Bundo Khan Halal Restaurant is a small storefront that serves an intriguing array of curries, kormas and exotic stir-fries of goat brains, kidneys and liver. But we were surprised to also find a Philly steak sandwich, burgers and chicken wings at the Sunrise nook. Still, what we're here for is Bundo Khan's aromatic, authentic Pakistani and Indian cuisine. The "halal'' part of its name refers to meat in line with Islamic dietary guidelines. A Pakistani friend who comes here several times a week says it's the only restaurant she's found in South Florida that reminds her of home -- with good reason.
Owner Abdul Hakim grew up in Pakistan. He was born in India but when Pakistan became an independent nation in 1947, his family moved to Karachi, the country's largest city. His father, Bundo Khan, owned a few well-known restaurants there. When Hakim moved to Miami 30 years ago, he broadened his skills, attending college to study hotel and restaurant management, then working as a manager for the Lums chain and Doral Country Club. He owned and later closed two Miami Beach restaurants, including one named Bundo Khan. He opened the Sunrise restaurant more than a year ago, serving traditional dishes with his own blend of heady spices, which include ginger, coriander, clove, cinnamon and garlic, a treat for the senses when you walk in the door.
If this is your first experience with Pakistani cuisine, you'll recognize many items you'd see at an Indian restaurant, like tandoori meats, curries, samosas, rotis (breads). Pakistani dishes generally have more of a spicy wallop. No pork is served, but the meat lineup offers chicken, beef, lamb, goat and shrimp. Prices are so low -- the most expensive dish is $13.99 -- it's easy to experiment. We were given a stack of plastic foam plates, which may not be fancy but we were able to easily share an array of foods.
Ambience: Don't expect much decor-wise at Bundo Khan, but you can catch a Bollywood movie on the flat-screen TV.
A selection of dishes at Pakistani-Indian Bundo Khan Halal Restaurant by owner Abdul Hakim in the dining room of his Restaurant.