Simplest of Lunches and Sweet Affairs
As of late, I’ve been lunching out more than I would like. My lunches are mostly extra carby, extra sugary, extra spicy, and extra oily. That’s a whole lot of extras, but it’s part and parcel of working in this industry. And it may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m grateful. I’m also grateful for small eateries like Sweet Affairs being a stone’s throw away from where I work. Here’s my lemon squeezy review of a gut-feel lunch at Sweet Affairs Bakery by Saniya Waqar in Phase V, Lahore.
In a nutshell:
- Two outlets, two distinct experiences
- Rice Bowls and Brick Oven Pizzas
- When uncertain, ASK
- Excellent lunch options
- No burritos please
- Chili flakes on the side, babe
Without taking much time to set up the scene: I went to Sweet Affairs, next to Jalal Sons, facing the main Phase V road (I forget what it’s called) on a Thursday; the restaurant was empty, which was surprising because I have heard it’s hard to secure a table there (perhaps I’m late to the party); the inside was chilled to the bone- so much so, that I had to request a temperature adjustment; the music was… absolutely horrid. Now that I’ve painted my pretty picture, let’s talk about shit I actually know a thing or two about: the food at Sweet Affairs.
Looking For Freshly Baked Goods? Read: Jalal Sons 101
I shall admit here that I have been to Sweet Affairs before. The Packages Mall outlet, though nicely done up, was a rather disappointing experience. Notably, the mini burrito rolls were not good at all, with meager, bland fillings, and the buffalo wings were nothing short of scrawny. This time, I was determined not to let my past experience cloud my judgment. You be the judge of my judgment.
I ordered the Smoked Salmon & Egg open-faced sandwich from the #Tartines section. Upon reading the menu while writing this review, I understand that customers are given the choice between ciabatta and bran bread. I was not. However, whatever white bread I did get was cut nicely, like those Pizza Hut Garlic Bread Supremes. Topped with cream cheese, lettuce (I don’t get it), Norwegian Smoked Salmon, and BBQ sauce (you heard that right!), it was a complete toastie. While I’m fine with lettuce and BBQ as optional add-ons, the fact that I didn’t know they were going to put it on my tartine was annoying. Nowhere on the menu did it say that these ingredients would be on (now) my precious salmon. But despite the smoky intrusiveness of the BBQ sauce and the leafy greens, I was able to get a good taste– me likey. Knowing what I know now, I would opt for the ciabatta bread, no lettuce, and no BBQ sauce next time.
Love Unattainable Seafood and Mind Boggling Prices? Read: My First Michelin
Next up was the Creamy Spinach Pasta with Crusted Chicken, from the #Pastas section. My first impression of the finished product was fantastic. It looked like a pesto fettuccine with katsu on top. But I knew better; I was the one who ordered this, after all. The pesto was spinach, and the katsu was actually a stuffed chicken of sorts. Stuffed with cheese. Hell yes. All my cheese lovers where you at fools? Anyway the pasta was rich and creamy, soft and spinachy, and the parm and chili flakes on the crispy/crusted (mozz stuffed) chicken were a nice touch for presentation’s sake. The chicken was cut up in bite sized pieces, and I dig that because I’m a baby. Overall, it was good to look at, good to eat: what a seductive combo. Good stuff Sweet Affairs!
Last but not least, was the Honey Chicken from the #Noodles & #RiceBowls section. The cool bit about this section (and about Sweet Affairs in general) is that you get to pick between white/brown rice, or noodles as the bed for your protein/veg concoction. The Honey Chicken was an interesting, and I chose it because of the caramelized ginger and green chilies boasted in the description, decked on rice. It looked mouthwatering when it arrived, and I absolutely adored the strong and sweet ginger taste contrasting with the green chilies. I didn’t think I would like ginger as the front-runner in this entree but I’m happy to admit that I was DEAD wrong. It was legit. The rice was white and fluffy, smooth with a blandness that was needed after the overtones of sugar and spice. The chicken, seasoned like a war veteran. This was also the most visually appealing item that I have photographed in a while (save for the Beef Donburi Bowl at The Burning Giraffe).
Word of advice: opt for chili flakes on the side for all entrees, otherwise they may just be too sweet/bland for your liking.
Like Food Photography? Read: A Quick Lunch at The Burning Giraffe
I know it’s sacrilege to not try the desserts at a cafe literally called ‘Sweet’ Affairs, but if you didn’t know by now, I’m a monster. So I didn’t try the desserts; the skillet cookie wept in the kitchen I’m sure, as did the bread and butter pudding, while the Ferrero molten cake was in a ‘heated’ mood (this is my way of recommending desserts). YOU do the review if you’re so interested (tag me pls).
What I would like to try on my next visit to Sweet Affairs: the Feisty Beef Rice Bowl (#RiceBowls), the Chicken Pot Pie (#Chicken), the Thai Crispy Beef (#Beef), and the Khao Suey (#Pastas). BRB.
A simple hashtag to sum Sweet Affairs up: #WouldGoAgain (sorry)
Happy reading fellas and dames!
Sweet Affairs, Phase V, DHA, (042) 111 376 666