing good quality seafood cuisines at a very affordable price. There was a time when seafood entrée like lobster tail, fish steak, bbq prawns, calamari etc. were available either in Chinese restaurants or elite fine dining restaurants and were also pretty much out of the reach of an average income family or office goers.


Ali mastered the art of cooking during his six years in the multicultural crowd of the dorms in Boston, learning various traditions, styles and recipes. He started Biryani of the Seas in 2010, primarily serving fish and prawn biryani out of a small dhaba style roadside establishment at Clifton available for home delivery, take away and dine in.


Over the two years this restaurant has grown to offer extensive seafood Chinese, Italian, Pakistani, South Indian and Goan dishes. The menu has a fabulous selection of curries, karahis, bun kebabs, soups, bar b que, pasta, steaks, rolls, dossa, rice and many more cooked with prawns and fish both as well as chicken.


I am personally a regularly customer of this eatery and often get the food delivered for dinners or for parties. The BOTs dishes always are the winners at all parties. I never have a disappointed moment when I order a meal at the end of a tiring day with no time to cook. The Goan Shrimp curry is an all time hit with me, medium sized shrimps is cooked in a very delicious and fiery curry paste with hint of tamarind and chilies, makes a satisfying meal paired with steamed rice and a spoonful of achaar. The Goan curry is also available in fish and crabmeat. Prawn Chillie Dry, with vegetable fried rice is one such entrée that always brings out great compliments every time I serve it on my table. These are prawns stir-fried in a mild garlic, caramelized onions and fresh green chilies, a must eat for anyone visiting or ordering from BOTs. My latest obsession is the Tsunami Prawns, a dish made of the sesame crusted large sized pan seared prawns dipped in a fiery sauce. This sauce is a unique preparation of the worlds third hottest locally grown green chillies ‘Bhut Jhulokia” and other condiments. The good thing is that the sauce is served separately so we can adjust the amount that we can tolerate. It is really a stormy experience devouring these prawns while our nose and eyes storms.


If you want to enjoy high quality BBQ fish and prawn, just catch a glimpse of SARA himself standing on his BBQ pit fanning some juicy, spicy or mildly marinated jumbo prawns and huge steaks of snappers. Yes that is the secret of success with BOTs, Ali cooks himself whenever possible, he creates all the recipes himself, trains and teaches his cooks and is there to take customers feedback, criticism, ideas on taste, presentation, menu very openly and positively.




The downside of dine in at BOTS is the slow service owing to the fact that it is mostly overcrowded in the evenings specially over the weekends, the service gets awfully slow and finding a place is challenging. There is a big demand for service from this restaurant, which is overwhelming with the limited roadside sitting arrangement for dinners.


Recently they have come up with a two floor dining area next to the existing outlet but I did not see any glaring improvement in the service since it is always full to capacity. BOTS is planning on opening another upscale restaurant DHA area, but well that will definitely have high-end prices as well.


Ali, uses nothing but the top most export quality seafood brought every day from his factory at the fisheries. One get dishes cooked with giant prawns, the prime steaks of red snapper, surmai, lobster tails or squid rings at a reasonable price. The servings are generous and filling. A dinner with seafood entrée for two, take away or dine in would never cost more then Rs.600-700.


A true novelty constituting the best of the seafood harvest from the coasts of Karachi for everyone.

Farah Kamal

An education and development consultant with a masters degree from UBC-Canada and a Executive Program from Standford University-CA. She works ona range of projects connecting classrooms around the world using ICT and exchanges.

  • guest

    The food I had at BOTS, a few months ago, where a gutter was over flowing on the road was mediocre, at the best. It was extremely spicy, so much so, that it felt our whole insides were on fire. We couldn’t taste anything except spice. Although we had ordered their famous grilled fish fillet and prawn biryani, we didn’t enjoy the items at all. we had to have ice-cream right after the food. Plus the stench of gutter was over powering.


    What is wrong with you ladies — in your dreams there is nothing else except cooking and eating — either of which fortunately none of you can do better than our gourmet man Farooque Hashmi!

  • Farah Kamal

    Qalim, every mag or publication online or hard copy has a section on food and restaurant reviews. So, I am a food journalist, hope you know that. Many men are food journalist even in Pakistan. Two of the blogs written on budget 2012, is by women, and The News have some fine women bloggers that write beside food. Writing for different sections and precisely food has nothing to do with gender parity.

    • Anonymous

      Ms Kamal

      My apologies for any offence – perhaps I misunderstood your profile on the blog :

      Profile: An education and development consultant with a masters degree from UBC-Canada and a Executive Program from Standford University-CA. She works ona range of projects connecting classrooms around the world using ICT and exchanges.

  • Anonymous

    Hasmi Sb

    Perhaps the lady confused ‘The Canterbury Tales’ with that other satire of his known as ‘The Legend of Good Women’

  • Anonymous

    Ms Kamal

    The point I made was, “About time Ms Kamal tried her writing skills on another topic considering 5 of her 6 blogs have been about food”. Infact your non-food blog was good and elicited more responses than your food blogs, if comment figure is used as a gauge!

    As much as I love food, one does not eat 20 hours of the day or one does not necessarily want eat daal, roti twice a day, 7 days a week if one has the choice!

    My apologies again for any offence caused.

  • Farooq M. Hashmi

    Miss Farah Kamal, how come it’s almost a month since you had posted your ‘ The Bots____ The Sea-food Storm ‘ article. You have not re-emerged on the ‘ News Blog Forum ‘ since June 4, 2012 probably. I have been looking forward to your new appetite-whetting ‘ roti botti ‘article all the while.