December 10, 2010

Fine dining like never before!

December 10, 2010 30
What I am about to tell you all will probably come off as a very pleasant surprise. There is now AMAZING food available (not a new story, be patient) in the most AFFORDABLE of prices (now that's a grand new story). Also, before I begin, this restaurant is going to be sponsoring a HUGE giveaway and this time only regular commentators on this blog will be eligible to participate. So its about time you get down to giving me YOUR feedback on the restaurants I cover!

*

Chilli Willi - a little funny on the name front, is no joke when it comes down to taste, quality and portions! A project of Roasters' ex-chef, this cafe is an attempt by him to make fine dining available for all. And he does this by: making his food as low priced as you can possibly imagine, making portions good enough for your money's worth and venturing out in areas such as Dhoraji - that have previously only been known to be home to "chaat" and "gola ganda" stalls.

For those who want to know a little more about the chef, he is a product of rigorous study at one of Switzerland's finest hotel management schools and has specialized in Italian cuisine. His food pretty much does the talking for his indescribable skills.

So this colorful little shack in the midst of the Dhoraji's bustle pulled us in, considering I had also heard about it from a few people. And even though it was small, the restaurant occupied two floors so, in all it can probably seat around 40 people.

Coming down to the food - it was the best I have ever had (no exaggeration) - following are the items I tried from the menu.



Chicken & Mushroom Soup
That is what it was called, I believe. And it was the creamiest, most delightful concoction ever with chunky bits of mushrooms and chicken. It was served with two soft, fresh pieces of garlic bread. Many of their recipes were similar to what I have tasted at Roasters since they both derive their recipes from the same person's experience.
Chicken Fingers
Marinated chicken strips, fried in bread crumbs and served with honey mustard sauce this was the perfectly light starter for the heavy meal that followed.


Salsa and Tortilla chips
We also ordered this and it must be said that the salsa was much different than others I have had. Having said that, it was great in taste, quality and consistency. Just the right amount of chunky.


Mushroom chicken
Always a favorite when it comes down to grilled chicken, I wanted to try out their version of it and I was delighted! Unlike other fancy restaurants in Zamzama that serve measly portions, their platter had two humongous breast fillets and was generously drizzled with creamy mushroom sauce! It was served with a side of french fries/baked potato and sauteed vegetables. The chicken was grilled to perfection and I did not even need an army of knives to eat my way through it - as is the case in certain other restaurants. This is a MUST try for anyone who goes there. An absolute and complete 10/10.


Fish & Chips
This platter was definitely big enough for two. It consisted of two large fillets of fish deep fried with bread crumbs. And one fillet was an entire meal on its own! It was served with honey mustard, tartar sauce, coleslaw, french fries and sauteed vegetables. All of which were made perfectly. There was not one mistake I could point out - but then again I am not an expert. Just obsessed with food.



American Chicken Burger-
These burgers made Roasters' burgers look like happy meal sandwiches. They were so big in size that even our company - a full grown man - could only eat half! Portions aside, the taste was remarkable and the credit goes to the sauces and marination that is done by the chef himself. It was juicy and loaded with crunchy lettuce and onion rings! 

Pina Colada
This was a trip to heaven. Period. 
And even though I am not a big pineapple fan this drink had the perfect proportions of coconut milk and pineapple to make me fall in love.


Chocolate Mousse
This was the best part of the meal. Made of real Swiss chocolates this delicacy was RICH and thick. It was literally luxury in a bowl at a price you could afford. I have NEVER in my life had such chocolate mousse. This is one thing everyone HAS to try. The true meaning of chocolate mousse. 

Excuse the excitement. The thought of the chocolate mousse made me a little crazy.

Price -
Unbeatable prices. The three course meal for three (including the two appetizers, three main courses, three portions of soup, three pina coladas and the chocolate mousse) cost us a mere Rs. 1985!

Ambiance & Service
The place was snug, friendly and warm. The owners were extremely enthusiastic. The waiters were okay.

Children Friendly -
Definitely! A perfect place to dine out with the whole family without injuring your pocket!

