Mocca – A Real Cafe Experience
Lit by a soft amber glow, the rooftop was home to the soft murmur of heavy conversations. Two gentlemen, preoccupied with their phones, were sitting in an enclosed area designed for smokers. The waiter took a little while to bring me a menu. I watched the rush-hour traffic race by on Main Boulevard, which is perhaps why Mocca Cafe is so great. It allows you to be a part of the city rancor despite being removed from it.
Mall 94 – where Mocca Café is located – boasts several high-end restaurants. Like a house of cards, they are stacked one atop the other. Yet you still see people flocking to Mocca.
In a Nutshell:
- Guilt-free, diet-friendly clean eating
- Space where you can linger
- Steer clear of their ‘signature red sauce’
- Surprisingly affordable
- Book-date kinda place
Their menu is extensive. The drinks alone cover many pages. There are iced coffees, frappes, fresh fruit smoothies, flavored coffees, and even artisanal teas. Within each of these categories there are several choices, including healthy options such as skinny iced Americanos, breakfast detox dairy smoothies, and ‘skinny’ and ‘sugar-free’ flavored hot coffees. Their flavored cappuccinos are my personal favorite: fragrant and moderately sweet. The frothed milk that tops the carefully brewed espresso gives this drink its special kick. My favorite flavor is butterscotch. The precise brewing is to be credited for this, as is their use of quality, imported coffee beans.
Mocca’s food menu offers their takes on several classics. Their Parmesan Chicken Crespelle was a crepe covered with parmesan cheese and a ‘signature Mocca red sauce’. This sauce seems to make an appearance with everything at Mocca. The crepe itself has all the ingredients that could make it a delicious culinary experience: a soft crepe, succulent chicken, robust cheese, and that signature red sauce. However I would describe it as merely edible. The flavors don’t blend well together.
Their paninis suffer similarly. I believe the ‘signature red sauce’ is to blame. It is too tangy and not nearly as versatile as the chefs at Mocca seem to think.
One of the only mainstream restaurants in Lahore with clearly marked organic, vegan and gluten-free options, Mocca’s menu targets a more wellness-conscious audience. Their breakfast options are also fairly interesting. From breakfast platters with salads and Greek yoghurts to organic omelets, they seem like a paradise for customers with dietary limitations or specific consumption preferences. For a country raised on hormone-fed poultry, that is quite commendable. These menu items were surprisingly quite affordable; perhaps a sign that it is not just a marketing gimmick and that Mocca is truly committed to serving the the best ingredients available.
Mocca even has healthy dessert options! Their Paleo Bar stands out as a great complement to their coffees. It is the perfect chocolate bar for healthy eaters and works really well for you meetings, work, or casual meet ups over a good cup of freshly-brewed coffee. People on-the-go consider it a midday snack. For those looking for something sweet to really sink their teeth into, they offer fresh fruit waffles, crepes and pancakes as well.
Mocca is definitely a nation-wide cafe chain I can be proud of. Their style and bravado leaves coffee-houses like Gloria Jeans and Coffee Republic far behind. Their menu is fairly fancy too. They call their crepes Crespella, and their gyros Mezza Luna, which can perhaps make their menu a little inaccessible for their local customers. But their healthy food menu will put any eatery to shame.
It makes sense that Mocca has entrenched itself as the hottest coffee spot in Gulberg. The ambiance they have created is what draws the crowd. Not that the ample seating and outdoor heating arrangements aren’t to be lauded. The waiters do not obnoxiously breathe down your neck and linger until you actually place your order or force you to rush which highlights the very essence of the cafe. It is a space where you can linger: hold meetings, work, or catch-up with friends over a good cup of fresh-brewed coffee. A true cafe in a city full of impostors. Their food however needs work if it is to realize the promise of their well-crafted menu.
Mocca, Gulberg, +92(42)35790056