Sunday, November 13, 2016

chaaye khana

chaaye khana
shop # 11, block b united bakery plaza super market, F-6 markaz, islamabad
tel: 051) 8312192

what was consumed: stuffed french toast, omelet, coffee (with donut)

looking for a bustling place to enjoy some tea and brunch-y foods? put chaaye khana on your list! 

the first time i visited, it was for a farewell brunch for a good colleague/friend. we were sad to see her depart from post, but happy that we got to try chaaye khana in her honor.

the food is tasty (be sure to get an order of the stuffed french toast, to share at least. it's a little rich/sweet for my liking, but i was happy to enjoy bites of BJL's ;) the stuffed french toast also seemed to be the most popular, as quite a few of them passed our table. the toast is crispy on the outside, deliciously filled on the inside with a light cream). their pakistani options are quite a treat as well! 

chaaye khana is proud of their very large tea selection. tea drinkers, rejoice! chaaye khana takes it very serious, and i'm glad that they do; their selection is amazing and the tea looks (and smells) delish. but for an avid coffee drinker like me, my palate isn't accustomed to the subtle notes of delicate teas. lucky for me, coffee is also an option (phew!). they serve coffee in french presses (just as they serve all of their teas). if you order coffee, you also get a donut (for better or for worse). i'll just take the coffee, please. a lots of it!

be sure to get to chaaye khana early (or just test your luck. not sure if they take ressies) because it's always super packed.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

classic rock coffee co.

classic rock coffee co.
#6-7, first floor, shaukat plaza, school road, F-6 markaz, islamabad
tel: 051) 873-6437

what was consumedomelet, nutella french toast, bottomless (drip) coffee

yay for coffee and classic rock!

if you're looking for a fun place to brunch, put classic rock on your list! they have a nice selection of eats, along with fruit juices, smoothies, and coffees (including pour over - nice). and, really, you can't go wrong with a place that offers an all-you-can-drink drip coffee option (imo). the mexican omelet i ordered was really intersting, with the eggs inside of the bread. coupled with what seemed to be a cross between a tostada salad and nachos, it was a perfect meal with a bit of tex mex spice i had been looking for.

the slabs of bread that the pakistanis use here for french toast is different from what i'm used to, but a welcome surprised. and when topped with dollops of nutella, it's a delicious and sweet brunch option.

and be sure to pay attention to all of the little details they put in with the decor and music. classic rock lovers (loose definition, of course) will definitely appreciate all of the little things - the decorated walls, the guitar chairs, even the bathroom!

i didn't know that this islamabad location is just one of many. i'm glad to see that whoever it was that loved coffee and classic rock brought it here for us to enjoy. thanks so much!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

the loft

the loft
plot 15, bhitai road, F-7 markaz, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 051) 8317589/90

what was consumed: brunch! nutella stuffed french toast, huevos rancheros, shakshuka

the loft! after struggling to find its location (the motorpool driver didn't know and i couldn't find an address online! lucky for me, friends knew where it was and brilliantly directed me), i was happy to be sitting with new friends about to enjoy delicious food:

i want to go back to try their "korean bowl," whatever that is. people seem to love it, but i will be the judge! but if it's like the brunch i had, then i have a feeling i'll enjoy it very much. yaaassssss~~~

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

la maison

la maison

house 16, street 47, F-7/1, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 051) 8441341

what was consumed: delicious delicious food. lots of cheese (apparently flown in, weekly, FROM FRANCE). fresh bread. foie gras. steak (tenderloin, i believe) with morels, and frites. and a delicious chocolate cake.

oh, la maison. i'm so glad you exist. i'm not sure how or why or what brings your owner to pakistan (and islamabad more specifically), but i'm glad that he's here and that i can make reservations at his delicious restaurant.

i loved that once we sat down, waiting for the rest of our party, we were treated to a few tastes of deliciousness to include cheese from quetta and bits of cured meats atop freshly made bread (i definitely recommend making reservations if you're going as part of a group, even if it's a small group).

i love that when you order cheese, the server comes with a giant platter of cheese and you get to pick and choose from the variety. that always makes me want to eat all. the. cheese. my eyes are definitely larger than my stomach. but is that necessarily bad? i'm not sure.

and the steak! mine was cooked to a nice medium rare and was coupled so well with morel mushrooms and delicious sauce. YUM.

and to top it all off, our order of chocolate cake that we so decadant and dense. the one cake was enough for all of us (though more of a reflection of our bellies already having been stuffed with cheese!).

la maison, even with french prices, you'll see me again, and very soon at that. thanks for welcoming me with open arms.