Overall Experience -
11/10 (Figuratively speaking)

November 21, 2010

Winner of Giveaway 4

November 21, 2010 4
I am pretty sure all of you are itching to know the winner of the fabulous giveaway - breakfast for two at Butlers Chocolate Cafe!

But before I announce that, I want to thank you all for appreciating this site. I do put in a decent amount of effort and money to write the reviews and it is great to have positive comments and feedback pouring in. So keep bringing them on.

As for the winner, the lucky person this time is...

Sumaiya Minhaj



Congrats Sumaiya! I will be contacting you soon for your prize on your email address. So keep checking your inbox. And the rest of you, keep watching out for some more AMAZING giveaways soon! =)

Good night!

November 15, 2010

Win Breakfast for TWO at Butlers!

November 15, 2010 93
Being a hot favorite café in Karachi right now, Butlers Chocolate Café has decided to sponsor a giveaway for all its fans right here on The Kanwalful Food Chronicles! So one of you lucky people will be visiting Butlers to be treated to an AMAZING breakfast for TWO!


To know a little more about the breakfast served there click HERE.

As for the giveaway – entering it is simple. Just answer the question below and follow the rules to get a chance to win breakfast for two at Butlers Chocolate Café!

Question

Which country is Butlers Chocolate Café originally from?
A. Switzerland
B. USA
C. Ireland

Rules:

1. Only fans and followers are eligible to participate in this giveaway. Sign up now by clicking on the "Follow" tab OR on the Facebook Fan page on the right.

2. Write your answer, along with your full-name and email address in the comment section below. Only correct answers will be carried forward for the lucky draw.

3. Winner will be announced on 21th November 2010 - Sunday at 10.00 pm. Entries will close at 9.00 pm on the same day. The winner will be contacted through email. If there is no response from the winner within 24 hours of contacting him/her the prize will be canceled and will be passed on to the first runner-up instead.

4. This contest is only valid for those residing in Karachi, Pakistan.

Tell as many friends as you can about this AWESOME giveaway!

Good luck! =)

November 13, 2010

Weekend stopover - Cafe Koel

November 13, 2010 3
If you are looking for a place to sit back, breathe some fresh air and indulge in really, really good tasting food Cafe Koel is where you NEED to be. 

Built within a compound, a small pebbled path bordered by trees and lights makes its way into the entrance of the cafe. And you are instantly met with fresh flowery scents riding on soft breezes when you step inside! The cafe has a seating arrangement both indoors and outdoors, to suit everyone's preference. Outside the place is decked up with huge trees that roof over the seating area and rugged wooden chairs and tables. Inside, it is white, soothing and Japanese in style - with long tables where different groups people might end up sharing spaces! I prefer sitting outdoors when I go in the evenings, especially in winters. Whereas indoors is always preferable in the hot afternoons in Karachi!

What I do love about the place is the clear serenity of it. It is very comforting to be able to just relax in this kind of green environment in a city that is usually gray. Moreover there is also an art gallery within this compound that is always a good way to pass the time when your food is being prepared!

Following are some of the ratings as per my experience:

Favorite items on the menu

Spinach and artichoke dip with Kulcha
This dish is the perfect starter to what I eat later on, on my trip to Koel. It is a layer of mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, spinach and artichoke. All baked to perfection with a thin film of golden on top - the kind of enticing golden that cheese turns to entice and overwhelm your taste-buds. It is served with hot, crispy Kulcha naans and is big enough to be shared as an appetizer by two!

Teriyaki Chicken with garlic rice
This is actually my favorite kind of grilled chicken available in Karachi. This platter consists of two large breast pieces of marinated and grilled chicken drizzled with slightly sweet Teriyaki sauce. It is served with a big stick of vegetables sauteed with soy sauce and a lump of garlic rice. This rice is special Korean rice that is mushier than the typical Basmati rice we Pakistanis are used to and is cooked with hints of garlic! 
I love this so much that sometimes I literally just have Cafe Koel Teriyaki Chicken cravings! It is definitely a 9/10 AND a must try!

