Sashas Gulberg: Your Full Day Breakfast Fix in Lahore
Mall 94 in Gulberg Lahore is the hub of all things food and all people social. The area is home to some of the most popular restaurants and cafes in Lahore. The posse was recently joined by a new member by the name of Sashas. Sashas USP? Their menu is a brunch lovers dream and they serve all day breakfast.
I’m a sucker for brunch and finding a good spot for brunch in Lahore is nearly impossible. Visiting Sashas in Gulberg became a mission. So, at 9 pm on a Friday night, I decided to find out what Sashas was all about. It took my friends and me 20 minutes and three rounds of Mall 94 to find a parking spot. Read on to find out if Sashas Lahore was worth it.
The site outside Sashas was one of absolute chaos, as is normal with Mall94, and we were worried if we’d even manage to find a seat. Luckily, the recent sporadic rain showers had made the weather bearable enough for most diners to opt for outdoor seating. And the guard ushered us inside.
The inside was pretty much empty and the subtle tones and the wooden interior created a calming ambiance. We scooted into a corner booth and the waiter immediately brought us our menus. I noticed a juice bar to my right and an open kitchen right out front. The kitchen and the dining area were separated by a tall glass partition and I think this feature goes a long way in adding to customer confidence. At least personally, I enjoy watching my meal being prepared.
I tend to also assess any restaurant in Lahore based on their playlist. At Sashas, the music didn’t quite catch my attention, probably because it was a bit too low, or because the table opposite ours was a tad bit too loud. Our server came back to take our orders and I asked him to make some recommendations.
Servers usually try to out-sell every item on the menu or have a little insider info on the best selling item. Not this guy though. Nope.
The menu was reminiscent of The Kitchen in Lahore, not that I’m complaining. We figured we might as well try a bit of everything; Loaded Fries, Sashas Signature Thali, Nutella, and Banana French Toast, a Pinacolada and a Meethi Lassi. Our order arrived within a quick 10 minutes.
We started off with the loaded fries. The cheesy goodness arrived on a hot plate, with no warning, in case I were to touch it. And touch it I did. It had jalapenos cut up and sprinkled on top with some coarse black pepper. After tending to my blistered finger for a minute, I dug into the fries. The tangy flavor from the jalapenos within the cheese and potato ensemble gave the dish the ‘oomph’ it needed. The warm melted cheese, sharp and vinegary add ons and the crispy fries won my heart. The cheese was abundant (I’m not complaining) but didn’t feel too heavy. No cheese is too much cheese, so this dish carb fiesta received a thumbs up for me.
Sashas Signature Thali
The Sashas thali (silver platter) contained four mini silver bowls for each individual serving of Aloo ki Bhujiya, Channay, Daal Makhni, and Raita. It came with a plain warm naan, an abundance of salad, a puri wrapped around a Shish Taouk. My first bite was of the Shish Taouk, obviously, coupled with the Puri. Oh my God. This chicken was so perfectly marinated that each strand was oozing with flavor. Not too spicy and nowhere near bland, this Shish Taouk was perfectly moist with flavor and insanely tasty. Dipped in raita, it was an instant party in my mouth. It also proved to be the highlight of the thaali. The Channay were a bit too hard for my liking, however, the Daal Makhni was served with a dollop of sour cream and tasted great. It had a creamy consistency and was garnished with green chilies, which gave the bite an extra zing. The Aloo ki Bhujiya was pretty average. The potatoes had a good bite to them but the taste wasn’t that flavorful. Ultimately, the Shish Taouk was the real star. Sashas serves this dish separately as well, for all you Mediterranean food lovers.
While it is hard to go wrong with French toast, Sashas Lahore took it to a whole other level. The plate arrived with two beautiful triangles of thick Brioche bread French toasts slathered in Nutella, slices of bananas on the outer crust and a tiny container with maple syrup. There was a dollop of whipped cream on one of the pieces and mini sugar cookies, purely for aesthetic, I’m sure. The outer layer of the French toast was perfectly caramelized and the inner layer was cushiony soft; think cotton candy meets roasted marshmallow. The sweetness was perfect, although I would’ve liked some more bananas. The maple syrup might seem too much for someone who doesn’t like their desserts too sweet, but I did not mind. I did not mind at all.
The meethi lassi (sweet buttermilk) was ordered on a whim since nobody at the table was a major lassi fan. It turned out to be safe bet and tasted like any other regular (gentrified) meethi lassi served in desi restaurants in Lahore. It was thick and sweet, served cold in a mason jar for extra millennial points.
I love piña coladas and make it a point to order one every time I spot it on a menu. It is, after all, the perfect summer drink. But the piña colada at Sashas Lahore turned out to be a disappointment, it was just pineapple juice mixed with what tasted like regular milk. Nope, no coconut milk. There was no texture to it and not a hint of coconut flavor in it. Not really my cup of tea, which, in hindsight, I should’ve ordered instead.
The quality and quantity of the food at Sashas Lahore was excellent. Save a few missteps(not informing about the hot plate and the disappointing piña colada) our experience was rather enjoyable. The Shish Taouk and French Toast were my favorites and I’ll definitely be heading back to eat them again. Sashas cafe also offers several Pakistani options, such as a halwa puri thali. The overall ambiance was warm and comforting, just like their food.