Basanti Lahore: Vibrant and Experimental
Fuchsia Kitchen is renowned for its Korean and Thai inspired spreads, promising an exquisite dining experience every time. A new venture by the group behind Fuchsia Kitchen finds them dabbling in local cuisine. Basanti, located in the right wing of the Fuchsia Kitchen premises, is a brand new restaurant in Lahore that serves Pakistani food.
A friend and I were craving a hearty desi nashta (breakfast) last weekend and decided to try out Basanti Restaurant. We headed towards Hali Road and were lucky enough to find a tree to park under. We entered the Fuchsia Kitchen compound and made our way towards Basanti. A polite server greeted us and escorted us to a corner table.
If I had to describe Basanti in a word, I’d call it ‘vibrant’. Truck art installations, kites hanging from the ceiling and the walls, alongside funky posters tied together with the ambiance indoors. Basanti is perhaps the most colorful eatery I’ve had breakfast in Lahore at.
Through a sliding glass door, I spotted a cute outdoor dining area. It was built like an amphitheater, which is an interesting concept, but the weather dissuaded me from venturing outside. I always notice the music at any establishment as I consider it a key feature of full circle branding for any restaurant in Lahore. However, Basanti Restaurant was packed to the seams and I could barely make out what was playing over the speakers.
We spent a few minutes deciding our order, but with a little help from our server we finally figured out what we’d be eating that fine Sunday morning: Beef Nihari, BBQ Mutton Chops, Palak Paneer, Bakarkhani Paratha, Khameeri Roti, Meethi Lassi, and Karak Chai Ice Cream. Yes, dessert is important.
The Beef Nihari arrived in a cute steel serving platter, which gave it a traditional look. The condiments were served separately, as they should be! The gravy was sensational and I alternated between dipping my roti and paratha in it (no FOMO). It was thick (thicc) and well seasoned; pairing it with a dash of lemon put it on a whole other level. The beef broke like soft butter and was succulent and flavorful to the core. I didn’t even mind the ginger since it added a little zing to the whole plate. If you’re a sucker for good nihari, Basanti Restaurant will treat you right.
BBQ Mutton Chops
These mutton chops were the most expensive thing we’d ordered. Having tried them I can honestly say that I would dish out that money again in a heartbeat. They arrived on a bed of coals with grilled vegetables on the side. The meat was incredibly tender and the meat slipped clean off of the bone. They were seasoned to perfection; spicy enough to leave a slow burn but not enough to overpower our senses. Dipping them in raita sent me straight to BBQ heaven.
I love palak paneer and I have high standards when it comes to this dish. The perfect palak paneer calls for a crisp bite of paneer that melts in your mouth with the creamy and earthy flavor of palak. The palak paneer at Basanti Restaurant wasn’t for me. The serve their paneer deep fried and placed atop the palak. The creaminess of the palak was there but the bite of paneer was too hard and didn’t combine with the palak the way I would’ve liked. My friend thought it was great, so I guess it comes down to how you like your palak paneer.
I thought it would be a regular warqi (layered) paratha, but the layers on this thing… god damn. Just like a bakarkhani, it was layer after layer of crunchy, buttery, flakey goodness. The colder it became the harder it was to eat, so make sure you eat this fresh and hot.
I mean how else was I supposed to hold everything down? It was light yet thick, frothy yet filling, and cold enough to swallow. The sugar, yogurt, and milk were in perfect harmony. A nice little addition to your breakfast when you want to go balls to the wall.
Karak Chai Ice Cream
Of course, after such a heavy meal there was no room for dessert. Of course, true to form, I still ordered it. Basanti serves its French toast with Karak Chai Ice Cream. I drink chai religiously. I wanted/needed/ordered the ice cream and told them to hold the French Toast. Basanti was kind enough to cater to my request and a soft scoop arrived within minutes. I dug into the adorable bowl and it was creamy, thick, with a subtle chai taste. The problem was that it was clearly refrozen, with icicles running through it. If only it was fresher.
Verdict on Basanti Lahore
Be it with family or friends, if you’re looking for good ambiance and a great desi meal, give Basanti a try. Obviously being a project of Fuchsia, the value for money aspect might be questionable for some but the taste is spot on. What sets it apart from all other Pakistani restaurants in Lahore is the desire to experiment and execute orders with refined skills, and I’ll pay top dollar for that.
Location for Basanti Lahore: 119 Hali Rd, Block E1 Block E 1 Gulberg III, Lahore, Punjab
Contact Number for Basanti Lahore : (042) 35762160
Timings for Basanti Lahore: 12 pm- 12 am
Basanti Lahore Menu