Friday, September 30, 2016

the royal elephant

the royal elephant
marriott hotel, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 051) 2826121

what was consumed: the thai standards (pad thai, som tum papaya salad, green curry, penang curry (i think), garlic rice) and fried bananas with ice cream!

more hotel restaurants! but sometimes, that's just where you've got to go. yes, you'll pay a little extra, but you'll leave with a full belly and happy taste buds.

the royal elephant happens to be where we've been going lately. they have pretty solid thai cuisine options and they have a delish fried banana with ice cream dessert. and all of that makes me so happy:




Wednesday, September 28, 2016


street 55, F-8/4, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 051) 2855650

what was consumed: chinese food! dumplings, spring rolls, chow mein (sometimes called lo mein), chicken served a few different ways, sweet and sour stuff, sauteed veggies with tofu, and topped off with garlic fried rice

yay chinese food! sometimes, i really want to eat american-style chinese food. so, when someone mentioned chinatown (and that it's more american style than chinese chinese style), i was all in. what is it about westernized chinese food? i love it (i love the authentic cuisine as well, but for different reasons. but i digress):




chinatown also delivers, so if you can't (or don't want to) shlep it out to F-8, give them a call (or food panda it?) and order some takeout chinese!


Monday, September 26, 2016

little asia

little asia
block b agha khan road, F-6 markaz, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 051) 2272435

what was consumed: chinese food! and thai food! ... ??? not surprisingly, both chinese and thai cuisine are offered (and a few "korean" options, but i won't judge. hahaha).

little asia offers a pretty large menu of asian cuisine, mostly chinese and thai, with all variations of protein (chicken, beef, lamb, seafood, tofu, etc). i like that they offer so much variety even if that means someone like me has a more difficult time trying to decide what it is that i'm going to order (and encourage others to order). you can pretty much expect american-style chinese/thai food. for me, that's exactly what i was looking for.

i also like that they serve you baskets of shrimp chips (the size of my face! remember when i had that in bali, indonesia? oh, the memories :) along with sauces that whet your appetite. i could easily go through a few baskets of that deliciousness.

be sure to go with a couple of folks and encourage family style dining so that you can try all sort of things. so delicious!


Saturday, September 24, 2016

khoka khola

khoka khola
suite 17, beverly center, blue area, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 0321) 5176394

what was consumed: everything! seriously, everything. all the naans, all the appetizers, all the main dishes, and even the dessert! khoka khola has a super small menu, one that rotates based on what the chef(s) want to make. hope, though, that they have chicken briyani and butter chicken - i think they're my favorites.

people kept mentioning that islamabad has a rising young hipster crowd, filled with young pakistanis who want more (and better) for where they live (i'm glad to see that this mentality is alive and well in islamabad as it is in lots of places around the world). as a result, enter places like khoka khola. HURRAY! taking the advice of some folks who've been in islamabad for a lot longer than me, a bunch of us head to khoka khola to try their eats for ourselves.

because of our large group, we made reservations (big party or small, i recommend you call and give the folks at khoka khola a call and make some ressies. they don't have a lot of seating (at least for now - who knows what is in their future!) and you'll definitely want to be enjoying all of the delicious food they have to offer). and so, upon arrival, the khoka khola folks were waiting for us and had our table ready. we then, almost immediately, agreed to order one of everything on the menu. for realz.

naan with cheese, naan with meat, naan with pickles, bowls of papri chaat as appetizers. then plate after plate of entrees, to include chicken briyani, butter chicken, thali, daal, tikka ... while we knew that we ordered the menu, the amount of food that we ordered was a bit overwhelming. i'm glad we ordered all of it, though, because we were famished and definitely put a huge dent in all of the food.

so, what'd i think? delish. and as each of the mains came out, we were introduced to the person who was the mastermind behind it (not sure if they did this for all of the tables or just for ours which was very obviously a table of foreigners. either way). some of the dishes were spicy (like the daal), lots of creamy (like the butter chicken), and definitely lots of flavor (all of them!). i prefer the papri chaat as my appetizer and i could eat their briyani and butter chicken all day, every day. YUM.

i also appreciated that the guy who runs the place (the owner, i presume) visited all of the tables to explain the menu, check in with the diners, and make sure that everyone was enjoying their meal. while some say that this is a sales technique to sell more dishes, i like the seemingly personal touch as i felt he was invested in my food happiness. and yes, as a result of his recommendation, we did try the kulfa (a desi ice cream) that really was pretty darn delicious.

so ... when are we going?