Baked Chocolate Pudding
This is the dessert that got Cafe Koel famous! It is small when it comes down to looks - a little dumpling of rich brown cake in appearance. But a bite of it gets out oozing a RIVER of hot, silky chocolate and you are soon to realize that it is no dimwitted cake or even small enough to be consumed by only one! Especially after the dip and grilled chicken! A bite of the pudding can send you to heaven and back just so that you can have yet another bite. The outside layer is very much like a cake but only thin enough to contain the overwhelming amount of melted chocolate inside. A 10/10. You have not lived if you have not tried this dessert!

Shikanjabeen 
This is the most refreshing drink I have come across in a long, long time. A slushy lemon and mint mixture topped lightly with the kind of spices you would expect only on a road-side cafe. I make it a point to order this the instant I go there especially if I go in the afternoon. It instantly refrigerates your insides and makes you feel energized. It also goes REALLY well with the food mentioned above and is large enough to last through your meal!

Price
Fairly expensive. It would be nicer if Cafe Koel was slightly less expensive - it can cost you up to Rs. 1200 if you order the four items mentioned above. And that is just one person's three course meal you are talking about. But then the large portions and amazing quality pretty much over rides the money factor. Besides Cafe Koel prefers being an exclusive place.

Portions
Decent sized.

Service and ambiance
Love the ambiance. The service is fairly decent.

Children friendly
Yes

Overall Experience
4/5

November 10, 2010

The winner of the Koel Giveaway is....

November 10, 2010 3
It's time for the third winner! And the winner is...

Zaynah Khan

Congrats Zaynah! You will be contacted by me within the next 24 hours so keep checking your mail. The rest of you - be happy. Life's good. And lots of more giveaways coming up. So STAY TUNED!



Note: The draw was conducted by means of an excel sheet and generating a random number on www.random.org. A few people were disqualified for not following the rules - for example forgetting to write their full name or email address.

November 4, 2010

Giveaway # 3 - Meal for two at Cafe Koel

November 4, 2010 120
It seems to me like you guys love the giveaway contests I host - which is why I have yet another giveaway! This time it is a meal for two people at one of the BEST cafes in town - Cafe Koel. I will also be writing a review on Cafe Koel tomorrow, so those of you who do not know about it can find out what it is like!
In the meanwhile enter the contest by answering the question below and following the simple rules!


Question


What does the word "Koel" mean?


A. A kind of cuckoo bird found in AsiaAustralia and the Pacific
B. A dance form accompanied by chant or song, developed in Hawaii.
C. A name of an Afghan tribe located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


Rules:


1. Only fans and followers are eligible to participate in this giveaway. Sign up now by clicking on the "Follow" tab OR on the Facebook Fan page on the right.

2. Write your answer, along with your full-name and email address in the comment section below. Only correct answers will be carried forward for the lucky draw.

3. Winner will be announced on 10nd November 2010 - Wednesday at 11.00 pm. The winner will be contacted through email. If there is no response from the winner within 24 hours of contacting him/her the prize will be canceled and will be passed on to the first runner-up instead.

4. This contest is only valid for those residing in Karachi, Pakistan.



Good luck =)


Cafe Koel, from the inside

November 2, 2010

The Second Giveaway Winner!

November 2, 2010 7
Considering how the electricity is such a problem in Karachi, I had to cut back the giveaway time by one hour so instead of the winner being announced at 11.30 pm I decided to do it at 10.30 pm. So now, without further ado the winner of the free dinner for two at Mirchi is...


Hira Anis





Congrats Hira! I will be contacting you within the next 24 hours on your email address for your prize!


And the rest of you should not get disheartened. There are two more FABULOUS giveaways coming up at the end of this week and the next! So watch this space! Good luck!

October 29, 2010

Free Dinner for two - Giveaway # 2

October 29, 2010 68
It is about time there was another giveaway. And this time around it is free dinner for two at Mirchi... That is the restaurant I wrote about in my last post! It is an awesome place if you are looking for ORIGINAL South Indian Food and space to chill out with family or friends. So all you have to do is follow the directions below and enter!

