THE SURVIVAL GUIDE: FOOD
2nd Year MBBS
Hello, dear juniors. I welcome you to “THE” King Edward Medical University. I’m sure you guys have had quite a lot of fun in the post-MCAT holidays and you still cannot believe that you’ve made it to the dream University of Millions of students in Pakistan. Well, you have! Congratulations! You now know that you have what it takes to rise above the competition and that is great!
Life at KEMU is going to be fun. Trust me. The first few weeks are going to be tough as hell. But after the few initial bumps, you’re going to find a spot in the wide canvas of KEMU to express your colors. The initial depression and the overwhelming amount of home sickness is going to be tough at first but then you’re just going to grow out of it, like we all eventually do. I am very sure most of you are not used to the hostel-life experience and that is a good thing. Many of you who have been hostelites at various colleges since their FSc days will find the experience no different, so I’ve heard, and the majority who does not have any experience is not to worry. Having zero hostelite experience can be a pretty good thing too. You get to carve out your space in the little community of hostelites and you get to learn new things and undergo changes (which can be for the good or the bad, but mostly good). You’ll learn to manage your own finances and your own expenses which is a very good thing for your practical life ahead.
In short you guys are going to change within the first year. It is up to you how you want to change. There are many good changes and many bad changes but it all depends on the kind of company you’re preferring. Medicine can take a toll on your personality and even your sanity (LOL) but it’s all up to you how you want these factors to change your life.
So I’m starting this little thing here. Within a few posts I will try to cover all aspects of the hostel life at KEMU and how to survive here.
Let’s start with the basic necessity here. The one you can’t live without: FOOD.
The first thing you’re going to do is to start the Mess. The food will be great (at first, at least) and most of you will continue the Mess throughout the year, and quite frankly it depends on which Mess you have joined. If you’re a male firstula you’re going to probably join Zeenat Mess or the New Hostel Mess. Depending on the menu, the food can be great or just average. It can be amazing or inedible, depending on your taste. For me, the mess ended a loooong time ago (That’s discussed below). I couldn’t bear the food any more after the first 6 months. So I had to find alternatives. If you like the mess and cannot manage whipping something yourself every time you’re hungry, then don’t leave the mess. The food isn’t all that bad.
The Menu: The menu is a bit of a mixed affair. You’ll have rice and a lot of rice. Like 6-7 times a week. There will be burgers on one day too. And a really good roast chicken called “Tawa Chicken” on another day. The other items include Daal Chaanp with an option of chicken piece or a beef rib, Shahi chanay, Chicken Jalfrezi, Chicken Fried Rice, Saag, Koftas, Mixed Veggies which are mostly just carrots and potatoes, etc. The menu is going to rotate and that’s also a mixed affair because sometimes the menu sucks and the other times it rocks!
And since the winter is almost fully here, you are going to get Kashmiri Tea on some days too. If there is a very bad thing on the menu like Methi or some other mixed vegetable sort of thing, you’re going to get Kheer/Firni/Vermicelli, etc. or some other sweet dish helping to wash out what you’ve just eaten (LOL).
This is a lifesaver. Seriously. The really economical zingers and the great deals are really lifesaving when you’re feeling hungry and the mess has something cooked that you cannot eat at all. I discovered this place in the first week or so and since then it has been the place to call whenever I’m hungry. It is pocket friendly too. And since it is located really close to the hostel, it charges close to nothing for deliveries.
A rather recent discovery, chicken cottage delivered a pleasant surprise with the really cheap but delicious rice. If you’re in a fix just get the cottage rice deal delivered. It should save your life for a couple of hours.
Location: Mall Road, immediately adjacent to Pak Tea House.
Pak Tea House
Another very recent discovery was the historical Pak Tea House, which used to be the “it” place for the hangouts of the likes of Manto and many legendary authors and poets. The place is really well furnished and offers really tasty food for a minimal price. I tried the Biryani and it was amazing. I was actually pissed that I didn’t know that this place existed so close to KEMU. It is literally just across the road. Lol. Try this sometime when you want a good cup of tea in solitude or hangout with your friends.
Location: Mall Road, immediately adjacent to Chicken Cottage.
Read a detailed review on it here
Read a detailed review on it here
Big Man’s Pizza
I am so glad I found this place. This is the place to call if you want to gobble down a delicious cheesy pizza. The pizzas have a taste like no other and the place offers many good deals as well. Its oreo shake is what got me hooked to this place at first and it still remains to be the best item on their menu for me, at least. Try the Kit Kat shake as well. I’ve tried the Zinger Burger deal as well but you’re probably better off eating the Green Chilli Zinger than this one. The taste is good, but I found the size to be little to satisfy my hunger. Could work out for you. Who knows.
Location: Mall Road, infront of the Lahore Cafeteria
This is the place where the seniors are going to take you after the ragging as a treat. The Karahi is delicious and the kebabs are great too. This place doesn’t deliver but since it is located at a walking distance, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to go there to eat. Good for birthday treats and hangouts.
Location: Lakshmi Chowk.
Ever since Ayesha Mumtaz raided this place, it has been uncertain whether this place was open or not. Khair, the food is nice, I found their Zingers to be much better than Green Chili’s and the Arabian Rice deal is also good. Good for delivery or hangouts and not-too-heavy-on-the-pocket eating.
Location: Near Gawalmandi.
Yes. It can be done and it isn’t impossible. I found the mess to be inedible after 5-6 months and I have my own cooking equipment ever since. Don’t worry. I’m not talking about full on cooking. Just light cooking like an omelette or some K&Ns things with a Dawn Paratha. I even make my own tea (in a pan, not that horrid everyday wali chaye).
You need to buy a hot-plate. I bought a Westpoint Single Hotplate which cost me only three thousand. It is really cheap and lasts like forever. Plus you’ll need a medium sized frying pan and a small sauce pan if you want to make your own tea.
I know some of you are thinking this is ridiculous as my roommates did when I bought it first and trust me, it is NOT. It is very practicable and doesn’t take time. So no need to worry. Plus you're going to live here and use these things for five years, so it is a great investment.
Tea is something I cannot live without at all. I need at least 4 to 5 huge mugs of tea to keep me going all day. If you are a chaye aficionado like I am, you must have something to make your own tea, because if you’re thinking you’d get that from the Hostel Canteen, news flash: it is freaking terrible. Seriously.
You have two options if you want to drink proper tea. One is that you bring with yourself an electric kettle and have the everyday wali chaye. The other one is that you get a hotplate and a saucepan to make tea. The plus to this is that you'll be getting really good, homely chaye.
More survival how-tos in Survival Guide: Ragging.