Friday, January 14, 2011

Roasters Gourmet Coffee House and Grill, Zamzama, Defence Phase 5

Roasters Gourmet Coffee House and Grill is situated on the first floor above Baan Thai, on 15th Street that runs parallel to main Zamzama Boulevard in Defence, phase 5, Karachi.
It also has an outlet on main Sindhi Muslim in the vicinity of Bundoo Khan and Nando's.  

The restaurant occupies the entire floor above Baan Thai and Fuchsia.

A variety of coffees are on offer, both hot and cold.  

It is a "Gourmet Coffee House", after all.

The restaurant is spacious but smoking is encouraged here, so you might want to know that in advance, in case you think there will be a non-smoking section (because there isn't one). 

However, if you visit it for lunch on weekdays, there is less chance of your passively inhaling smoke.

The bar inside the restaurant 

The obligatory wall-mounted plasma television. To give due credit, what I really appreciate about Pakistani restaurants is that they almost always have sports on.
So no one would complain, for example, if the channel was blaring something that you might not want to watch during dinner.

Roasters at night. Dimly lit and more "smoky". 

Breakfast menu - these items are available only till noon, not round the clock. 

Soup and Salads

Burgers and sandwiches on the menu - sorry for the blurred picture.  

Steaks and other main entrees. Expect to dish out Rs 600+ for a steak or other meaty dish.

Gourmet Coffees

Dessert menu

This winter, they had this deal going on, where you could get two hot chocolates for the price of one (plus tax, of course).

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate - Rs 175 plus tax. This was thick and rich!
It was the best I have ever had, hands down (and this winter I had it at Cafe Ciao and Butlers, in addition to other, less "elite" places, but each time it was quite bland, runny, or too sweet in comparison).

Fish & Chips (with mashes potatoes instead of fries, on request) - Rs 550 plus tax.
The fish fillets were piping hot and very lightly-spiced. I really liked this dish, because it had cole slaw, steamed vegetables and a lovely red chili sauce to go with the fish.
It was also more than enough for one person. I was stuffed, even though my kids partook in it as well. So a thumbs-up for the quantity.

Ouch. Yeah, Roasters is a bit steep. :)
Or maybe not for some people, considering how it is thronging day and night. This bill was for my lunch with my kids on a weekday (when Roasters is a bit more family friendly).

Chocolate Malt Cake - Rs 295 plus tax
On a night visit, we had desserts and hot chocolate again.
This cake was sumptuously soft and rich. The vanilla ice cream was nothing to write home about, though - it reminded me of the Polka vanilla ice cream cups we had as children during the eighties. I prefer creamy white vanilla ice cream any day.

Hot Apple Pie a la Mode - Rs 285 plus tax
The apple pie was mediocre. But it was served warm. You'd think the slice would be a bit bigger? :)

Verdict: Well, Roasters has great food and coffee at steep rates. You will probably get to spot many branded clothes and bags on display (think Dior and Chanel), with pumps to boot (pun intended). On the winter night I went there, the matching hat-and-jacket sets did for a moment make me feel as if I was sitting at a diner in NYC and not in Karachi - where more than half the city's population hasn't enough to get by. 

Outside Roasters, one is inundated by beggars. In fact, what I have noticed is that this is because the trio of Fuchsia,  Baan Thai and Roasters ensconced tightly together on this corner of Zamzama attracts a more "loaded" clientele.

I prefer going to Roasters with a girlfriend or two and/or my kids, on weekday mornings or afternoons. Whenever I have gone at night, there has been too much noise and smoke for me to thoroughly enjoy myself.

But that is just me. :)