Thursday, September 30, 2010

N'ecos Natural Store and Cafe, Phase 5, Defence

N'ecos Natural Store and Cafe has recently opened its doors along one of the lanes between main Khayaban-e-Shujaat and 16th Street off Khayaban-e-Muhafiz. Its in the same lane as the men's clothing store Naushemian

This picture of the map was downloaded from their now defunct website.

Since this store and cafe boasts organic and high-quality ingredients, the prices are on the high side.

They serve breakfast all day, which includes traditional desi as well as foreign fare. The "doorstep-thick" French Toast (pictured below in this post), is a unique attraction offered only by Necos's that is as yet unparalleled by other eateries.

Eggs are free-range, and you can choose wholegrain or white bread, and pick cheese that is hormone-free.

Their menu is more exotic than what you find in other cafes, e.g. they have a variety of flatbreads that are wholegrain.

The dessert menu

The cafe ambience is spacious yet cozy because of the abundance of woodwork, not to mention a tree in its center! 

Assorted things were hanging from the tree branches. Kudos to whoever designed the interior of this cafe-cum-deli-cum-store.

A blackboard displays the day's special menu and new store products on offer. I absolutely loved the ample use of thick wood throughout the cafe!

The woodwork added a very "countryside" touch to the ambience.

Behind the counter, an array of N'ecos original organic products on display. 

The deli has scrumptious-looking items, such as tarts, cookies, croissants, buns and other snacks on display.

Muffins, cupcakes, and a multitude of different breads can be bought here.

The store staff was very welcoming towards children, and provided them with colors and paper, which kept them occupied constructively.
The staff also offered my children two chocolate chip cookies, priced at Rs 15 each, on the house as soon as we entered the cafe.

Unlike other cafes, you can rest assured that whatever you order is prepared in a clean kitchen under high standards of hygiene. 

Customers can watch the food they order being prepared by chefs behind an open counter, and the final dishes are assembled before their eyes. 

The salad bowls are quite unique in shape, aren't they?

Mineral water is complimentary and is served in exquisite stemmed glasses (even to children!) as soon as you sit down to dine.  

Moroccan Chicken with pasta in creamy sauce, priced at Rs 499.

Homemade pasta with prawns in pesto, also priced at Rs 499. At N'ecos, they use their own pasta in their dishes!

Since breakfast is served all day, traditional Pakistani omelette, with onions and tomatoes but sans chillies, and paratha were ordered for the children, priced at Rs 399. This came with one cup of tea as well. 
Are you wincing at the price? Well, the quantity was more than enough for even one very hungry adult, plus they use their own whole wheat aata and free-range eggs!

Notice that N'ecos has its own distinct crockery.

Khageena with wholewheat paratha and one cup of tea - Rs 399

Hummus with mini-toasts - Rs 180
The hummus was spicy, glossy and really delicious!

Doorstep-thick French Toast with topping of maple syrup and seasonal fruit - Rs 329

Doorstep-thick French Toast with topping of apple, raisin and cinnamon compote - Rs 329

Cottage Chicken - Rs 569
The menu describes this as: "Chicken breast stuffed with layers of basil pesto, cottage cheese and tomatoes, along with Bearnaise sauce served with sauteed vegetables".
This was delicious; the only quibble I had with it was the small portion size. At this price, why are they being so stingy with the size of the chicken breast, sauteed veggies and sauce? It would not suffice for a very hungry adult.

Wholewheat Waffles with topping of seasonal fruit and maple syrup - Rs 300

The warm, syrup-drizzled waffles made a thoroughly enjoyable treat for the children! You can't get these at home, unless you have a waffle-maker.

Wholewheat pancakes with seasonal fruit and maple syrup - Rs 250
You will feel less guilty about having these pancakes, because they are wholewheat i.e. healthier. 

Blueberry-sauce topped New York Style cheesecake, priced at Rs 260. It was crusty around the edges, which indicated that it was not fresh, but its taste was nevertheless great!

A cup of tea accompanied the anda paratha breakfast i.e. it was included in its price. You can choose between teabag tea or doodh patti, and the sugar that comes with it is brown sugar or gurr that is of course one of the store's own original products. 

The bill includes Rs 198 as "Service charges" - yes, this cafe includes service charges as part of the bill, and there is no GST. 

The cafe and deli occupy the main floor but there is an entire, spacious organic products store in the basement as well, which I was unable to photograph. 