Before I begin, last time there were three issues in the giveaway: firstly a couple of people did not write their names in their entries and got disqualified (read the rules please), some could not find the "post a comment" link - its on the bottom of the post in small font (please excuse that) and a lot of you feel "dinner for two" is not for them because they do not have someone to go with. Well, you can always go with more people and two of those people will get their food free! =)

Now for the giveaway question:

"Mirchi Chaat and more" is located on:

A. North Nazimabad near McDonalds
B. 26th Street Opposite KFC 
C. Khadda Market

(Hint: The answer can be found on my previous post about Mirchi Chaat and more...)

Rules:

1. Only fans and followers are eligible to participate in this giveaway. Sign up now by clicking on the "Follow" tab OR on the Facebook Fan page on the right.

2. Write your answer, along with your full-name and email address in the comment section below. Only correct answers will be carried forward for the lucky draw.

3. Winner will be announced on 2nd November 2010 - Tuesday at 11.30 pm. The winner will be contacted through email. If there is no response from the winner within 24 hours of contacting him/her the prize will be canceled and will be passed on to the first runner-up instead.

4. This contest is only valid for those residing in Karachi, Pakistan.

Good luck! =)
 
The delicious Pav Bhaji served at Mirchi

October 28, 2010

The new chaat in town - Mirchi!

October 28, 2010 18
Being as addicted to food as we are, yesterday Anes and I went out on yet another eating spree - this time for some typical South Asian cuisine, to a new restaurant called Mirchi!


Mirchi, located opposite KFC (26th Street, details on their Fanpage), is the quaintest, most inviting place ever. Run by an enthusiastic couple, who have their roots in South India, the place reeked of trendy homeliness. Bright colored walls, sturdy wooden tables and good music set on a good volume - a very important factor when it comes down to having a peaceful meal!

As I browsed through their menu, I finally understood what the "more" after "chaat" meant in their tagline! There were a dozen items to choose from - all based on original South Indian recipes! In fact, the owner told us it was his wife who taught the cooks the exact recipes that have been handed down by their parents. That meant a good dose of REAL Bombay Chaat and Masala Dosa for me. 

As if the huge variety of chaat (many of whom I did not even know to exist) was not enough they also have a few things for those who prefer to have western food - such as Club Sandwich, Burgers and French Fries. And that adds up to the whole experience of the place, since there is one in every family who makes a fuss when going to have chaat

Moreover, the owners of the place are almost always around so one can expect amazing service and always someone to talk to if expectations are not met. That makes a lot of difference to me since most restaurants go bad when the owners stop caring about the customers. Thankfully, Mirchi is not one of them and I am happy to say it is now officially my favorite South Indian food place!

Read on for a summary on the food and ambiance AND a surprise for all you loyal fans at the end of the post! 

Favorite items on the menu

Bagara Dahi Puri - The most fantastic adaptation of Meethi Puri, this chaat really gave my taste buds a roller-coaster ride through spice-and-chutney land. It was basically Meethi Puri but with what we call "bhagaar" (fried spices), in Urdu, of Kashmiri spice and a very different sweet n' sour chutney! And they even had diet coke (unlike most places in Karachi) to soothe any red-hot jolts. 

Mutton Nan Chaap - Char-grilled minced mutton that was marinated with an assortment of Indian spices with coriander and mint bhagaar. It was served with slices of lemon that further accentuated the flavor to perfection and two soft, buttery naans. The naans were so soft you could almost use them to make a bouncing castle! I would give this particular dish a  9/10 and I could not stop eating it even though it was Anes who had ordered it.

Masala Dosa - Dosas are traditional South Indian delicacies: Fermented pancakes made from rice and black lentils. They are usually filled with different stuffings - very much like crepes! I chose the "MasalaDosa which was stuffed with a spicy potato mixture. The Dosas were served with the typical Sambhar and Harra Khopra Chutney. Except that the sauces were beyond amazing - especially the Harra Khopra Chutney. It was fresh and of the perfect consistency. A definite 10/10!

