Mama Shabz Pakistani Pop-Up Kitchen

by Katja Feldmeier

Mama Shabz pop-up has been featured as part of our monthly favorite pop-ups before and now we finally got ahold of the fabulous creator herself to talk about her business, her food and the ins and outs of being a pop-up maker.

Shabnam, please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us three unusual facts about you!

I'm Shabnam, born in London with Pakistani heritage and now a Berliner.
One: I am not an actual 'mama'
Two: I've practiced Pakistani dance since I was a kid
Three: I can read Arabic, but I don't know what I am actually saying


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When and how did you start your food pop-up business?

I was a bit unsure if this was going to work or not, so in June last year I hosted a 'Pakistani Picnic' to test the food out on my friends. It went well and they suggested to do pop-up dinners and from there I was introduced to the owner at Cafe Futuro and my first pop-up dinner was a couple of months later (September 2015).

Shabz - gopopup

Why did you chose to use the pop-up format over a permanent restaurant?

From what I have seen, the South Asian food scene isn't really big in Berlin. I wanted to introduce it via pop-up dinners to see if Pakistani Food would do well in this city. So far the pop-up dinners that I have hosted have been great and the big plan is to open up a 'Mama Shabz Cafe' soon.

You offer Pakistani vegetarian food. Are you vegetarian yourself? What do you think about the vegetarian food scene in Berlin?

Yeah, I am a vegetarian and have been for 3 and a half years. I think the vegetarian and vegan food scene is great in this city. There is lots of really nice cafes and bars with tasty veggie or vegan food, much more here in Berlin than any other city I have been to.

What are your future plans? Will you try to grow your business?

I would like my own Cafe soon, but at the moment I am enjoying the pop-up scene. I am pretty busy this summer, as I have bi-monthly residence at Cafe Futuro, I am hosting a dinner at Alaska Bar in May. I am going be hosting a food stall at Bite Club in June for the first time and I also have a one-off pop-up dinner planned in London in August - so yes, I am trying to grow my business as much as I can.

Thank you so much Shabnam and good luck with all your plans!

Wanna open a food pop-up yourself? Here are some of our favorite foodie pop-up locations.


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