I was born and raised in Islamabad. And I’m in love with the city. The sights, the sounds, the smells. I love everything about it. But out of all the things that I love about Islamabad, there is one thing that I love more than anything else. And that’s the chicken corn soup at Toba Hot and Cold Spot in Karachi Company (G-9 Markaz)!
To make it clear, I’m not at all a big foodie. I don’t really care about fine dining and all that. But this soup. Toba’s chicken corn soup. It’s just so damn good that I can’t help but crave it all the time.
Especially in the winter. There’s just something about the soup that hits the spot. It’s hearty and filling but not too heavy. The perfect comfort food for a cold winter day.
The History and Legacy
The shop’s history is as rich as the taste of the soup it serves. Toba Hot and Cold Spot was founded in 1997 by Mr. Muhammad from Toba Tek Singh, a town in Punjab, Pakistan. He started his business with a small food cart serving soup to the other shopkeepers in Karachi Company (G-9 Markaz) during winters and Falooda (a frozen dessert made with milk and cream) during summers.
The taste, as the locals tell, was simply unmatched! But the key to his success was the fact that he kept the prices very much affordable. Mr. Muhammed became famous in the area, and soon enough, he rented a small shop in the same market he used to roam around selling his homemade soup.
The legendary Toba Hot and Cold Spot was born!
He hired more staff, mostly his relatives, and scaled up the business to meet the increasing demand. Interestingly, he never opened another branch. The business really boomed, and Toba Hot and Cold Spot soon became a household name in Islamabad.
I remember the old guy. He used to be so friendly and vocal while pouring the hot soup into the bowls himself. He would always say Bismillah (in the name of God) loudly with each pouring.
A few years back, I went to the shop and found out that the business owner had sadly passed away, and the business is being looked after by his sons. It was sad news. But since then, I haven’t noticed any change in the quality or quantity of the soup. Toba’s chicken corn soup is still as delicious as it was 20 years ago. Though the price has increased a bit over the years.
You’ll have to get in line to pay and get a receipt for your order. Next, you’ll head over to the serving counter and hand over the payment receipt to the guy. He’ll take the slip and tell you to wait as he pours several bowls of the hot soup. Next, he’ll cut the boiled eggs and put them into the hot soup. You can then pick up your bowl and walk over to the sauces corner to add chili, vinegar, soya sauce or whatever else you like.
Toba also offers french fries, sandwiches, burgers, and other fast food items. But to be honest, I’ve never really ordered anything else from here. The chicken corn soup is just that good.
You’ll mostly find Toba Hot and Cold Spot crowded, and it’s a struggle to find a place to sit. The place is not at all high-end. It’s a small roadside shop with broken chairs and tables. When I’m visiting the place with my homies, we usually just sit on the benches outside and enjoy our soups. If I’m visiting with my family, I prefer to stay in my car and order it from there. They’ll serve you the order in a big tray along with the sauces and all. It’s just more convenient and comfortable that way.
The place might not be the most sophisticated of eateries, but Toba’s chicken corn soup is definitely the best soup in Islamabad.
The perfect blend of spices, the right amount of flour, cream, and a sprinkle of black pepper. I like mine with a boiled egg, but you can order it without if you want.
Every time I have a bowl of it, I’m in food heaven. Trust me, it’s that good. The locals love it, and the visitors love it even more. I bet your soul won’t be satisfied with just one bowl. You’ll definitely be ordering another one.
Where is Toba Hot and Cold Spot in Islamabad, Exactly?
The place is located in the backside of Karachi Company, near the bus station. The easiest way to reach the place if you’re new in the town is Google Maps. You can also ask around, and someone will surely guide you to Toba Hot and Cold Spot.
Toba Hot and Cold Spot is more than just a restaurant. It’s a part of the Islamabad experience. If you’re ever in Islamabad, do yourself a favor and have a bowl of Toba’s chicken corn soup. You’ll thank me for it!
Toba Hot and Cold Spot is easily the best soup spot in Islamabad, and maybe, as I like to say, in the entire Milky Way!