Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baluchistan Sajji, Gulistan-e-Jauhar


Baluchistan Sajji is just opposite the brightly-lit Hilltop Lawn that appears on the left after Jauhar Morr, before you reach Jauhar Chowrangi (before Bata Shoes). Great-tasting, low-fat, grilled chicken does not get any better than this!


Green tea is only Rs. 20 per cup, but it is made here from actual green tea leaves (not a tea bag). It was great except for the excess sugar in it.

Never a dearth of poor, hungry people around who always really appreciate any leftover food. May Allah always feed the hungry. Ameen.


Chips Fast Food, Boat Basin, Clifton


Chinese Beef and Chillies with Fried Rice, Rs 170

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Indulge, Zamzama


Indulge is the name of a chain of restaurants that is owned by Cupola, the same company that owns and runs the KFC franchise in Pakistan. 


We sometimes visit the Zamzama outlet that is a stone's throw away from our residence. The ambience is quite nice. There are 3 portions: one lower portion, one glass-walled one as seen in the above picture, and one main dining area (below).


An aquarium adds to the ambience of any room.


The children were transfixed whilst watching the fish.


The main dining area is spacious - this is the non-smoking section. 


Their motto.


A funky restaurant cannot be considered to "have arrived" nowadays unless it has a wall-mounted plasma television. Its besides the point that all that's ever on is either news or sports.


The menu 


Starting off, Soups and Salads on the menu - Indulge has very affordable prices.


Sandwiches and Wraps


Burgers


Main entrees (why does each page have "platters" printed on it?)


The pizza menu - yes, contrary to the corporation's aggressive billboard advertising that makes Indulge come off as a giant pizza enterprise, its pizza menu is actually quite limited.


Desserts


More desserts....trust me, the photographs are much better-looking than the actual products that are placed in front of you when you order!


Drinks and smoothies


Coffee variety


Garlic Dip came with French Fries


Thai Tom Yam soup for Rs. 80 plus tax


The soup contained pieces of mushroom, ginger and garlic.


Chicken Fajita Sandwich and Pasta Fettuccini in White Sauce


The Chicken Fajita Sandwich tasted great! The bread was fresh and soft, very similar to Subway's Oregano and Parmesan bread.


Regular Chicken Tikka pizza


Regular Chicken Fajita Pizza - both pizzas were extremely similar, almost alike, in taste. They were part of a deal priced at Rs 777, with a large soft drink bottle also thrown in. 


Brownie A La Mode, for Rs 80 including tax. Reasonable prices, eh? 
The brownie was extremely rich and warm.


Fruity Sundae for Rs 140 including tax. 

This was a bit of a disappointment, because the 2 ice cream scoops that were supposed to be topped by the fruit and cream had partially melted by the time this was served to us.


Cappuccino for Rs 90 plus tax.

Overall verdict: The service at Indulge is really lacking. The waiters are polite and serve you on time, but we had to ask them for everything, such as napkins, glasses, drinks, and after having the soup, we had to ask the waiter to take the bowl away. 

Portion size is small, which is what you can expect, since the prices are so reasonable. However, the quality of the food is up to the mark. You will not come away feeling as if you were ripped off, which is what one sometimes feels after dining at other overpriced eateries on Zamzama. 

I think the plush but comfy ambience and the affordable prices combined with the good quality of food are what keep Indulge still going strong.

They could do with an additional trained waiter or two at their Zamzama outlet, though! 



Butlers Chocolate Cafe, Zamzama

Ireland's Butler's Chocolate Cafe opened its doors on Zamzama during winter last year. Since then it has been doing good business.


It offers chocolate truffles (little round chocolates, shown below), besides the usual edible cafe fare, to its customers who dine in. 
A complimentary chocolate truffle is therefore served here with almost anything you order. 


