Khabbay, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia

I had a first this evening. I’d never had Pakistani food before and we headed to Khabbay on Lygon Street in Carlton. From what we’d heard Khabbay is well know in the Pakistani community for good, authentic food.

We arrived just before 6:30 and were surprised with how quiet the restaurant was given the reputation it has.

The menu is very interesting and extensive.

We decided on several dishes to share including

  • Lahori chicken karahi
  • Lamb rogan josh
  • Matar paneer
  • Plain roti and garlic naan
  • Plain rice

While we were ordering we were asked how spicy we wanted the dishes. My friends, who have travelled through Pakistan, said to spice it as a Pakistani would eat and we were meet with astonishment but we insisted.

The dishes arrived in about 15 minutes and we tucked in.

I started with the lamb rogan josh and it was quite tasty with a rich sauce but not overly spicy.

Next I dived into the matar paneer. I’m not usually a peas and cheese person but I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it. But again not overly spicy.

The Lahori chicken karahi was the largest dish and was also superb. The mixes of spices used complimented the chicken well.

Overall the meal was superb but I get the feeling that they dialled back the spiciness despite us asking them not to.

If you’re a westerner and like spicy food make sure you insist on spicy rather than the dumbed down version.