Posted in featured, Food, Restaurant, Review

Que Rico – Spanish cuisine in Lahore!

A chance meeting with a friend led us to having had lunch today at Que Rico, the Spanish restaurant in Lahore. Ever since my return from Spain last year, I’ve been wanting to try out Que Rico, just to savour the Spanish delicacies, aromas and flavours.

IMG_3752

Que Rico is located where Yoglicious, The Urban Cafe used to be. We met the man and brains behind Que Rico, Taha Hammed, who shared with us his desire to bring the Spanish cuisine to us in Lahore. There were some teething problems, as he shared, but he has everything under control.

The general ambience was rather welcoming, and we were given a table next to the window. The weather was pleasant and we could have had sat outside, but opted for inside. We were greeted rather warmly and were looked after well by the servers and the floor managers (there were two!)

We were served a welcome bread basket (some delicious, crisp bread) and mango shots, which were fun to have but clearly over-hyped.

IMG_3727
The welcome bread was actually pleasant and salsa dip on the side was just perfect
IMG_3721
The mango shots were just a hype– nothing Spanish about it. 

 

I insisted in the Tapas, and while they were somewhat different than what I had experienced in Barcelona, I was still excited. We got the Croquettes and Chicken Taco.

IMG_3732
Croquettes- a miss! 
IMG_3736
Chicken Tacos- a hit!

The croquettes were basically mushrooms wrapped in a batter friend potato cover. It tasted just about all right, but nothing that would set it apart as distinctly Spanish in its flavours. The Chicken Taco, however, were a huge hit, and I fell in love with them. The right amount of salsa, guacamole and chicken just took me back to La Rambla in Barcelona.

The drinks were Passion fruit for me and Chilli Ginger for my friend. My drink was served in a beaker (that prompted shaving a conversation about using beakers in chemistry classes in school) into which the server poured in passion fruit. The beaker was served inside a bowl that had dry ice emanating from it. A gimmick which was used to keep the drink cool. The Chilli Ginger was a breezy drink that hit the spot.

IMG_3745
The passion fruit drink was brought in this beaker, which itself was placed in a bowl with dry ice
cc459774-b3e2-4592-a5a8-f2039a549590
Chilli Ginger drink 

For the main course, we opted for the Duck on a bed of quinoa. It was a very daring move on our part to go for the duck, and so we did. Sadly, the duck meat wasn’t soft at all, as mention in the menu. The owner Taha later explained how the duck is Brough in from Germany and kept in storage, and it all depends on how well the cook cooks it: overcooks or undercooks. In our case, it was overcooked. He profusely apologised and invited us again next time to have a better experience. The quinoa was much much better so we ended op finishing the quinoa.

IMG_3740
Sadly, the duck meat wasn’t soft and the owner bravely admitted that to us 

 

The churros were served to us to complimentary, and it wasn’t anywhere near the actual churros I had in Madrid– it looked the same but tasted rather different.

IMG_3748
Churros were tough and inedible

All in all, Que Rico is a brave on its part to enter the Lahore’s food market. There ‘s a lot of competition out there, and surviving as a Spanish only restaurant may prove to be a tough battle. However, Taha, and the other managers were adamant to succeed, and shared with us their future plans. We wished them all the best, but in all honestly, I don’t see myself going back there, mainly because when I am paying 2500 rupees for my meal, I want something worthy out of it. I could have easily gone down to a local Pakistani restaurant and got a better tasting meal for much less amount.

Having said that, I wish Que Rico lots of luck!

Posted in featured, Food, Restaurant, Review

Ganache Cafe — Zero Panache

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.

01 Exterior

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.

08 Risotto

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.

09 Shepherds Pie

 

2335
Just check out what a real shepherd’s pie should look like. sigh. 

 

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.

12 Painting didn't fit in with the scene

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.

Posted in featured, Food, Restaurant, Review

Sumo- A 失敗 (Shippai) Japanese Experience

After several months of waiting, I finally managed to try out Sumo, the Japanese fusion eatery located in DHA. Situated snuggly above Mandarin Kitchen, I was expecting to be blown away after reading rave reviews of Sumo on various online food groups and in Sunday magazines.