Price
Not as cheap as I would have liked it to be but definitely cheaper than Chatkharay and Gazebo - a definite plus point! The Masala Dosa cost Rs. 175, the Bhagara Chaat was for Rs. 90 and the Mutton Chaap for Rs. 225!

Portions
Each of the items were big enough for two people. One can safely say that their servings were generous, which makes the price understandable. 

Ambiance and Service
Excellent. Light music, good air-conditioning and friendly people! Moreover you can even park outside and they will serve you in your car!

Children Friendly 
Very! In fact they have special items on the menu for children such as Nuggets and Sandwiches.

Open:
Monday to Saturday: 12:00 pm to 11 pm
Sunday: 3:00 pm to 11 pm

Overall Experience: 4.25/5

As for the surprise - AVAIL a 15 % discount on your order if you mention my blog at the counter! 

And, a giveaway! Dinner for two at Mirchi. It starts on Saturday so keep checking this space!


The images have been taken with official permission from Mirchi Chaat and are not to be further distributed. The discount offer is only valid up till 30th November 2010.

October 23, 2010

Breakfast at Butlers

October 23, 2010 11
Being the kind of person who has breakfast only once a week, I need my taste-buds to really have a blast during that one morning meal. As a routine, that perfect breakfast place is usually Espresso (the café located in Shahbaz next to Subway) or Nadia coffee shop at Marriott – but this week I decided to try
Butlers Chocolate Café, having endlessly heard its oh-so-amazing tales.


Butlers is located on main Zamzama road and is very easily identifiable with its glassy grandeur and almost golden signboard. As you enter, you almost forget you are still in Karachi and while you settle down you can momentarily forget the wreckage you left behind the doors. Some may call it selfishness, some extravagance; I believe it is a much needed moment of peace in this anarchic city.


Since I went on a Sunday morning, a little before 9 am, and people in Karachi prefer to have a late breakfast on a Sunday morning, the place was occupied only by a young Japanese couple, a group of teenagers and a bunch of older people. I found it funny how these three completely diverse genres of people were enjoying themselves at the same place – and that says a lot about the café in itself.


Butlers is not one of those typical shady spot sporting throngs of teenagers out on dates. Nor is it an old people’s place with sad music and old men in golf shoes. It is a place where almost anyone with appreciation for the finer things in life and decent sized pocket can walk in and expect themselves to be thoroughly entertained by the ambiance and food.


Coming back on track, I ordered the Chicken Omellete and iced Mocha whereas Anes (my husband) went for the Irish Breakfast and Mocha . We could pick our choice from free-range to normal poultry eggs and I opted for the normal poultry ones whereas Anes went for the free-range eggs (which are slightly heavier on the stomach). There was a choice when it came down to the coffees too, and we could choose between one or two shots of espresso in it. Considering how we both like our coffees strong we went for the double shot.
Our food took around 18 minutes – right on time, considering we had been told it would take between 15-20 minutes. And each of the items was the perfect temperature.


The chicken omelet was apparently made of four eggs, cut into four large pizza slices piled on top of each other. It was a fluffy composition of chicken – so finely ground that you could only taste it, not feel it – jalapenos and egg, jazzed up with hints of oregano and what I could sense to be Worcestershire sauce. As was the other breakfast platter, this omelet was served with two slices of toasted bread (you could pick your choice between white or whole-wheat), a block of butter and the most adorable little jar of your favorite jam!


The Irish breakfast was a platter composed of a half-fried egg served alongside two sausages (beef/chicken), grilled Turkey bacon, Hash Brown and baked beans with the same bread, butter and jam sideline.


Although I preferred the chicken omelet above the latter, those looking for the typical European-style breakfast should definitely give the Irish breakfast a try because it was tastefully suited to the standards appreciated on that end of the globe.