The interior of the cafe:


Here is a shot from our trip to this cafe when it had just recently opened (notice the crowd, in stark contrast!):


The decor and ambience then seemed more like an a la carte restaurant than a cozy, comfortable cafe. However, now when you visit on a quiet day (such as a weeknight), you can enjoy a calm meal, coffee or dessert.


Here is their menu (sorry, but the flash on my camera did not work for some reason when I was taking these shots):


Breakfast menu


Sweet, foreign breakfast items


Confectionary/bakery items on offer.


Sandwiches.


Cold drinks. As you can see, the prices are the same as any other cafe on Zamzama.


Butler's offers several breakfast combo's.


Their lunch deals nowadays.


Cheese and Mushroom Omelette - Rs 340

This was really yummy! It was accompanied by a crumbed, fried potato cutlet, red beans, butter, strawberry jam, and one quartered slice of bread (I think there should have been two slices).


The melted cheese and mushrooms oozed out of the soft omelette!
Out of this world, and very filling too.


This cute little pot of strawberry jam came with the breakfast. The kids loved it!


French Toast with Maple Syrup - Rs 295
This was quite a disappointment. Couldn't they have thrown in 3 more similar slices for the price charged? The only good part was the high-quality maple syrup.
For a great French Toast breakfast, I'd highly recommend N'ecos' "doorstep-thick" French Toast.  They charge the same price but the quantity is more than double of this.


Tea (2 teabags) - for Rs 160. I just loved the little kettle! The milk was hot and frothy; it made great tea.


Irish Apple Pie with Ice Cream, Rs 200 (we requested local ice cream, as opposed to the Bourbon Ice Cream scoop that they give with this dessert). 
The apple pie was warm to the core, and with ice cream, the combination was superb! :)


Chocolate Muffin, for Rs 220 plus tax


Blueberry Muffin, for Rs 220 plus tax

Both muffins were very fresh, soft and warm when served - an absolutely delightful accompaniment with hot coffee!


Mocha, for Rs 215 plus tax, accompanied by a chocolate truffle. Notice the smiley face and the artful heart-shaped designs on the surface of the coffee? :)


Butler's Hot Chocolate, for Rs 220


Smarties Cookie and a Chocolate Chip Cookie, priced at Rs 100 each. 
The hospitable manager gave my children these cookies 'on the house', and refused to charge us for them when I insisted to pay. 
She also gave them a complimentary chocolate truffle each, as soon as we arrived and placed our order!


Double Chocolate truffle. The chocolate deserves a thumbs-up!


Cappuccino


Babyccino
This was just warm, foamy, sweet milk with chocolate shavings on top. 
The kids loved it! 


Butler's Club Sandwich for Rs 385 plus tax. It was really good!


Smoothie for Rs 220 plus tax (I think its name was "Morning Rush")


Traditional Chocolate Milkshake - Rs 300 plus tax

This is a rich and thick chocolate milk shake that will make you dislike any other chocolate milkshake offered by any other place! Enthused with pure chocolate richness, it gives all the other limpid, cocoa- and chocolate-ice-cream based milkshakes a run for their money.


Butler's Signature Sundae - Rs 360 plus tax

A scoop each of vanilla and chocolate ice cream sit atop a moist chocolate cake, topped with a generous blob of whipped cream, a rich chocolate sauce, and chocolate flakes. Another slice of cake is placed on one side. 

Overall verdict: My first experience at this cafe was not so good because it was always very overcrowded in the first few weeks following its inauguration. 

I have been going to it again recently to have coffee/hot chocolate, and I must say that the cafe has sustained its quality and a regular clientele ever since the initial hoopla died down. Sometimes, you might be disappointed when you are informed that an item on the menu is not available or short (as it happened once when we ordered a Chocolate Croissant). 

I think the cafe is an abova-the-ordinary outlet, especially if you love chocolates and would like truffles with whatever you order. :)

Note: For those who care, the cafe claims that the chocolates are halal. The original Butlers website also claims that all its edible products are suitable for vegetarians.