 

01 Exterior
Sumo is on first floor, above Mandarin Kitchen

 

Having arrived at 11pm, after having attended a Qawaali musical night out, the restaurant welcomed us in warmly and gave us great seating next to the front window.

For a few seconds, I felt like as if I were sitting in a restaurant somewhere in London. That feeling was merely a mirage as everything went downhill from here on.

We were given a welcome drink, which was basically Perrier and 7-up, with a lot of sugar in it. It didn’t really hit the spot as we were coming in from the cold weather outside. Maybe this welcome drink will work in the scorching summer heat.

10 Welcome drink

 

08 Menu
They go back as far as 1990, and aim to provide a “truly contemporary Japanese experience.”

 

From the small plates menu, we ordered the Edamame and Chili Calamari Salad. The Edamame, I ordered purely with the aim to relive my sushi experience at Sushi Samba in London, and yes, I truly did enjoy these Japanese beans. The Calamari salad, however, was a very average affair. Nothing to write home about.

 

12 Edamame
Edamame- My fav thing all evening!
11 Calamari salad
Calamari Salad

 

From the Sushi menu, we ordered Angus Beef Tataki and Crunchy Maki Tempura. On their own, both these dish were satisfactory and we enjoyed them. They tasted just fine but didn’t have the wow factor that one expects with the hefty prices. However, if we start comparing these dish to the sushi we’ve had from proper, authentic Japanese restaurants, then they fail miserably. I was reminded that Sumo is a Japanese-Fusion restaurant, so hence the taste not being entirely authentic.

 

13 Crunchy Make
Crunchy Maki Tempura

 

 

14 Angus Beef Tataki
Angus Beef Tataki

 

The real disaster happened when the Hibachi Chicken arrived. Bland, tasteless and full of oil, this dish was merely inedible. I had it because I was hungry, otherwise, I think I would have not eaten it at all. It made me think whether the restaurant was recycling their leftovers or not (mind you, it was almost midnight by the time the main course arrived).

15 Hibachi CHicken

What could go worse? The complimentary dessert. It baffles me that the eatery would actually serve their customers with a fruit trifle, which is as Pakistani as a dessert you can get. Not good. For a restaurant like Sumo, that claims to provide a Japanese experience, this dessert totally ruins the Japanese experience.

 

16 Complimentary dessert
The Ultimate Pakistani Dessert in a Japanese Restaurant! Hah!

 

The total bill for two persons came out to be Rs. 6345/- A rather pricey place to be for average food at the most.

 

17 Comment card
Comment Card– They didn’t give any option below average! Sigh!

 

I know I may seem a little harsh here. As my friend and I were recalling our sushi experiences in restaurants in the US and UK, we felt like Sumo failed on many levels.

So here’s the deal: if you are used to having proper sushi from eateries abroad (for me personally, my sushi experience at Sushi Samba was more than awesome!), then Sumo will disappoint you, and if your sushi experience is limited to Pakistan (Wasabi, Fujiyama etc), then you will like Sumo. As for me, this was my first and last visit.

Sumo, your experience has simply been “shippai” -ied.

Posted in Food, Restaurant

Cafe Beirut- From Lebanon to Lahore (almost!)

One of my favorite cuisines in the world is Lebanese food! I cannot stop raving about their mezze– hummus, cheese sambousaks, fatoush, grilled halloumi cheese and the list goes on. Having lived in the Middle East has certainly made my taste buds accustomed to the Lebanese food!

So it was with much delight that a friend invited me to try out the newly opened Cafe Beirut in Gulberg. I was excited no doubt and was looking forward to having some authentic Lebanese food. It helps that there is a chef from Lebanon who is handling the kitchen, so we were guaranteed to get authentic Lebanese food, and not some Lebanese- Pakistani version!

00

Since it was a weeknight, we had no issues with parking, and so thankfully we didn’t have to struggle to look for parking space. The front of the restaurant is somewhat inviting, and the rooftop area looked welcoming– that’s where I wanted to head. The interiors of the eatery didn’t feel as warm as some of the Lebanese restaurants I’ve frequented in the Middle East– the cliched colored hanging lanterns and paintings of Arabs were adorned on the wall. The steps leading up had Multani tiles placed on the riser (totally not Middle Eastern design!)

