October 16, 2010

N'eco's - A review!

October 16, 2010
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:



the store sounds more attractive than the restaurant. do we have to eat there to visit the store?

Johana Hill

The interior looks so warm and cozy! Would definitely go there if ever I come to Pakistan! :p


I had a different experience at N'eco's..... Though I love the concept and liked the place thoroughly, the overall experience left a little something, in all of the areas mentioned in the review, to be desired.....

We were seated in a slightly dark corner of the room. True, we must all be conservationists, but it didn't occur to us that something was amiss until the Merchandising Manager came across and switched on the light above our table. Our tea was served along with the breakfast, instead of a little later, which resulted in its cooling down from the optimum temperature. Surprisingly, it was served in cups, rather than a kettle which would have kept it warm. Strangely, there was no teaspoon for stirring sugar, and we had to ask for one.

The entrees were good on taste, albeit pricey for the portion size. Not all organic/ natural products have to be expensive.

The store downstairs was a naturist's delight, with herbal/ natural solutions for almost all problems. I personally tried the lemon mask and it was wonderful. I just hope that their bought-in products are actually herbal as claimed on the labels.

On the whole, I believe this cafe marks the onset of a whole new lifestyle concept in Pakistan.

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