Chic New South Asian Restaurant Now Open in Mississauga
There is no shortage of South Asian cuisine in Mississauga (in fact, we'd happily argue that while you're better off in Toronto when it comes to elevated Thai and African food, you have to hit the 905 for the best Indian and Pakistani food the GTA has to offer), but not every restaurant offers a stunning interior and rich, flavourful meat dishes you won't soon forget.
MyKolachi Karahi & Barbeque House, an upscale Pakistani restaurant, opened its doors in November and is already impressing customers with its unique interior (think dramatic purple hues with pops of vibrant accent colours, traditional cookware suspended from the ceiling, eye-catching murals, esoteric pop culture shout-outs and prayer rooms) and impressive menu (more on that later).
Located in a busy Dixie Rd. plaza, MyKolachi is run by Harris Zia—a Mississauga-based entrepreneur who also founded a home decor and furniture brand called Nature's Artifacts Inc.
And while it might seem odd for someone who specializes in selling home decor to major retailers to jump into the restaurant industry, Zia says he's passionate about bringing an on-trend and nostalgic dining experience to Mississauga.
"I have lived in Mississauga for the last 15 years but every now and then my mind wanders to my family’s dinner table in suburban Karachi," he says.
"The rich aromas of the sizzling karahi and scrumptious biryani adorning our dining tables every Sunday for lunch or dinner. My cousins would lick their fingers after devouring my mom’s signature dum biryani and my dad’s red karahi."
Zia says MyKolachi aims to recapture the home cooking experience for those who are familiar with it, while also introducing the cuisine to the uninitiated.
"On occasion, I crave not only the authentic cuisine from the banks of the Indus—but also the sights and sounds of my country of origin. My restaurant’s menu and ambience is an homage to my roots, culture and values—I bring to the people of Canada, a taste of Pakistan."
For those who are unaware, Kolachi is an old name of Karachi—which Zia says is known as a "city of lights" for its vibrant nightlife and delicious food.
At MyKolachi, the food—and the attentive service—is indeed memorable.
According to Zia, the resto's karahi entree (pictured below) is cooked fresh using authentic spices and served in the traditional karahi to sustain the optimum heat.
"A lot goes into giving our karahi a unique taste," he says.
The karahi features bone-in or boneless chicken cooked with garlic, tomatoes and MyKolachi's house blend of karahi spices. The dish, made fresher with a generous helping of sliced ginger, is both fragrant and flavourful—and it's not the only meat dish to write home about.
MyKolachi also offers some pretty unforgettable kababs that you won't really want to share with your tablemates (but you should).
"The bbq we serve is marinated over 24 hours in our special spices giving it an authentic taste," says Zia. "Our signature style of serving the BBQ on the charcoal gives the real feel of Kolachi."
Another dish that's simple but satisfying is the Lahori fish, an appetizer made up of crispy fish fritters that's light and airy despite its taste-inducing trip through the deep fryer.
As far as ingredients go, Zia says all of the meat is fresh and never frozen.
"Our meat is sourced locally and never frozen and our spices are free from preservatives and artificial colors."
And while the distinctly affordable food is satisfying (MyKolachi even serves up an ideal butter chicken), the atmosphere puts it over the top.
The fairly spacious resto benefits from its dark purple interior, splashes of colour and trendy signage that introduces patrons not just to the cuisine, but to Pakistan as well. On the way to the washrooms, diners can check out a series of framed comic-style pictures boasting jokes that some patrons might get (and subsequently chuckle at).
The restaurant also offers prayer rooms for both men and women, giving more devout diners a quiet place to worship should they wish to step away from their table.
But beyond comforting curries, succulent meat entrees and warm naan, the restaurant offers patrons something special—an upscale experience at a mid-range price point.
"We offer traditional Pakistani food at an affordable price in Mississauga. Besides food, our authenticity extends to the interior of the restaurant, providing our customers an atmosphere to experience Pakistan," says Zia. "MyKolachi is a true spirit of Pakistan."