My wife and I were happy having Iftar at home or else at friends’ or relatives’ houses. However, just for a change, we decided to venture out at a restaurant, choosing Street 1 Cafe in Kohsar Market. The experience was, in a word, great. We called for a reservation the afternoon of the same day; there was no space available inside so we were offered a table outside. Despite our trepidation that it would be hot, it turned out to be nicer than the congested indoors. Khajoor, fresh fruit juice with crushed ice and a cold water bottle was served at the table and we were asked to go to the Iftar buffet just in time before the hordes. The congestion around the buffet tables was my only complaint, but there is not much the management can do about that considering the size of the restaurant. The chaat with the sev puri crunch, dahi bara and small hors-d’oeuvre’s were excellent. Other items included the usual fried iftari fare that Pakistanis enjoy – samosas and pakoras – plus welcome baked items like quiche and vol-au-vent. The restaurant is conveniently located close to a mosque to allow prayers after Iftar, for those inclined.
The dinner had a very wide selection, including beef, vegetable, fish and chicken in lots of different varieties. But much more importantly, everything we tried was fresh and tasted great, included the exceptionally good salad. This is unusual for a buffet, where invariably some dishes are below par. The selection was primarily Italian fare, although some Pakistani dishes were there alongside some Asian cuisine. Drinks included strawberry juice and mint mocktails. My only complaint about the food would be the low salt in the potato dauphinoise, which illustrates the generally high standard of the food on offer. Any items that ran low were quickly replaced. The dessert table had been cleaned to some extent by the patrons, who picked up multiple dessert items at Iftaar and then proceeded to waste them (!). However, the service was very good, and we were served the crème brulee – excellent – very quickly at our table instead along with piping hot coffee. It may be slightly expensive – around Rs. 2,000 per head, excluding the water bottles – however, well worth the price, both of us agreed at the satisfied conclusion.
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