English Tea House: More Than A Cafe
English Tea House is a landmark in Lahore’s dining experience. When I first came to Lahore, it was one of the three restaurants flagged for my inexperienced benefit, along with Café Zouk and Aylanto. I’ve always found English Tea House to be more of a café than a restaurant, mostly because of their bakery and a wide range of savory snacks.
In a nutshell:
- Quaint interiors
- Extensive menu and a teatime spread
- Best molten-lava cake in town
- We recommend the Yorkshire Chicken Puff
- Family friendly
- Desserts are for sharing
The eatery is nestled in a by-lane within Gulberg, right behind Yum. If you peer through the french windows you can look straight into the dimly-lit, wooden-floored bakery. Right outside the main entrance of the restaurant, there is a veranda that seats those who want to enjoy a hot cup of coffee, or tea, and a quick smoke. The veranda always has an interesting mix of people: couples huddling outside, away from prying eyes, or middle-aged important-looking men chatting, girls dressed to the nines, trying to get that perfect selfie and everything in between.
English Tea House has a really extensive menu. From pasta to entrées, pizzas, and burgers, even lobster and lamb; the restaurant serves everything continental. I was genuinely quite impressed with the variety of seafood options they serve. They also offer options in afternoon tea, including a hi-tea.
From their main entrées, I am a huge fan of their Yorkshire Chicken Puff. The creamy sauce is rich and smooth, paired perfectly with the golden puff pastry dome, which is buttery and flakey. The mushroom sauce is infused with savory flavor, the meat is well marinated and grilled to perfection. This entrée is a little heavy, because of the cream base of the sauce, and the crispy puff, but highly recommended.
Another one of my absolute favorites at English Tea House is their red sauce pasta. Tomato-based pasta can be tricky, there is a fine line between a tangy sone that tastes like plain ol ketchup (no offense to ketchup). English Tea House strikes the perfect balance. Their Penne Arrabiata is an extremely basic tomato sauce pasta dish, but the sauce is so rich in flavor, that it gives you a little spin in every bite. The pasta is topped with grilled chicken and mushrooms as well, which add a little something extra. The cherry tomatoes give it a slightly sour tinge and I appreciate the jolt of flavor in every bite. Served with garlic bread, this Penne Arrabiata is surely worth a try.
English Tea House also has a winter special menu, which focuses mostly on seafood. I tried their Creamy Tuscan Fish, served with a buttery, creamy sauce, mashed potatoes and vegetables. The sauce had a weird consistency. It was very thin, and the butter didn’t gel with the cream. However, it tasted better than expected. I just found the butter a little overpowering in the fish, but not enough to be problematic. The sauce was served separately and contained mushrooms and jalapenos, and while the meat was well cooked it could have used a little more flavor.
English Tea House has always been a bit stingy with their breadbasket, and they don’t serve quality complimentary bread. It’s always a little stale and never served on time.
Lastly, the English Tea House is also famous for their criminally good desserts. Notable mentions include their molten lava cake, which opens on a tease to reveal a silky-smooth stream of chocolate lava; the brownie of the cake is moist and delectable. Served with vanilla ice-cream, this is one of the best renditions of the classic molten lava cake out there. Another favorite here is their bread pudding, topped with caramel sauce and ice-cream. The pudding is smooth and perfect. The caramel adds a little texture to the pudding, giving it a little crunch, which can be topped off with the vanilla ice-cream. The desserts are kind of heavy, because the English Tea House is quite generous with their servings, and I recommend sharing these. Spread the love.
English Tea House, Gulberg, (042) 35715535