When you think of a 10-course tasting menu at a fine dine-in Karachi, you probably wouldn’t picture the food to be desi.
Situated at the far end of Khayaban-e-Nishat, Chef’s Table Pakistan is a gutsy attempt to serve desi cuisine as a luxurious treat. The restaurant has managed to grab attention by standing out against a plethora of eateries serving different cuisines.
Since its opening, the restaurant has found itself a hot topic on Facebook groups with people debating why we need a fine-dine for desi food. Curious to see what the fuss is about, we head down to judge for ourselves.
A small, dimly-lit room covered in deep hues and antique cutlery, Chef’s Table definitely checked all boxes for fine dining.
What’s better than to indulge in some deep-fried as starters. The thinly sliced okra wrapped in a cucumber had the perfect crisp and masala, but the batter-fried potato kebabs, Kachoris, could’ve done with some seasoning.
Of Kebabs and Barbecue
A Chapli kebab placed atop a naan, some onions and capsicum with raita drizzled all over – the appearance kindled curiosity. And it did not disappoint. The meat was perfectly cooked – not too oily nor dry and with just the right amount of spices.
The chicken tikka, hidden under a red-coloured cracker, lacked spices. But the Seekh kebab wrapped in a cucumber made up for it with its scrumptious seasoning and juiciness.
A single mutton chop served on a cleaver knife dripped in red chatni threw us off a bit – but the soft cooked meat effortlessly merged all the flavours made up for the sight.
The crispy beef was the right amount of sweet and spicy but the chicken and potato cutlet tasted bland. The malai boti was flawlessly creamy and hot.
Once the dry main course was done with, the staff brought in lemon sorbet in a stick laid out on a bed of dry ice. “This is to cleanse before we move on to the next trio of main courses,” said the server.
Of Gravies and Rice
Every good desi meal is incomplete without a salan that makes your mouth water.
The Naan hung from a display that resembled a washing line and finished off with a bowl of the most delicious Dal Makhni. The Qorma oozed earthy spices. The butter chicken lacked creaminess while Tandoori chicken could’ve used a little less salt.
The matka biryani gets full marks for perfectly pulling off the spices and aroma.
The Dessert Bowl
A three-bowl dessert platter with Gulab Jamun, Ras Malai and Gajar ka halwa with a tiny cup of Kahva was exactly what we needed to finish this 10-course meal.
Definitely a unique experience, Chef’s Table is epitomized in what the owner describes it as an attempt to “give respect to ghar ki murghi”.
The serving sizes are small but with a 10-course meal, you will head home in a food coma to last you a long time!
Should you go? We'd say definitely worth a visit!