01

020304

Having said that, we got a great table on the rooftop and the manager was kind enough to arrange for the heater right next to our table. This was perfect as we sat there for the next two hours, catching up over some rather delectable food.

Here’s what we ordered:

Hummus, Fatoush, Baba Ghanouj, Cheese Fatayers, Meat Shawerma and Chicken Shawarma.

 

07
Hummus
09
Fatoush and Baba Ghanouj
08
Cheese Fatayer

 

In short, I wouldn’t say that it’s the best Lebanese I’ve had, but being in Lahore, this is probably the closest I’ve been to having authentic Lebanese food. The hummus had just the right taste and texture, which was so good I was munching on it throughout the meal. Baba Ghanouj was a good attempt too, but something was lacking its taste- so that was left aside. The warm bread they brought along with the mezze was good, and it’s advisable you eat them bread immediately for they start to go hard once they cool down. At a moment like this, I did miss the soft Arabic bread that is usually served in Lebanese restaurants. Fatoush was also not bad, but it had spices that suit the Pakistani palate– I wish they had stuck to their original Lebanese flavors.

I thoroughly enjoyed my chicken shawarma, which again, was almost as close to the shawarmas I would eat in Dubai. I absolutely loved the white garlic/ mayo sauce they served with the shawarma. The meat/ lamb shawarma was something I wasn’t a fan of. There was just something different about the lamb, not in a pleasant way,  that made it less tasty.

 

11
Chicken Shawarma Wrap
10
Lamb Shawarma Wrap

 

The ambiance of the rooftop was great, which we really enjoyed and didn’t realize in that moment that we had been there for a little over two hours. They served us complimentary kahva- Sulaimania Tea– and that was indeed the most authentic item on the menu. It really sent me back to Turkey actually!

 

IMG_2081
Sulaimania Tea– just the perfect tea!

 

All in all, I would Cafe Beirut is probably the closest you can get to authentic Lebanese in Lahore. I applaud the Lebanese chef to provide us Pakistanis with genuine Lebanese food, and since this is a new eatery, I am sure they will take in constructive feedback from their guests and improve on the taste of the food.

The total bill- I just had to ask my host- would have probably been about Rs. 3000/- for two persons.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Food, Restaurant

Che-Won: Korean Food in Lahore at its Best!

It had been more than four years since I went to Udon House, a small Korean eatery that had opened up by a cute Korean couple. The woman would prepare and cook the meals herself in the open plan kitchen, and I remember at that time how popular it had become with the Lahoris.

Last night, I went there again, though this time the two major difference are the name change- Che Won- and the fact it’s not a little eatery anymore as they have expanded the dining area.

Situated on the ground floor of Hotel One on Mehmood Kasuri road, there was a massive issue with finding parking space, but I didn’t mind since the food more than made up for the hassle.

Che Won

Che Won is simply a no hassle, no frills kind of restaurant. The menu is simple and straightforward and really only two major items that everyone seem to order. Right after we ordered our meals, they places two small bowls, one with cucumbers and the other with veggies covered with Korean spices.

IMG_1949

For starters, we got the veggie pancakes, which felt and tasted something akin to our omelettes, minus the Pakistani spices, and instead filled with Korean spices and mushrooms.

IMG_1950

I ordered the Bulgogi, which is basically under-cut beef that is marinated “to enhance its flavour and tenderness” and is eventually pan-cooked, and is served with rice. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed my meal. It has been literally months since I’ve enjoyed good quality beef that’s been cooked extremely well. I was able to finish my entire meal without feeling sick or overwhelmed.

IMG_1953
Bulgogi

My friend ordered the Bibimbab, which is apparently a very popular Korean dish. This is basically rice, topped with various vegetables, mushrooms, beef and fried egg, mixed with Korean chilli paste in a bowl. He added the soy sauce to it and mixed it all up.

IMG_1954

 

Che Won is a perfect place to have a quick, decent, good quality Korean meal with no frills and hassles that come along with eating at other restaurants.

