Koel Cafe and Gallery: Food Elevated to Art
Karachi is known for its food. Its numerous food streets including Boat Basin, Port Grand, and Burns Road draw large crowds of foodies daily. Lately, fine dining restaurants are enjoying increased popularity among the people of the city. Koel Cafe is one such eatery that promises a luxurious experience and impeccable food. I had the chance to visit it recently.
As I walked in I felt as if I had entered an enchanted forest. The interior décor was beautiful and incorporates greenery indoors. The reception was kind and welcoming as was the maître d′. I had a good feeling about Koel Cafe before I’d even had the chance to sit down.
The menu had a variety of fine dining options and the waiter assured me that everything on the menu was excellent in both quality and quantity. The restaurant had numerous salad options which made in inclusive to vegans and vegetarians. I tried the courtyard special salad and loved it. A mix of greens, croutons, chicken, and eggs. It was a wholesome salad. I didn’t opt for any more appetizers and decided to pick out a main. There were quite a few options to choose from including pizzas, seafood, pasta, steaks, and chicken entrees. After deliberating internally for 15- 20 minutes I settled on their Mushroom Risotto and a Kulcha Sandwich.
The service was reasonably fast and I didn’t have to wait too long for my food to be served. As I saw the waiter carry the gorgeous looking dishes towards my table I had water in my mouth and hope in my eyes.
Both dishes looked appetizing but I decided to try the mushroom risotto first and I had no regrets. It tasted beautiful: the texture was absolutely perfect and the flavors were balanced. The mushroom made its presence felt and I’ll definitely be trying this one again.
The kulcha sandwich proved less exciting. Recently, many eateries have started experimenting with naan, the prime example of this would be Cloud Naan. The idea has always appealed to me which is why I wanted to try the Kulcha sandwich. It proved a big disappointment, mostly because the dish felt so forced. It didn’t work as a kulcha or as a sandwich. The ingredient did not add up. Great idea but terrible execution. The fries and the sauce that accompanied the Kulcha Sandwich enhanced the experience of an otherwise average dish.
The menu had both coolers and warmers that seemed interesting. I tried the Shikanjabeen: it was tasty, refreshing and helped me wash down the main courses.
Dinner is never complete with dessert and the menu had three enticing options. I don’t particularly enjoy crème Brulee and although I was tempted to try the Koel Cafe baked chocolate pudding I ended up ordering the Banoffee pie. It was wonderful: it looked very appetizing and each bite tasted like a marvelous mixture of crunch, cold and richness with caramel. The hunger of my sweet tooth was satiated and the dish felt like a work of art.
Food was not the only art in the restaurant; there was an impressive art gallery which showcased inspiring works at the restaurant. The art added to the fine dining experience by making the restaurant seem fancier and rich in culture.
Koel Cafe came through on my expectation of a soothing and fulfilling dinner. I am definitely interested in trying the rest of the menu. Since the restaurant is modeled on fine dining it is slightly expensive. That has the effect of making the restaurant exclusive therefore one can only see affluent people enjoy Koel Cafe’s food and art. That is an inherent part of high culture restaurants like Koel Cafe but since the trend is new in Pakistan, maybe we can do better?