Thursday, March 30, 2017


plot #2, ensemble plaza, street 48, F-8/4, islamabad, pakistan
tel0320) 6862783

what was consumed: loaded fries! mexican rice bowl! others had the korean bowl, burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips ...

looking for a place to eat with a nice rooftop and delish food? if yes, check out social!

after reading about a new restaurant in one of the papers, and after we'd passed social quite a few times going to m's house, we finally made it out there, on a nice evening. and with it being nice, we opted for the rooftop seating (and we're glad we did! for those who get chilly easily, they had quite a few heat lamps to keep you cozy).

we started our meal with some loaded fries because ... well, why not. and as we were sharing among quite a few people, we all got just a taste (i could've eaten the whole thing by myself. no surprise there). we also received salsa and toasted bread "on the house." we didn't know what to make of the combo, but enjoyed the slightly spicy salsa.

social has a diverse menu, so you're bound to find something you like. m and i split the mexican rice dish and the korean bowl. the mexican rice was served in a tortilla bowl (likely a fried chiapti, but let's face it: they're variation of the same). i'm also glad to see that korean flavors are making their way on to the islamabad food scene. social's korean bowl was pretty good. a  bit on the sweet side and more teriyaki than korean, but ... that's just me.

thanks, social! we'll see you again soon.


Monday, March 27, 2017

qiao yuan business hotel

qiao yuan business hotel
street 42, F-7/1, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 0312 9757785

what was consumed: chinese food! to include scallion pancakes, veggies, dumplings, noodles, and chicken with real szechuan pepppers.

another chinese restaurant! and perhaps one that is more authentic than others (aka not americanized - ha!). there's something about chinese food that makes it so crave-able, and it's not the MSG. so when we heard about this secret chinese restaurant, we had to try.

qiao yuan business hotel has quite a large menu. dishes, i am told, are pretty darn authentic (and super delish!). but don't be fooled - not everything there is available. thank goodness for my chinese speaking friend (who busted out some amazing chinese. note: she is neither a chinese language heritage speaker nor of chinese descent altogether. i want to be her when i grow up :) who was able to successfully communicate with the cook! otherwise, i think we would have gone through the entire menu looking for options.

we ultimately settled on a hodge podge of things: some veggies (we went from broccoli to eggplant to (finally) spinach), some noodles (not what we thought we were ordering, but delish all the same), and a spicy fried chicken dish. we couldn't figure out what all of the peppers indicated (beyond the fact that 4 peppers was likely to be spicier than 2 peppers), but were pleasantly surprised to see that one of the "4 peppers" was authentic szechuan peppers, tongue tingling and all!

so, no. you don't need my chinese speaking friend (though helpful). but if you are looking for some good chinese cookin', be sure to check out qiao yuan business hotel!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

des pardes

des pardes
saidpur village, islamabad, pakistan
tel: 051) 2320008

what was consumed: naan, lamb chops, chicken curry, biryani, helwa ... 

des pardes! one of the restaurants in saidpur village ("we" regularly go to andaaz), one that i've been meaning to go to. luckily, a work-related opportunity took me here (we also produced a short video about it. hilarious, right?). yes! work! YUM.

des pardes features desi/pakistani food. the naans, the rices, the curries, the works! the naan came out first, and its delicious. we thought we could eat it all day long. and then the rice (chicken biryani in our case) along with a delicious chicken curry (i wish i could remember which of the curries we ordered. all i remember is that it was delicious).

that said, people have told me that when at des pardes, you really want to enjoy their meat dishes, to include lamb chops (so we did). the lamb chops come grilled, having been seasoned with pakistani spices. each chop has the bone end wrapped in foil, making it easy (and inviting) to grab one with your hands to enjoy. 

we ended our meal with a few bites of pakistani sweets - carrot halwa and gulab jamun. turns out, i really enjoy carrot halwa.

i hear that, on the weekends, there's a guy who plays traditional pakistani tunes for your enjoyment while you dine. i'll have to come back to check it out and eat more delish food!