Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gloria Jean's Coffees, Sindhi Muslim

Gloria Jean's Coffees recently opened its doors in Sindi Muslim, Karachi, near the roundabout around which famous eateries such as Bundoo Khan, Roasters and Nando's are located.


 It is located a stone's throw away from Cafe Kahva. Gloria Jeans offers hot and cold coffee, as well as a variety of desserts.


The whole interior is tastefully done in mahogany hues, with ample use of wood.


The outdoor sitting area.


The counter offering delectable desserts, such as huge-sized Red Velvet, Black Forest and Tiramisu cakes, chunky slices of which can be enjoyed with the coffee.

 

Here you can see Golden Cookies, costing Rs 30 each.


Truffles, cakes and other sweet goodies that help throw our diets out the window are also available. 
The almond truffles (or whatever they were) in the upper row cost Rs 20 for two pieces.
The Mocha Mousse Cake slices in the lower rows cost Rs 200/- plus tax.

 

A Danish pastry costs Rs 215/- plus tax, as is obvious in the photo.


Tiramisu cakes and a New York style cheesecake (top row).  
A slice of this indulgent Tiramisu cake costs Rs 375 /- plus tax.


The machinery brewing the beans.


 There is a shelf on one side where Gloria Jeans products, such as packets of ground coffee and bottles of flavored syrup, are on sale.


The counter where orders are taken - warning: nowadays there are long queues. 
The entire outlet reminds one eerily of Butlers Chocolate Cafe.


  A closeup of a part of the menu - see if you can read it. 
Coffees are available in 3 sizes: small, regular and large.
You can see that chilled coffee drinks are as much on offer as hot beverages.


We went for a slice of Mocha Mousse cake, Rs 200/-


Small Cappuccino - Rs 210


Small Coco Loco - Rs 240. This is a Mocha Chiller, an iced coffee.

Our total bill for these 3 items was Rs 754, with tax for all three totaling to Rs 104. The extensive menu of Gloria Jean's Coffees also includes a wide array of breakfast items and savory snacks, such as wraps, burgers and sandwiches, in addition to entrées such as salads, pasta and steaks.

Verdict: Honestly? Well, the edible stuff itself, especially the coffee we had, were great in taste, quality and portion size. The prices are high, yeah, but I suppose you pay for devouring good stuff you can't make at home without humungous effort. Plus, you pay for the experience of dining out in an eatery furnished especially to maximize your comfort.

Which is what brings me to the disappointing part. The outlet was overcrowded and stuffed with yuppies. I suppose that was expected if you go at 5 p.m on a Sunday, especially if the franchise has just opened its doors in a city that thrives on eating out.

I really dislike it when restaurants do not have demarcations for people who smoke cigarettes and/or sheesha. The whole place was reeking of cigarettes, and those who were puffing on these shortcut-tickets-to-lung-cancer seemed to not care less for the fact that others, including children, were inhaling the smoke they were chugging out of their mouths.

That, and it was extremely noisy. Despite the noise, crowd and smoke, I saw some people trying to work alone on their laptops/notebooks or read/write whilst having their coffee, even though these traditional activities, for which coffeehouses became famous and popular in the first place - providing a cozy setting for quiet work and contemplation - could scarcely be pulled off here in Karachi if Gloria Jeans remains this crowded.

Thankfully, we were able to find a table in a quiet, smokeless corner - situated deep inside the belly of the outlet, perhaps that is why no one had occupied it yet - and were able to consume our coffee and cake without inhaling smoke.

If you are one of those who visits these places to "see and be seen", or if you just want to hang out, then you can pay the outlet a visit in the evenings on weekends. But if you want to go for a calm coffee experience with your family/small children, or if you want to get in some work or studies in a quieter setting whilst sipping on caffeine and eating a sweet fix, I would suggest you visit Gloria Jeans during a quieter time, such as weekday mornings.



Friday, January 6, 2012

Royal Snacks, Sindhi Muslim

Royal Ice and Spice is a restaurant located right opposite the Bundoo Khan and Roasters outlets on main Sindhi Muslim. 


It is situated right next to Hyder's
You can clearly see the windows of the dining area on the first floor of Royal in this shot.


This review is pretty late, because we have been eating here for a few years, mostly while parked in the car in front of the eatery, which made it difficult to photograph the food.


Royal offers a variety of popular food, including Chinese, at affordable rates.
The portion size is extremely good value for money.


For rolls, I would recommend you stick to the popular joints in Defence/Clifton. I had a kabab roll once at Royal, and did not find it up to the mark.


Besides Chinese, barbecue, shawarma, soup, fried chicken (known better locally as "broast"), chaat/pani puri and rolls, Royal also offers ice cream, fresh juices and shakes that are actually quite delicious.


I have tried their cold coffee too, and liked it.


We mostly go for the deals at Royal.


You can see that the prices are - especially for Karachi dwellers living in the so-called "posh" areas -  to die for. The taste and quality of food at Royal is so good.


Chicken Burger, Rs 120.


Deal 2: Chicken Crispy Burger, Crispy Chicken Piece and French Fries, for Rs 205.
A soft drink came with this too.


Deal 7: Chicken Reshmi Kababs, puri paratha's and a soft drink - for only Rs 150.
Whenever I order this, I have to get 2 leftover kababs packed to be taken home, since the portion size is so ample.


One more shot of the food, with camera flash. :)

Verdict: I really like eating at Royal Snacks, even if we have to usually do that in the car, like most other families that park themselves in their cars in front of the eatery to dine there at night. Royal Snacks has a sitting area for families on the upper floor, and a more cramped one on the ground floor. The service done by waiters to the diners seated outside in their cars is quick and efficient.