Thursday, February 11, 2010

Subway, Zamzama

This is the "huge" looking sandwich the adverts tempt you with.

And this is what you get. You cannot even see the filling from the sides, let alone have it spill out of the bun; the sandwich in reality is quite limp and small. Rs 170 per Sub (on average) is a bit steep, considering the miniscule little excuse-for-a-sandwich you get for it. The white chocolate chip cookie visible in the background was also for a whopping Rs 60, and check out its size!

Subway staff is also notoriously stiff, unfriendly and tight-lipped; I don't know why. Perhaps because they are afraid that if they were too friendly, customers would rip them off, since they tell them what fillings and stuffings to add to their Subs? Yeah right!

Overall rating: I am a big fan of salads, whole-wheat breads, and healthy food, but the prices and the unwelcoming staff make me want to pass Subway each time, unless I really crave that little, overpriced, healthy sandwich.

Chandni Lounge, Pearl Continental Hotel

Chandni is located atop Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. The hallway that leads to it has one wall made entirely of glass, so that the view can be enjoyed. In fact, the view is one of the main attractions of the restaurant.

The drinks trolley is placed right at the entrance. One can be deceived if one doesn't read labels closely.

Still enough to cause an alarm to ring for a Muslim.

That's better; phew! :)

The central part of the restaurant has the chefs' "work area", where they barbeque some meats right there before your eyes. They also assist in serving you. All the platters were labeled. From what I can remember, dinner was Rs 1,040 per head (including tax) with children under 5 exempted. The dishes were: Mulligatawny and Chicken Soup, Chicken Biryani, Lahori Fried Fish, Chicken Karhai, Chapli Kabab, Marrow (vegetable bhujia), Daal Channa, Chicken Sajji (cooked live), Chicken Tikka Boti, Beef Seekh Kabab, Aaloo Gosht, Mutton Haleem, Beef Paya, Mutton Kunna, Plain Boiled Rice, Russian Salad, Raita and Sauces.
A soft drink costs Rs 125. Well, I guess if you enjoy the view and leather seats,you pay for it. Also, there is live tabla music, which we could have done without as a personal preference.

The ambience and decor is top notch.

There was an impressive spice display near the entrance. It had small sacks of all kinds of local spice powders e.g. red chillies powder, coriander powder and turmeric, in addition to the whole spices too, such as cinnamon and cloves. Very ethnic and cultural.

Lots of cheesecakes, cakes and puddings for dessert. I personally think the cheescake was one of the best I've ever had.

Local desserts were aplenty, in addition to an Arab dessert called "Omali" and fresh fruit. There was also ice cream (two flavors) which tasted very good.

The view.

Overall verdict: The food is a little above average in quality, except for the desserts, which were exceptionally good. The ambience is excellent. However, if your kids are rowdy and ill-mannered (which thankfully mine are not), and they waste a lot of food at all-you-can-eat buffets, they might not be so welcome there.