Espresso: Breakfast That Won’t Disappoint
The timber interior is warm and comfortable, perhaps not in superficiality but in familiarity. I feel about Espresso (Y Block) the way I feel about Chaaye Khana in Islamabad; I might not visit often enough, but I find comfort in the fact that it exists. Every time I need a reliable, good breakfast, you’ll find me there. Every time, I step up to their mahogany altar, I feel a flurry of excitement for all the lovely food that is to come.
In a nutshell:
- Cool hangout spot
- Extensive breakfast menu
- Coffee worth ditching work for
- Got work to do? Go to Espresso
- Be an egg person
- Family friendly
The restaurant is a two story structure, and although it is always busy there’s enough space for everyone. On any given day, it is filled with all sorts of people: young, old, business, casual, friends, and families. The slow murmur of voices creates a comfortable buzz to come indulge in light conversation.
Their breakfast menu is quite extensive, and frankly my favorite. There are many options: from omelets to croissants, granola to French toast, as well as fresh juices. It’s no wonder I found myself there this Sunday and quickly ordered a pepperoni and cheese omelette. The waiter asked me whether I wanted to try their fresh juice and I happily obliged, assuming it to be complementary (spoiler alert: it wasn’t).
I waited a short while before my order arrived. The several-layered omelet (the menu said three, but I definitely counted like five) arrived with three slices of bread, butter, jam, and hash browns. In a state of bliss, I nibbled down the accompanying bread in a stupor. I am a sucker for carbs but their bread could’ve been softer.
The hash browns: I’m not a fan, I’d prefer a proper desi cutlet. Maybe, I’m just too inbred, doomed to provinciality.
The eggs were nice at first, I enjoyed the taste of pepperoni spicing up the otherwise bland omelet. However, the more I chewed on it, the less I wanted to swallow the rubbery mess. To be clear, the problem wasn’t that the restaurant had been stingy and hadn’t used enough cheese or pepperoni, but they had used too much egg, with very little flavor. The omelet lacked seasoning and depended entirely on the abundant cheese to carry it through. I enjoyed the fresh pomegranate juice, the tart flavor was rather invigorating, though it was steeply priced. Fresh juice at a local shop may be more cost effective, yet just as delicious.
Espresso Lounge is a really nice place for a quick bite, a casual work meeting, and a friendly hangout, and even breakfast. While I wouldn’t eat their eggs again, the menu offers a wide range of other options. Although Espresso matches the familiarity of Chaaye Khaana, which feeds into its coziness, it still has a long way to go before it can match Chaaye Khaana’s taste.