Anis Sadiq has great ideas when it comes to gourmet. His most lucrative aspect as he boasts his Pakistani-Indian cuisine restaurant, Haji Sahab, is that he has made it affordable for all and that too with the best free home delivery service. The manner in which he has coalesced Indian and Pakistani foods makes him an articulate entrepreneur. His eatery at Discovery Gardens is frequented by all, and Sadiq proudly says that hundreds of motorbike personnel and taxi drivers feel at ease while dining at its premises. It is a somber place to lunch and dine, and the ambience is quite comfortable, airy and pleasant.
The restaurant, Haji Sahab, is an outcome of some deep thoughts and proper homework. Sadiq, a finance professional, took a dip into cooking as he closely studied the market index and taste specimen of foodies, in his more than a decade of managerial exposure at some brand food outlets. Soft-spoken and passionate, Sadiq who hails from Hyderabad, India, says he primarily focused on two things: cultural mosaic of foodies; and cost cutting. With his phenomenal experience, Sadiq thought of giving it a personal try by opening a restaurant that is both Indian and Pakistani in essence, and one that is sought-after for some great taste.
"We have the best home delivery system in Dubai, and there are no delays," Anis mentions. "Though I'm an Indian, most of my kitchen staff, chefs and service people are Pakistani. The reason is that I love Pakistani food, and have gone deep into its cuisine to make it more special at my restaurant." He has a sprawling staff of more than 40 people, in which 11 are delivery men. The radius of home delivery spans from Discovery Gardens to Tecom, and around.
Sadiq says he spends most of the time in kitchen with his chefs and minutely monitors recipes to ensure that the taste tooth at his eatery is not lost. "I'm too conscious of food quality, and want to ensure that our dishes are lip-smacking."
Haji Sahab's specialities are Karahi, Haleem, Hyderabadi Dam ki Biryani, Pakistani biryani, and well-done platter of BBQ, especially the tender chicken boti and malai boti. What makes the eatery more particular is its carefully crafted daily menu with special dishes of the day, such as Keema Karela, Bhindi ghosht, Khadu ghosht, Daal Maash and Daal Makani. These household favourite dishes are tempting enough and come for the best value of money.
"As far as Karahi is concerned, I don't use frozen stuff, and is done fresh. Moreover, our speciality is that it comes with a lot of Gravy." Likewise, Gajar ka Halwa, and sweet Lasssi are other accessories complete the meal.
In breakfast, one can crave for Paaya, Nihari, Kaleji fry or Palak Chana, and enrich with mutton and chicken delicacies over lunch and dinner.
Sadiq says his hobby is to keep on exploring new dishes, and research on the menu ingredients. A perfect use of oil, masala and ginger is taken care of. The point is to make it special and tasty enough. "I opted for this role due to passion in food. From executive white-collar job, I chose the field of culinary because I felt very strongly for good quality food at reasonable price."
As far as pricing is concerned, Haji Sahab is reasonable enough, rather at a mediocre end. For around Dh20, one can have a filling tasty home style food. "Price and profit has never been my concern. I want to bring in standard and quality, where people can feel at home as they dine and lunch with us, and affordability is an indispensable factor in my mind."
Haji Sahab was part of the Hidden Gems Restaurants in Dubai, 2018, courtesy of Dubai Tourism. Similarly, the restaurant has worked with Al Jalila Foundation in Ramadan 2018, where in it contributed a portion of its Ramadan sales towards Basma Campaign, which is part of Al Jalila Foundation.
Sadiq prides in the fact that most of his customers are middle class people, as well as cab and motorbike riders. Moreover, he says his restaurant delivers more than 175 orders a day, and around 800 people show up at the restaurant till midnight.
Haji Sahab also caters to phone and online orders. It has arrangements with a number of services such as Zomato, which picks a majority of its home delivery. Sadiq is social media savvy and keeps himself embroiled on Facebook and other mediums to push his restaurant. He has definite plans for expansion, and says he wants to recreate the taste wherever he goes.
What makes Sadiq a leader in himself, and a good proprietor, is his concern for his staff. "I want to introduce mandatory free education for my staff children, and personally wish to monitor their well-being," he says on a thumping note, and adds, "I want them to be free from concerns so that they can concentrate on work and quality."
Haji Sahab is not only rich in ambience and quality food, but it gives you a nostalgic sense in diaspora. It deserves a must-try.