Café Aylanto: Sea-Side Fine Dining in Karachi
As one of Karachi’s premier restaurants, Café Aylanto offers a comfortable atmosphere for patrons to dine and meet. Aylanto is now located in Clifton Block 4, after moving from its humble beginnings in Zamzama.
The sea-side of Clifton is an excellent location for an upscale restaurant like Aylanto. It is now a couple of minutes from other landmarks of the city like Dolmen Mall Clifton, Ocean Tower, and Sea View Road.
Right as you walk in, it’s easy to see the extensive thought that has gone into Café Aylanto’s interior design. Like most of the other establishments in that area, you will find that Aylanto is also housed in a bungalow. This is less of a con than a complement to the aesthetic; it’s traditional and chic, understated even.
The Dining Experience
Café Aylanto offers a simple yet expansive menu, with mostly continental food. There are various soups offered, along with their starters which range from prawns, salmon, chicken wings to salads of various kinds. They also offer a great variety of pasta and many seafood, poultry, and beef dishes. Sorry, but there’s nothing vegan or vegetarian when it comes to the entrees! A variety of mousse, pies, cakes, and puddings pad the dessert menu.
I started with a shiny Roasted Tomato Soup, a good soup to start with because it actually did help build up an appetite. The nice fresh, tangy taste of tomatoes was quite enjoyable. Next, I shared a plate of Chili Garlic Prawns with my friend which—despite being a bit spicy– were good. But, with the measly portion sizes, I don’t think this appetizer was worth my money.
For the main course, I ordered Penne with Smoked Chicken. It wasn’t as good as what the other dishes had been so far, but it was still decent pasta. I liked the creamy sauce that covered the pasta, but the smoked Chicken is where the disappointment started; the chicken didn’t actually seem like it was smoked. I have a feeling it was simply grilled. I liked the choice of spices though. It really grounded the taste whereas the sauce had more of a lifting effect. I had a problem with the serving size here as well.
I ended my meal with warm bread pudding, my favorite. The gooey, warm texture of the pudding just settles in your mouth.
The service was quite reasonable, with the food arriving within 40 minutes. But that’s standard for Karachi.
The Aylanto Appeal
I can understand why Café Aylanto is a hit with young crowds in Karachi: it’s because of the unique ambiance the restaurant has, especially at night. Experiencing the sunset near the sea at Aylanto is amazing, something that anyone would appreciate. Weekends are popping, too.
Dining at Aylanto is one of the most extravagant experiences in Karachi. The problem? Others do it better.