Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rangoli Theme Buffet Restaurant, Arena, Karsaz

Rangoli is an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant off main Karsaz road.

The restaurant is atop a gaming zone that offers many kinds of unique activities for families, such as an ice skating rink, simulated rock climbing, and bowling.

The investors have really taken pains to spruce up the place! Outdoor elevators. :)

As I said, Arena is actually the name of a gaming complex. As you can see, the family can enjoy games downstairs before or after eating upstairs. Bowling is very popular here.

The deals offer combinations of gaming and eating.

The waiting area next to the reception.

The spacious reception.

The area where food is served in closed-lid platters.

From memory, the menu included: Chicken Corn Soup, Prawn Tempura, Fried Fish fingers, Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani, Fried Daal, Mince-Stuffed Capsicums, Special Qeema/Mince, Vegetable Cutlets, Mixed Vegetables/Bhujjia, Green Fish Curry, Beef Boti, Paya, Mutton Kunna, Chicken Haleem, Beef Nihari, Chicken Kasturi Boti, Fried Rice, Fish Sweet and Sour, Thai Beef Curry, Vegetable Chow Mien, Spicy Wings, Lasagne, Sandwiches, French Fries, Parathas, and Roghni Naans.

The lighting is dim throughout the restaurant.

The place was thronging with families and children of all ages.

Salad bar. 5 stars!

Sajji a.k.a steamed chicken with minimum spices, is prepared before your very eyes. This area of the restaurant features live chefs. They prepare chaat, Sajji, Chapli kababs and pasta in front of you. For the pasta, you can dictate which ingredients are to be put in.

From back to front: pie with cream, mithai, sugar-free souffle, custard trifle and Shahi tukray (bread pudding).

Back to front: Chocolate mousse, more trifle, and kheer. There was also kulfi, which was great!

Back to front: Jelly, Apple Pie, and Creme Brulle (Caramel Pudding).

A huge slab of Tiramisu next to an equally huge bowl of fresh fruit!

Green tea to finish off.

This is the view of Maritime Museum's grounds, having an artificial, simulated lake right outside Rangoli's wide, glass windows. It is decorated with Navy boats, ships and planes, as Arena is within the PNS Jauhar area.

Verdict: I personally think that Rangoli is excellent value for money. It is better than Clifton's Salt 'n Pepper Village buffet restaurant by a wide mark. It is more sprawled-out, giving back to the diner in variety and quality what it misses out in the breathtaking view of the sea.

What is good about buffets - if you are strong-willed enough to be able to carefully pick and choose what you will eat, preventing yourself from overeating - is that you enjoy a much wider choice. The whole family can have whatever they like whilst dining together, without being restricted by a limited menu, the number of items that can be ordered, or portion size. For example, if my daughter loves fruit and paratha, my son loves rice and vegetables, my husband likes barbecue, and I prefer Italian lasagna/Chinese entree's, we can all have what we want in customized portions, without overloading the table, or stretching our budget.

A must-visit!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cafe Zouk, Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, Defence

Cafe Zouk is a bit on the pricey side, as you can see from this menu card.

Complimentary starter: salsa and tortilla chips.

Fish and chips

Crispy Fried Chicken strips

Chicken Cannelloni - superb in taste and quantity!

Fresh Lime

Overall verdict: A bit on the steep side i.e. it is a pricy place, but the quality of food and portion size is worth writing home about. Everything, from the crispiness of the fries, fish and chicken, to the freshness of the cole slaw and rosemary leaf, was highly satisfactory.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

KFC, 26th Street, Defence

Baba Kentucky. ;)

The deal is visible in the background.

A child's paradise. No kidding. And these foreign franchises know it.

Unhealthy food? Check. Tastes great? Check. Kids love the place? Check. Should eat here often? No!
But once in a while it doesn't hurt, especially if your eating habits are not unhealthy otherwise. Like, once a month, maybe?

Verdict: We hate to love and love to hate KFC, but end up going there sometimes anyway.

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.