Ok, so when we received the task of heading out to Port Grand for coverage, to us it sounded nothing more than an All-in-a-Days work. The kind of “work” which we weren’t really looking forward to because of two words “heat” & “coast”. Besides, what’s there not to already guess about an outdoor food court, we thought.
We were wrong. Very… very wrong. To say the least, we were in utter awe. Little did we know that the minute we would enter, our eyes will pop out of their sockets and it will take us several seconds to register that we are in Karachi or Singapore – no Karachi, errr maybe Singapore.
PORT GRAND is literally grand, constructed over a massive 10-acre area around the historic Native Jetti Bridge. Each and every aspect of the area is so thoughtfully custom built, right down to the custom-built cart wheels serving basic food. The environment simply allows you to ventilate; it gives you a sense of calm, where you can walk while munching on a snack or sit in the open area smoke sheesha while taking in the scenic view. Its strange, how at the Port Grand, the sun seems be a lot friendlier, the sea looks a lot cozier and the trees look a lot more green. Port Grand is an acquisition of a new Karachi, or let’s say, a better Karachi pulling you away from the gloom and doom of the city .And yes there is a one- hundred years old banyan tree where Charles Napier is believed to have built a tavern. It’s said that builders used the same stones and wood extracted from the demolished bridge to salvage the heritage.
Having said all of that what truly made me go weak on my knees was the variety of food offered. Port Grand offers you 32 restaurants, a food street, with traditional and international flavors. So from casual nibbling at Samovar to exotic dinning at Aylanto Bistro or from a juicy carnivorous feast at Gaffers to a garden fresh meal at Vegetables, Port Grand serves you all. If you're not the experimenting type then there’s always the fast food option including OPTP, Mr COD, Mao Pizzeria can all be found on this less than a mile long gastronomic delight. While you are at it, don’t forget to enjoy the magnificent view of Gigantic Port ships.
It was very heartwarming to notice that visitors were also making an effort to maintain the treasure that Port Grand really is, by making sure to dispose of the garbage in the bins placed literally every 10th step. Honestly we don’t think words will do justice to describe the experience. Port Grand is a must visit location. One simply cannot resist going back there again. It is exactly what the Karachiites need on a pleasant lazy Sunday evening, or any day of the week for that matter. It is the kind of place where you want to head out with your favorite set of people; because you guarantee yourself a good time.
After going around, snapping photographs, jotting down notes ,munching on the snacks , FCPK team returned to the office praying and hoping that Karachi can live up to the new dream, that Port Grand has brought to its shores.