The Iced Mocha was heaven. Mostly because the chocolate they use is out of this world. It was the perfect amount of bitter, and the tall Irish glass they served it in made sure that it did not finish before my food did. That was actually a life-saver, since it makes me really angry when restaurants attempt to fool us innocent customers by serving drinks in baby cups just so that we end up ordering another one to wash down our meal.


The Mocha Anes ordered was not quite as good as the double shot of espresso – which, he rates against a couple of others he really enjoys. The espresso turned out to be great. Smooth, sensual and darkly bitter. It was served with a piece of “Hazel nut slice” – milk chocolate with crush hazel nut – a divine full-stop to the amplified caffeine high!


Following are some of the ratings as per my experience at Butlers:


Favorite items on the breakfast menu:
Butler’s Chicken Omelet: Described above.
Iced Mocha: Described above


Price:
Fairly expensive: Breakfast for two could cost up to Rs. 1200 (around Rs. 600-700 per head), almost the same as that at Espresso and a little less than Nadia Coffee shop (but then Nadia has a buffet).But then again, at Butlers most of the items served are imported like the breads, butter, jams, croissants and coffees, the quality of which is unparalleled.


Portions:
All servings at Butlers are for an individual, but the chicken omelet was large enough for two!


Ambiance and Service:
Excellent. The waiters were friendly and well-informed of what they were serving us. The music was upbeat and lively but not loud enough to drive one insane.


Children-friendly: Very!


Open:
Monday to Thursday: 7.30 am to 1.30 am
Friday to Sunday: 7.30 am to 2.00 am


Overall experience: 4.5/5





Images courtesy: My camera as well as Butler's facebook page

October 21, 2010

Chatkharay - a nightmare of an experience

October 21, 2010 8
When it comes down to having chaat I have always preferred to go to Chatkharay. Not just because their quality has always outshone the kind served in roadside stands or other small restaurants, but because the environment is clean and there is a decent place to sit.


However, since the past year Chatkharay has come spiralling down in terms of quality, service and taste. I went there last Sunday for a quick meal with my family - the branch located near Bilawal House. First of all, the door bumped into one of the customer's chair, every time some one entered. So an angry look from another customer was exactly the kind of welcome that was needed to kick of this awful meal.


For the next fifteen minutes, none of the waiters (or should I say waiter - considering only one individual was running around to serve five different tables) bothered to hand us the menu or take our order. When we finally did get our menus we had to wait another ten minutes before we were able to find the waiter to place the order. We ordered mixed chaat, meethi puri, sev puri and some nihari


The mixed chaat was not as good and juicy as it used to be. There was barely any tamarind sauce in it and almost no potatoes. Just a couple of chopped onions and some chickpeas in sweet yogurt. I had to shower the bowl with crushed pepper just to squeeze some taste out of it.


The sev puri was bland. And the meethi puri - let us not even go there. The puris were stale and soft. They were left uneaten. 


As for the nihari, it was good but the roti was burnt. And after informing the waiter we had to wait for twenty minutes before he finally showed up with a replacement. By that time, the rest of us were done with our meal and my father, who had ordered of the nihari, had to eat alone. 


Moreover, our drinks came way after the meal finished. Apparently the waiter had forgotten about them! And did I mention the anaar juice that tasted like salt and water? Well, I guess I just did!


I left disappointed, annoyed and hungry. Will never go there again and would recommend ya'all to do the same. I might visit Gazebo next week to compare - considering I have not been there since the past four years.


Favorite item on the menu:
Used to be the mixed chaat. Now - none! The food quality was poor. (Details above).


Price: 
Extremely expensive chaat. Rs. 100/bowl.

Portions: 
Too small for the price they are charging.


Service and Ambiance: 
Dreadful. Only one waiter serving the entire customer population. And this holds true for both branches of chatkharay. There are literally angry customers storming out of the door since no one ever bothers to respond to them. The place is dimly lit, cramped and the day I went, the air conditioning was working very poorly.


Children friendly: Yes


Overall rating: 1/5


Open: Daily from 8 am to 12 am


Use the comments section here to rate your experience at Chatkharay and let me know whether or not it was similar to mine!