IMG_1958
Please zoom in and read the details on the right side about idea behind the Korean Mask…..it’s used for exorcism purposes! Gasp!

We didn’t order any starters as the single starter and two main courses was just about right to fill our stomachs. Total bill for two person worked out to be at Rs. 2700/-

Posted in Restaurant

The Balcony- Sorry Excuse for a Restaurant

Several months ago, I noticed a new restaurant had opened up in the now very popular Mall 1 area (which is overcrowded with a plethora of restaurants now) called The Balcony. From the outside, the eatery looked gorgeous, with diners sitting on the balcony.

However, when we ended up here last night, it was a decision we regretted badly. Our initial plan was to go to Bamboo Union, but the waiting list was rather long so we opted to go to a place which has no waiting list, and The Balcony was unusually empty. We did question as to why this would be the case? Is the food bad? Why aren’t there people here like there are other neighboring restaurants. Against better judgment, we still went ahead.

The interior of the eatery didn’t really do anything to entice the diners. We didn’t feel welcome, and the cold greetings from the waiter wasn’t welcoming at all. Since the entire balcony was empty (this was at 9pm), we found a place at the edge, overlooking the main road below (bad idea– the car traffic, constant honking didn’t allow us to have a normal conversation!)

Anyways, so the menu came and on the specials menu was Balcony’s Shakshuka, which when we attempted to order were told that it’s not available as it’s a breakfast item. We questioned as to why it’s mentioned on the Specials and the two waiters just stood there dumbfounded. “Yes, sir, it shouldn’t be on the Specials menu.” We didn’t make an issue out of it and proceeded to order Mozzarella Sticks, Chicken with Honey Sauce and Herb Chicken.

 

06
Shakshuka isn’t available for dinner, and you will have to squint your eyes to read the prices. Sigh. 

 

Since my friend who was treating me for dinner was visiting from London, we got caught up in our conversations over art, movies, culture, music, blogging to not let the outside noise bother us (yes, we could have gone in, but they didn’t allow smoking inside!).

First up: Mozzarella Sticks. I strongly felt that The Balcony shares their chef with Eataly Ristorante, which is right around the corner, because they tasted exactly the same: not good. I mean, I’ve had better mozzarella sticks from Burger King in Dubai! The sticks tonight just didn’t do well with us for the cheese was not warm, not cheesy and certainly not edible. It was getting stuck in my throat.

 

07
These looked and tasted the sticks at Eataly Ristorante– perhaps they are sharing their chefs! 

 

So when we were served the mozzarella sticks, the waiters didn’t bother serving us plates and cutlery and so I wasn’t sure how they were expecting us to eat the sticks. It was after five minutes they a waiter was flagged down and reminded to serve the plates and cutlery as well.

My main course, Chicken with Honey Sauce, was honestly just about average. It was a breaded fillet chicken with a huge dollop of honey mustard sauce. The chicken was edible but the sauce was overwhelming. I had to remove a large portion of the sauce to maintain just the right amount of sauce to go with the chicken.

IMG_1598 (1)

My friend’s meal, Herb Chicken was exactly like my chicken, except they put another sauce with a dash of herbs. His comment to me was: you know what, usually they put the herb inside the sauce to give it an even flavor, and what I see here is no herbs in the sauce, but just a sprinkling of herbs on top. His chicken meal did look sad. Mine looked sad too. Which is why we both left our meals.

09.jpg

By this time, we were totally ready to leave. Our waiter, Rohail, who served us got a handsome tip from us and we left him a great comment card. We didn’t want to fault the waiter at all, they were merely doing their job. However, we did want to fault the management running The Balcony. I am not sure who is checking the quality of food, or even the training of the waiters.

The Balcony is a sorry excuse for a restaurant and I am not sure if it will survive in the long run.

[A meal for two with drinks, 1 starter, and 2 main courses cost my friend Rs. 2911/-]

Posted in Food, Restaurant, Review

Patli Galli – Awesome Location, Average Food

Any new restaurant opening gets us Lahoris excited. After all, we are the food capital of Pakistan. The new restaurant becomes the must-place to visit, and social media is abuzz with reviews- whether good or bad- and everyone jumps on the bandwagon to try out the new place. They become the be seen and be heard kind of place Only time defines how long the restaurant will stay open or survive in a tough market out there.
Of late, there’ve been a bunch of restaurants that have opened up, and Patli Galli is one of the latest ones.

