Northwest Austin Edition | June 2022

DINING FEATURE Zaviya Grill Pakistani restaurant home to mix of cultures A lthough Zaviya Grill is a Pakistani restaurant, it attracts a diverse clientele. At the time, Siddiqui left her job as a commercial real estate rebranded as Zaviya Grill on April 28, 2019, during the COVID-19 pandemic. BY SUMAIYA MALIK

The casual, family-style restaurant brings the spice-fueled South Asian avors to the Parmer Lane corridor. “You hear a lot of dierent lan- guages and [see] religious garb. It is kind of a beautiful thing,” customer Max Aliprandi said. He said he and his friend Arsalan Alam dine at the restaurant at least once a week. Aliprandi looks at a table where 12 family members are speaking Arabic. At another table, children converse in Urdu mixed with English. At a third table, Spanish. The Texas accent resonates in all three conversations. Yasmeen Siddiqui, who co-owns Zaviya Grill with Mehreen Pathan, said the Pakistani style of cooking does not use coconut milk and is heavy on spices and satises a variety of palates. North Indian food is similar, except Pakistani food is meat-centered, Siddiqui said. The naan, a at bread made fresh to order in a tandoor, or brick oven, is popular with all South Asian popu- lations. And the spice level attracts those who enjoy Mexican food. “Our clients are Austinites of Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and Arab origin. We also get Mexicans and locals without South Asian ties, because we try to make some eort, and we have options for them,” Siddiqui said. “So some of our food is spicy, and that is authentic. We don’t want to tamper with that spice level.” Siddiqui and her business partner purchased Mirchi restaurant and

developer to run the restaurant with Kashif Pathan, the husband of her co-partner. Without any previous experience in the food industry, she said she learned on the job from dishwashing to the cash register before making any changes to the new purchase. “My husband and I are fans of authentic Pakistani food, and we wanted to preserve that and make the restaurant family-friendly,” she said. Her hope, she said, was to create a place where people from South Asia, a fast-growing population in Austin, could enjoy the cuisine. She said she had to be creative when indoor dining closed during the pandemic, delivering online orders to central locations where clients could come pick up orders. That was when the owners expanded the interior to prepare for after the pandemic with booth seating and wooden tables. The restaurant also allows custom- ers to order from the buet or order from the a la carte menu. All meat is halal, and popular items on the menu include goat payas, a slow-cooked stew made from mutton or beef hoofs. Regular items on the buet include biryani, a rice and meat dish; a tomato and chicken stew; meat cur- ries; and vegetables. Desserts include rice pudding and gulab jamun, a fried dough covered in sweet syrup.

Yasmeen Siddiqui is the co-owner of Zaviya Grill and said she regularly introduces new entrees on the lunch buet to test out before making them permanent on the menu.


Biryani, meat curries, egg drop soup and vegetables are served on the buet.

Bone-in, grilled chicken tikka marinated with tandoori masala.

Some of the items available on the lunch buet ($19.99) include biryani, chicken karhai, gosht salan and mixed vegetables. A diner favorite is the goat payas, a slow- cooked stew made from mutton. A la carte menu: ON THE MENU

Vegetable samosa ($2.49), sh pakora ($10.99)


Grilled chicken tikka leg ($7.99), special grill platter ($39.99)

Main entrees

Palak paneer, bhindi or okra, alu-gobi or potato- cauliower saute, and paneer tikka masala; paneer is a kind of cheese similar to cottage cheese

Popular vegetarian options

Zaviya Grill 1212 W. Parmer Lane, Unit A, Austin 512-284-8298 Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9:45 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.






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