You can visit the N'ecos Facebook page for more information, product details and photos. Headed by the same entrepreneur who owns Hobnob Cafe (the past "Copper Kettle") and Hobnob Bakery chain, N'ecos with its product originality and wholesomeness of ingredients indeed seems to be here to stay!


  1. I love your blog but can you do two things with it. Can you move your archive and category section on top left or top right cos going down to click on other posts is not easy.

    2ndly can you categorize all your posts in cuisines... like how has categorize their restaurants section.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you for your suggestions! I agree that these improvements are needed.
    I will do the needful as soon as I can, insha'Allah. :)

  3. An apple a day keeps the doctor awayOctober 14, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    It seems N'eccos has stepped in to fill the niche of organic and healthy food. Makes sense. I am sure diners will appreciate the fact that they can see their dinner being made and hence can rest assured that it is prepared hygienically.

    On the other hand, while the restaurant/cafe has certainly paid attention to detail as far as the decor is concerned, the food seems to be lacking in attention.

    First, N'ecos does not seem to offer any kind of complimentary bread with herbed/honey/plain butter or, keeping up with the healthy theme, perhaps just some crudites with a dip. I know there is no need for that when someone drops by for a coffee and a brownie or cookie but at dinner time, when entrees, priced at 499 no less, are ordered, a small bread basket with some kind of spread should immediately follow once the order has been taken.

    Second, the pasta with pesto sauce should have been accompanied by a piece of baguette/ garlic bread. Come on N'ecos, even Pizza hut does that. Some restaurants also serve a green salad with a main course pasta but personally I am not a fan of the combination.

    Third, I am surprised N'ecos dishes out a slice of a not-so-fresh cheesecake instead of making individual small circular cheesecakes, like a place that charges RS 260 for an individual serving of a cake, which is neither too hard to make nor uses very exotic ingredients, should.

    Fourth-- and this I concede is a minor quibble which perhaps stems from personal preference-- I think it would better behove N'ecos to make the whitish flaky, layered parathas, similar to the Shamim brand ones sold in Karachi. The paratha here looks nothing special that cannot be easily made at home. While I can certainly see the premium that wholesome good ol' home cooked food can and should command I think quite a few people in Pakistan paying 400 rupees for their breakfast might not be too pleased at being served a somewhat blackened paratha that their Khansama/masi could have easily made at home with chaki ka ata.

  4. Hey... I'm doing a review on Neco's. Can I take your pictures. I'll credit and link them to your blog though!

  5. @An apple a day: I agree with you about the complimentary bread and the cheesecakes. :) Yes, a small piece of garlic bread or baguette should accompany the pastas. What is a Shamim brand paratha? Do you mean the frozen ready-to-cook ones we get in packets?
    @Kanwalful: Uh, the pictures are copyrighted for this blog. :-/ If you have a camera, all you have to do is saunter into N'ecos and snap some shots. They are very friendly towards amateur photogs. :)

  6. An apple a day keeps the doctor awayOctober 15, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Yes, Shamim parathas are the frozen ones. Not sure if they are sold any longer but Dawn makes them too. I prefer those slightly layered, flaky parathas, which go especially well with our bbq items, as opposed to the ‘normal’ brown ones.
    However, again that is subjective opinion.

    I think though that in Pakistan where a lot of people, who are able to dine out, have time at hand and skill to make traditional food and/or household help, people would more appreciate dishes that cannot be easily made at home or which taste *different* from homemade dishes ( like restaurants’ kababs, biryani etc do).

  7. I don't think it's a good idea to make maide ka parathas like the frozen variety that comes. Those can be obtained far more easily than the types "maasies and khansamas" make, a good wholesome atay walla paratha is difficult to find outside the home, and I think it's great if some of the things we cook in our homes are featured in menus of restaurants. That's lacking in the country, maiday wallah parathas aren't.

  8. Why would I go to a cafe and want to eat frozen paratha? The idea of N'eco is wholesome and healthy food which is reflected in it's home made whole wheat atta used to make the chapathis!! Keep up the good work guys :).

  9. Eww, the cheesecake sure seems stale around the edges.

  10. The store is designed and built by shahzad brothers-architects, with a design approach of schema-tecture.

    please visit their facebook page!/SHAHZADBROTHERS

  11. 100% Organic Apple Cider Vinegar now available on Nico's Natural Stores
    Brand Distributor

  12. This is amazing. Will definitely come to this fantastic place when I visit Karachi.

  13. please add rasian salads in manue and i like necos cakes and breads