October 18, 2010

The Giveaway winner!

October 18, 2010 2
The winner of the giveaway is...

Nabeel Danish

Congrats Nabeel! You will be contacted by me within the next 24 hours for your prize - on the email address you specified here.

The rest of you should not be disheartened. I have lots of other giveaways coming up. 

Also, the draw was conducted by means of an excel sheet and generating a random number on www.random.org. A couple of people were disqualified for not following the rules - for example forgetting to write their full name or email address.



Cheers!

October 16, 2010

N'eco's - A review!

October 16, 2010 3
Spicy whiffs of freshness. A brightly lit room. A blast of colors – enough to give one a visual high. An extraordinarily placed, leaf-less tree – right in the middle of the room – adorned with the most adorable of hanging pots. Dark wooden chairs and tables offset on a rough, lighter wood exterior. An array of breads, pastas, fruits, vegetables , baked items and frozen delights – placed in every nook and cranny.

When I entered N’eco’s for the first time, just the soft, friendly ambiance threw me off-guard. The delightfully cozy place and the friendly woman who greeted us made me immediately comfortable with the setting and while we settled down we were handed our menus. The menus – at first sight – were unlike those you find at fancy restaurants. They were pieces of plain, photocopied paper stuck on folders.

The sight of them made me laugh, but as I perused through the actual menu my mouth was watering too fast for me to be able to smile and contain myself at the same time!

N’eco’s, for those of you who do not know, is the first restaurant in Pakistan to be serving a menu that is derived from mostly organic ingredients. As Marium Saifuddin (a.k.a. the friendly woman who greeted us), the director of merchandising at N’eco’s, put it – fetching all organic ingredients to Karachi is not a feasible option but they try their level best to provide as many hormone/pesticide/preservative-free products as they possibly can. Why, you ask?

Because N’eco’s cares about how healthy you eat. They are no calorie counters – many of their foods contain butter and other things diet-conscious people would want to prevent – but they are definitely health conscious. And by that I mean they eat well and believe in strong fitness regimes – exercise, yoga, aerobics.

As if that was not enough some of the products in their restaurant – such as the wheat grass shots – offer not only radiant skin and internal detoxification, but are craved by those who believe in eating RIGHT! And to top it off the store, the basement of their café hosts a range of merchandise that can do wonders to your system – such as the various natural hair oils, face washes, masks – and is almost every woman’s need.

Following are the different ratings and summarized insights into my experience:

Favorite items on the menu-

Flat bread with chicken, vegetables and tomato sauce: Shaped round like a pizza, this item was a thin piece of whole-grain bread baked to perfection, sprayed with a dash of olive oil and spiced with the perfect amount of salt. It was topped, generously, with an assortment of crunchy vegetables, small pieces of grilled chicken and swirls of fresh tomato sauce – resembling pizza sauce in taste and texture. As accommodating as they were, the waiters were willing to add and remove ingredients as per my discretion on my meal. And while they were at it, I asked them to sprinkle some cottage cheese – for that extra zing.

Grape Sangria: A frivolous blend of crushed ice, grape juice (unfortunately preserved one), water and sugar – this was one of fruity drink that I could actually stand. Not only did it exude the perfect amount of sweetness, drinking it was like taking a cold shower on an extremely hot day. I could almost feel the slushy drink running through my over-heated digestive system, in the typical October weather in Karachi!


The door-step thick French toast: Served from dawn to dusk, this exclusive product is made with whole wheat bread and served with apple, raisin and cinnamon compote or caramelized banana scallops, whipped cream and crunchy honey comb. I prefer the former. Apparently, it is one of the most popular things served here!

Price –
Fairly priced, considering the fact that the ingredients are mostly organic and hence more expensive to acquire. (More prices on images below and N’eco’s official fan-page on Facebook)
The flat bread cost me Rs. 299, and water is free in this cafe so my bill came down to only Rs. 350 on my first visit. And considering how even fast food is priced more than that, it was really something!

