Crosta 11: The Wondrous Hive of Infinite Traps
Sensory experiences often linger on in our memories. Restaurants these days are judged for far more than just their food. Crosta 11 is a textbook example of ‘the complete package’. This one-of-a-kind restaurant in Bahria Town renders a jaw-dropping multisensory experience for its patrons.
The building housing Crosta 11 is illuminated in yellow. Before you know it, you’re neck deep in a fictitious yet alluring world of beehives. Fluorescent honey-hued lights on the hexagonal roof and walls make it so every inch of the space is showered in soft, glittering light.
The Crosta 11 building houses six levels with three different names. The three floors at the top function as a hotel and event lounge called The Platinum Hotel. The second floor is where Crosta 11 is, and on the ground floor is the Honey Beans Café, which offers a range of coffees and shakes. And while the offerings are inherently unique, the ventures are integrated with one another.
When I liberated myself from this magical aura, a stunning mural on the end wall swiftly pulled me in. Out of one daze and into the other. Along with the glass wall, behind a mulberry-colored cozy sofa, a thick, live tree caught my eye. Contemporary black barrel accent chairs were upholstered with a vintage print. The color scheme made for a dramatic ambiance but felt snug.
With no frills attached, the menu was straight forward with options that included Chinese cuisine and Pakistani cuisine along with regular soups, conventional starters, pasta, fast food, and seafood.
When I finally got around to ordering I decided to forgo appetizers and went straight for the entrees; two of them. I ordered the Tiger Beefsteak and the Grilled Fish. Once my order had been noted down I was served complimentary fish crackers. The crispy, light crackers with ample seasoning turned out to be the appetizer I never knew I needed. I munched these down in mere seconds. If the staff didn’t know how hungry I was, they certainly knew now. My food arrived in minutes.
To be honest, the Tiger Beef Steak didn’t look all that appetizing. The skillet, loaded with a nondescript brown sauce gave me some serious cold feet. However, my opinion 180-ed with the first bite. The steak was seared to perfection – medium-rare. Drizzled with a creamy mushroom and zesty black pepper sauce, it checked all the boxes for me. The flavors were intense but not overpowering. The sautéed vegetables and mashed potato paired well with the steak. Swoon.
The sizzling hot Grilled Fish was one of the best fish entrees I have ever tasted, with rich seasonings balanced with citrus notes. The eventual result? Buttery, spicy fish with a kick. It had my nose running. All in a day’s work.
The service was a mishmash of uncertainty and vigilance. Fish crackers were served twice; not out of kindness but out of confusion. The drink that I had ordered reached my table once I was almost done with my entire meal. Truth be told, even the frequent visits to the table by the servers couldn’t fix the patent lack of communication within the staff.
Though the food is above par, I’d be lying if I said Crosta 11 is pioneering a gastronomic revolution. What shines, literally, is the ambiance. With an air of magnetism, it makes the sluggish trip to Bahria Town worth it.