LAHORE: A PARADISE FOR EATERS
Mar 21 - 27, 2011
For Lahorittes, food is considered as a celebration. You can experience this when you venture out on the city streets in the evening.
There is not a single locality without its own specialties. Roadsides are lined up with small desi cafés; Khokay serve local delicacies from Chicken Tikka to Mutton Nihari and all of them never are not devoid of hungry customers.
Lahore boasts of specialties that are nowhere to be found except in this city of delights. Some of the most popular food points are named after their owners and founders. These include Ustad Phajjay kay Payay; Waris's Nihari; fried fish at Sardar Machhli and Bashir Dar-ul-Mahi; Bhayay-kay-Kebab at Model Town; Butt kay Chanay; Yousuf Falooda; Piyara Chargha, Hira Chargha, Alsehat, Benzair Kulfa and the list goes on and on.
The latest trend in Lahore has resulted in mushroom growth of European style Coffee Shops and Delis. Some of the most popular ones include Masoom's cafe, Coffee Tea & Company, café Hideout, and Moods cafe. M.M.Alam Road has evolved from just a small commercial street in a posh district to an avenue lined up with designer restaurants, trendy boutiques and chic Coffee shops. Here, you can have the best of Desi food at Salt n' Pepper Village; Continental and Afghani food at Freddy's café; Portuguese at Nando's; Mexican at Gun Smoke and exclusive Italian cuisine at café Aylanto. Chinese is now considered the second most favorite cuisine of Lahorittes. Many Chinese restaurants serve exclusive food in all price ranges. These include Taipan, Pearl Continental Hotel; Dynasty, Avari Hotel; and Hsuin Kuang. Thai food is a relative new comer served best at Lemon Grass and Pearl Continental Hotel's Royal Elephant. Avari Hotel's Fujiyama still is the one Japanese restaurant serving everything Japanese from Sushi to Chicken Terriyaki prepared on your own table counter.
Another addition is Italian restaurant-Ciro's Pomodoro. You might want to forget all about Ciro once you enter his restaurant, but Ciro doesn't want you to forget about him. Once that you are over meeting the pretty Italian woman who will ask you about your reservation, you are bombarded with pictures of Ciro with his friends. There is a photograph of him with Ronald Reagan, another with Al Pacino, a host with Axl Rose and a countless other famous personalities. Even the menu isn't spared as its cover is again filled with Ciro and his friends. The food at Ciro's is also a balance between exacting delicious flavours, but prepared with a light touch and a lot of heart.
There are a wide variety of things to choose from. For starters, pastas, pizzas and Risotto (which is rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency) to steaks, a huge array of cocktails, desserts and wonderful coffee. The starter, if you decide to have one, is a deal-breaker, because only two things can happen: either the starter is good, which at once calms you and makes you anticipate what is to come, or it is disappointing and puts a dark cloud of doubt over the proceedings.
What you actually don't want to miss are the garlic mushrooms marinated in creamy garlic sauce, which is a Ciro's specialty. It is a dish to immediately fall in love with; the mushrooms feel crunchy in the mouth one second, and magically dissolve in the other.
The Ravoli Radichio, a pasta filled with spinach and served with sauce, is not something you want to have, until you are a big spinach fan, because spinach is bitter and quite empowering over everything else on the plate and perhaps because we are pretty particular about rice, any of the Risotto dishes might also not be much of a hit.
Experts believe that big restaurants can increase their business by announcing attractive offers or launching special food festivals.