Portions –
Well-sized. Enough to feed your money’s worth. My flat bread was big enough for me to have left it over and take home!

Ambiance and Service –
Soft, friendly and helpful – to summarize. I absolutely loved the merchandising director and the enthusiasm she brought forward to every customer who walked in. Moreover, the music was subtle – not ear-drum popping – the place was brightly lit, the seating was comfortable and I almost did not want to leave. Just wanted to wrap up in a good book and relish a couple of more grape sangarias! 


Children-friendly: Very!


Open: Everyday, except Mondays!

Overall rating: 4/5 
_________________________________________________________________




Image courtesy:

October 14, 2010

First Giveaway by N'eco's!

October 14, 2010 52
As was promised, this site is featuring its first ever giveaway! The prize is coffee and dessert for two sponsored by N'eco's!

 
N'eco's is the first ever restaurant I will be doing a review on, since it is one of my personal favorite cafes to have opened recently!

To participate in this giveaway, answer the following multiple choice question and comply to the rules that follow:

Question:
What is N'eco's?
1. An eco-friendly cafe, deli and superstore.
2. Designer clothing line.
3. Mexican dance tradition


Rules:
1. Only fans and followers are eligible to participate in this giveaway. Sign up now by clicking on the "Follow" tab on the right or the Facebook Fan page on the bottom of the page.
2. Write your answer, along with your full-name and email address in the comment section below. Only correct answers will be carried forward for the lucky draw.
3. Winner will be announced on 18th October 2010 - Monday. The winner will be contacted through email. If there is no response from the winner within 24 hours of contacting him/her the prize will be canceled and will be passed on to the first runner-up instead.
4. This contest is only valid for those residing in Karachi, Pakistan.

Extra points:
If you want your name to be inserted twice in the lucky draw, make the following your Facebook status and put the link to the status in your comment, along with the answer and name for my reference:
"N'eco's coffee and dessert for two, giveaway at http://eatingkarachi.blogspot.com!"

Good luck!

October 10, 2010

Howdy!

October 10, 2010 14
Perpetually high, on what is for others a mundane routine, yours truly decided to take the initiative of putting every gastronomic emotion up - for the rest of the world to savor. The idea is not to merely "blog about the fun of gobbling down three big macs in a row", but to explore each sentiment of every taste bud. Whether it is experiencing pleasure in the purest form or torture in its worst.


To cut a long story short, this is going to be a place devoted to what has inherently been one of the author's greatest passions in life - food. Sadly enough, her irrelevant academic degree and bare minimum credentials at culinary arts have always left her at a loss, when it came down to realizing her dream of becoming a food critic. However, the freedom offered by the blogosphere gives, even the most ignorant, a brilliant platform to delve into their dreams. And can churn out useful experiences for those who want to benefit from them.


Yet another motive behind this blog is to serve an agenda that has never existed in Pakistan before. To put it simply - restaurant reviews. And that is despite the fact that the restaurant business is literally mushrooming in cosmopolitan cities like Karachi and Lahore. This has, more often than not, led to eateries having the upper hand - leaving us eaters as helpless, tortured souls who must succumb to whatever they put us through, be it a stale muffin or a squashed apple pie. Because eating happens to be the best form of leisure in Pakistan and there is no one to positively criticize. Only to shout when the food is cold or visit time and time again furiously hoping the standards improve.


Nonetheless, the purpose of this blog is not to bash a bunch of restaurants. It exists: to review impartially, to evaluate thoroughly, to inform adequately and to popularize - the good kind of popularity for those who send the gourmand into fits of epicurean delight, and the bad kind of popularity for those who turn the sophistication of eating into plain gluttony or give the foodie nightmares to last a century and beyond.


To conclude, this space is going to be more or less about the places the author visits, the cuisines she experiences, the recipes she discovers and her very own cooking escapades. If that gets you even remotely interest, jump on board. Following this blog might get you a reward or two - since generous giveaways will be a frequent occurrence here.


Cheers!
 
The Kanwalful Food Chronicles ◄Design by Pocket, BlogBulk Blogger Templates