5a57003c200000f62657d81f

MANSOUR A

Patli Galli

Located in Phase 8, DHA, which is opposite the airport, the drive up to the restaurant was a fun one (thanks to the great company in the car). The first thing that hit us as we got out of the car was how chilly it was tonight. “Let’s hope there are enough heaters here.”

5a570229200000180057d821

MANSOUR A

The Entrance to main dining area

The entrance was very welcoming, and on the left side, you get to witness the chefs preparing fresh food before your eyes. With flames roaring from the woks, to the chopping up of the veggies, to the spices being put in the Pakistani dishes, our appetites increased on our way to the table.

5a57122c2100001700590edc

MANSOUR A

Main Dining area with a central bonfire

With a central bonfire, which turned out to be more of a decorative element rather than warming up guests, we seated ourselves inside one of the wooden benches covered with tents. With ample lighting, the location felt magical, as if we’re sitting somewhere outside of Lahore.
Before anything else, we were served with a small cup of soup broth- yakhni- which really hit the spot for us. The yakhni did a perfect job of warming up our hands as we held the small glasses, as well as warming up our insides as we slurped on it.

5a5703ab2100001b00590ec4

MANSOUR A

Menu- with a shot of Yakhni!

Basanti is Pakistani

WokStar is Chinese

Project TK is Burgers etc

The menu is basically split up in three parts: Pakistani (Basanti), Chinese (WokStar) and Burgers (Project TK). Since we felt like having Pakistani food, we opted out of ordering anything from the Chinese and Burgers. After much debate, we settled for Chicken Handi, Chicken Malai Boti and Palak Paneer, along with Roghni Naan and Saada Naan.

5a5703192100001900590ebf

MANSOUR A

Chicken Handi

5a570704200000f62657d824

MANSOUR A

Chicken Malai Boti

5a5703322100003b00590ec2

MANSOUR A

Palak Paneer

The food, in all honesty, wasn’t all that great. I have personally have had better Pakistani food at other places such as Spice Bazaar, BBQ Tonight and Andaaz. Of the three dishes, my favorite has to be the Chicken Malai Boti. The naan were wonderful, served to us warm, so no complaints there.
I really wanted to like the food but found it rather average. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, but it’s just not anything new. We’ve tasted this food before, and so it made us wonder whether we would make a trip out here again and again for this kind of food. I can easily go down to BBQ Tonight, which is closer to my home.
Perhaps we didn’t order the right food, and so I am not willing to write them off. They are a new establishment and every chance should be given to them to prove themselves as a strong contender in the food market of Lahore. We have decided to try out the Chinese and Burgers on our next trip.
Having said that, we totally fell in love with the location, despite the fact that there weren’t enough heaters and stray cats enjoying our meals with us under the table, and would be happy to come back in a less chilly climate. So full marks to Patli Gall for giving us an awesome ambiance.
Patli Galli can become the go-to place in Lahore if it maintains to keep the quality of its food consistent because the location will definitely draw the people in. I am not sure though how they will manage in the scorching summer season.
Since this was a treat, the host paid for our meals, but I guestimated that it was Rs. 1000/- per person (main course, drinks, and tea).
Posted in featured, Food, Restaurant

Amu- A Unique Fine Dining Experience

Upon the special invitation of Chef Shahnawaz, we headed down to Amu for our Sunday brunch. Having heard so much about Amu from others, we were told that special consideration will be taken for our dining experience. “We’ve even imported specific ingredients just for your meal,” Chef Shahnawaz told us.

01 Exterior

With that in mind, the anticipation of eating out at a restaurant that is run by a Michelin-trained chef, who’s worked in New York, our palates were already developing hunger pangs.
Amu is located in a gorgeous house from the 70s that’s located in the posh locality of Gulberg. The entrance is from the side, with a cute main door, upon which is written Amu in gold-plated plaque.

