Upon the invitation to try out a new cafe, I tagged along with my friend to try out the newly opened Ganache Cafe at Mall 1. I had heard about Ganache before, who was quite well known in the Lahore market for their delectable desserts. Even though they somehow never publicized themselves like the other more prominent bakeries out there, Ganache Cafe seemed to have made its arrival with a bang right amidst other popular eateries.
While walking up to the cafe, it was clearly obvious how packed the other restaurants were on a Thursday evening. Ganache Cafe was eerily empty, but we still went ahead and decided to give it a try.
The layout of the cafe is exactly like The Deli and The Pantry. It wasn’t a very welcoming entrance and felt slightly cold and unwelcoming. We made our way down to the basement level, where they had placed the salads and desserts on either side. The menu isn’t extensive and after hearing the recommendation from the floor manager, we opted for the Risotto and Shepherd’s Pie. “They are our best seller items,” said the manager.
For drinks, we ordered Raspberry Lemonade and Fresh Juice. We had to pay the bill initially, which turned out to be Rs. 2195/-.
As we made our way up, we wondered why there aren’t more people. We had the whole cafe to ourselves. So we took out our laptops and started working on our assignments. Soon enough, a group of 3 people came and sat on the table behind us. Thank God, we said, otherwise this would have been a very sad experience being the only one in the cafe.
It took about 20 minutes for the food to arrive, and sadly enough, none of the dishes looked like what they are supposed to look like. The risotto looked like porridge, and the shepherd’s pie didn’t look like a pie at all. “Let’s taste it. Looks can be deceiving!” The risotto was slightly bland, tastewise, and it came nowhere near a proper risotto. The rice just seemed to be one big porridge-fest and didn’t really have any taste to it. I know it may seem unfair to compare, but when you are paying a hefty price for your meal, you expect to get what you asked for.
The shepherd’s pie was just minced meat with potatoes and cheese. It had no taste and we weren’t sure why we were still eating. I’ve had my share of shepherd’s pie in other places and countries (and even made some on my own) but this pie at Ganache was another level altogether, not in a good way.
By the time my friend was done with his meal, it was only then, did they bring his drink— as it turns out they mistakenly delivered his drink to the other group of people sitting behind us. Just the fact they mixed up drinks in a cafe where only two tables were occupied showed the poor customer service, I must say.
The Fresh Juice was basically Shezan Mango juice mixed with Club Soda. It was obvious as we’ve had enough Shezan Mango juice to taste its distinct flavors. My raspberry lemonade was basically Vimto with Club Soda, which fared slightly better.
Since we were so put off by the food, we opted to have desserts from The Deli, which really hit the spot for us. “We must come here to The Deli next time!” was our common sentiment.
Given that this is a new cafe, we decided to give it a chance as all new places go through teething problems, but little things, such as not setting up the table properly, late delivery of napkins, mixing up drinks, among other things just didn’t cut it well. I felt like telling them all to give me a chance to come and train you all so customers can feel more welcome at the cafe. Ganache Cafe should be given a chance, since the competition is tough out there, and perhaps this is just a soft launch. I noticed the customers at the table behind us had left half the chocolate cake and half the pizza uneaten. They were complaining about it, so that only reaffirmeded our own experience.
Oh, we couldn’t make sense of the Abida Parveen painting in a cafe like this. Totally out of theme.
All in all, Ganache Cafe is a miss for now. Perhaps, if they act on customers’ feedback, they can improve the quality of their food and retain their customers.