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RBK: Who’s Behind Karachi’s Iconic Bun Kebabs?

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By Zainab Hashmi

Unbeknownst in nomenclature, yet an unmistakable countenance in the realm of flavors, Rehman Yousuf, the virtuoso orchestrator behind the illustrious Rehman Bun Kebab (RBK), has been crafting irresistibly tempting bun kebabs for an impressive span of 65 years.

Emerging from the modest origins of a pushcart or an improvised roadside stall, RBK now finds its quaint abode nestled beside the legendary Dupatta Gali on Tariq Road.

In the midst of bustling retail fervor, countless fatigued and famished shoppers, predominantly women and children, have found solace on the pavement adjacent to his stall, indulging in the delectable bun kebabs amidst their feverish shopping escapades. This gastronomic phenomenon promptly ignited fervent discussions across town, elevating RBK to a paramount status and bestowing an additional incentive upon the populace to embark on pilgrimages to the retail haven of Tariq Road.

Loyal patrons well-versed in the gastronomic nuances of RBK have long dismissed any notion of an extensive bun kebab repertoire. Such notions are swiftly dispelled!

RBK, unwavering in its culinary philosophy, has astutely adhered to a concise menu and an aura of simplicity, albeit accompanied by a notable escalation in pricing over the course of recent decades. The selection remains elegantly straightforward: one can partake in the saada (plain) iteration or venture into the realm of anday-wala (with egg) – a choice that encapsulates the essence.

The tikki, a sumptuous patty forged from daal (lentils), takes center stage; yet, serendipity might bless you, an occurrence that has thus far eluded my gastronomic journey, with the occasional offering of a beef patty, an enigmatic rarity that occasionally graces the tableau.

However, the elusive essence of RBK culminates in the sauce, a celestial elixir known as the raita chutney (a yogurt-based sauce), generously partnered with a dollop of ketchup. When amalgamated into a harmonious crescendo and devoured in symphony with the bun kebab, the taste transcends the boundaries of mere sustenance, weaving an enchanting culinary tale.

Partaking in this culinary symphony entails a modest expenditure of approximately 100 rupees for the saada variant and 130 rupees for the anday-wala rendition. However, a word of caution echoes – the diminutive proportions of these gastronomic marvels might leave you yearning for more than a solitary bun kebab to satiate your discerning palate.

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In a realm where delightful tidings seem to flourish, RBK has embarked on an expansionary journey, unfurling its culinary magic not only within the confines of its original dwelling but also venturing forth to Delhi Mercantile Society and New Karachi, nestled in proximity to the bustling Nagan Chowrangi. However, amidst this burgeoning dispersion, the venerable heart of RBK, its time-honored flagship nestled along the vibrant tapestry of Tariq Road, stands resolute, an indelible landmark, ceaselessly bestowing a cascade of bun kebabs upon the contented throngs of shoppers. A venerable tradition that the passage of time appears to nurture, hinting at a future where this flavorful legacy shall persist.

In your escapades through the bustling vivacity of Tariq Road, as you weave through the throngs of eager shoppers, do indulge in a slight deviation from your retail endeavors. A rendezvous with RBK stands as a beckoning endeavor, poised to graciously strike one more item from your bustling roster of aspirations.

In a seamless transition from humble origins to a notable culinary dynasty, RBK has unfurled its banner not only on its initial stomping grounds but has also successfully carved out a presence within Delhi Mercantile Society and New Karachi, nestled in the embrace of the vibrant Nagan Chowrangi locale. Yet, amidst this palpable expanse, the enduring nucleus of RBK’s enterprise, the timeless cornerstone that graces the bustling expanse of Tariq Road, remains an unwavering sentinel. A true culinary citadel that unabatingly dishes out an abundance of bun kebabs, instilling joy in the hearts and palates of countless shoppers. This steadfast legacy casts an unyielding gaze into the future, hinting at a continuum of flavorsome traditions.

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As you meander through the lively tapestry of Tariq Road, don’t let the allure of shopping alone guide your steps. Instead, allow a delightful detour to take shape, leading you to the hallowed quarters of RBK. Here lies an opportunity to seize a precious moment, indulging in a culinary experience that transcends mere sustenance.

With a trajectory that spans from modest origins to a culinary empire, RBK has not only remained grounded but has also expanded its horizons, extending its culinary charm to new frontiers such as Delhi Mercantile Society and New Karachi, nestled harmoniously near the vivacious Nagan Chowrangi. Amidst this grand expanse, the original nucleus of RBK, nestled amidst the bustling thoroughfare of Tariq Road, maintains its unwavering presence, an emblematic testament to taste that ceaselessly serves up an array of bun kebabs to the eager clientele. This enduring saga of flavors hints at an unbroken continuum that stretches ahead, promising more culinary delight.

In your expedition through the vibrant maze of Tariq Road, consider deviating from the conventional retail pursuits to embark upon a tantalizing adventure. Allow the aroma of bun kebabs to guide you to RBK, where a symphony of flavors awaits, ready to embellish your culinary journey.

From its modest inception, RBK has grown into a culinary legend, its influence extending to new horizons like Delhi Mercantile Society and New Karachi, gracefully nestled adjacent to the bustling enclave of Nagan Chowrangi. However, amid this expansion, the original essence of RBK remains intact, entrenched within the bustling fabric of Tariq Road. This iconic hub continues to churn out a multitude of bun kebabs, bestowing gustatory pleasure upon the throngs of shoppers. A legacy that persists undeterred, it whispers of an unwritten future where these flavorful traditions will continue to thrive.

While traversing the vibrant tapestry of Tariq Road, let your senses guide you toward a savory detour. RBK beckons, promising a delectable interlude that promises to elevate your culinary voyage.

In the heart of Karachi’s bustling streets, RBK stands as a testament to culinary excellence, delighting generations with its delectable bun kebabs. An icon of flavor and tradition, RBK’s legacy continues to tantalize taste buds, promising to be a savory delight for years to come.

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