02 Main Door

The first thing that hits us when we enter through the door is the aroma of the apples that have been stacked on the white shelves. This is a very clever move on the part of the restaurant design, as the whiffs of the apple’s aroma transports us to apple orchards, thereby preparing our senses for the upcoming meal.

04. The apple entrance

Walking through the steps up to the first floor, we were immediately brought to ease and comfort with the feeling that we are entering their own house. There is none of that fancy element that is often seen at other fine dining establishments in Lahore.

08 Center Table with the hedgehog

At 1130am on a Sunday morning, there were only a handful of people in the dining hall, which meant we had enough peace and quiet to have great conversations at the table. The younger brother of Chef Shahnawaz, chef Shah Ali waited us at the table and ran us through our different options. We chose Eggs Royale and the Omelet as they came highly recommended. Along with that, we ordered fruit lemonade, orange juice and I ordered passion fruit.

09 Our Table

The ambiance was rather relaxed with enough sunlight pouring in from the front of the hall. We were seated on the right side of the hall which allowed us to get an overview. With carpeted floors, paintings on the all and potted plants around the room, we literally felt as if we were dining out at a friend’s house instead of a posh restaurant.

10. Menu

The first thing to arrive on our table was the fruit platter, which chef Shah Ali mentioned were outsourced from their farm in Muridke, as well as specific fruits imported from world over (they also outsource their dairy products from their farm).

I cannot tell you enough, but taking a bite from the passion fruit at the center of the plate took me back to the time when I had passion fruit every day in Phuket. That is how good it was! The rest of the fruits had that succulent, smooth juicy taste to them, which made it a delight to devour (If only my own cook would prepare fruits for me like, I would be eating them more regularly!)

11. Imported Fruit Platter

As we were served our fruit drinks, Chef Shah Ali shared how his elder brother was preparing our meals himself in the kitchen, and we were just delighted to hear, for this is something which is very rare for Lahore restaurants. It is commendable to see how a young man takes this much interest in the preparation of the guests’ meals.

The fruit lemonade, in a glass that was clear at the bottom but full of color fruits at the top, was a real thirst quencher, but it was my passion fruit that I totally fell in love with. Hands down, Amu serves the best passion fruit drink in town (I can’t help but think how inferior passion fruit at other restaurants have been!).

12. fruit Lemonade

13. passionfruit

The wait surprisingly wasn’t long for our main course to arrive. The Omelet was made just the way I would have liked them, fluffy, consistent and utterly appetizing. Eggs Royale consisted of eggs on a sourdough bread with salmon and hollandaise sauce, with a side helping of potatoes and salad leaves. According to Chef Shah Ali, Eggs Royale has a slight twist to the traditional Eggs Benedict.

15. Eggs Royale

14. Eggs Royale

The highlight for me was most definitely the sourdough bread, which I developed a fascination for when I was in London this past summer. Sourdough is a much lighter bread, which works perfectly for me as I don’t develop that heaviness in my stomach, which regular bread does.

Dining out at Amu reminded me heavily of my dining experiences at other Michelin-star chef’s restaurants such as Nuno Mendes’ Chiltern Firehouse in London and Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Bar at Atlantis Palm Island, Dubai. It became obvious as to how much effort has been put in the creation of our meals. It’s the details that count, as was obvious in the presentation, selection of food products and maintaining the right flavours.

Amu simply believes in the less is more policy, where it’s all about the food.

As were leaving, Chef Shahnawaz came out and thanked us personally for dining at Amu. I mentioned how I write for Huffington Post and am getting into restaurant reviews, he immediately invited me dinner at Amu. Chef Shahnawaz is a man who has made his dream come true, and it’s a sheer pleasure to see how his passion has brought him this far. He shared with us of his future plans, and mentioned how his brother, who is a pastry chef, is getting into bread-making and all.

16. Chef Shahnawaz

Amu is that fine dining restaurant that Lahore can proudly boast off and one that is on par with fine dining establishments around the world. It has created a bit of a problem for me personally, as the standard for great food has been set so high, other restaurants pale in comparison.

As for me, I’ve already decided to take my friends out to Amu for my birthday in May. Yes, that’s how good Amu is!