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Breakfast at home :)


Sunday mornings at my place in Faisal Town! Made breakfast with my brother, Hamza today. He fried a chicken patty for himself and prepared an amazing sandwich to go with it.
Let me tell you that I am a FAN of bread! I lovvve it so much, i can have plain bread with tea/coffee. A childhood love affair. In Libya, we used to get freshly baked French Bread right out of the oven: hot and used to smelled heavenly! Sigh!
Anyways, so he spread some BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, slice of cheese, tomato and the crisp chicken patty.
I made a simple Nutella sandwich for myself and two mugs of cappuccino for me n hamza… πŸ™‚ poured the cappucino into our Starbucks mugs, makes it taste better hehe! Heres a picture of our breakfast, which we were going to have outside and soak in some Vitamin D :p before the flies attacked us 😦

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On a random day out, after our Quran class me and a close friend Azqa found ourselves lunching at Maisonette. Even though I’ve been here many times, i never grow tired of it πŸ™‚
It has a good view of Gulberg, and since winters is upon us, Maisonette is a favorite choice because of its open air, roof top seating area. I absolutely love the BBQ here, and the BBQ mix platter is a definite order if you’re going for the first or the umpteenth time πŸ™‚
Slightly cool, slightly warm breeze. Cloudy and sunny, today was a good day for Maisonette.
Not in the mood for BBQ, I ordered the Nauratan Triple Decker

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While Azqa ordered the Pomodoro Pasta.

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I liked my meal. I mean it was OK then, but now that I think about it, it wasn’t all that! It was well made, but I think its just me and i’m not made for a burger made with two three different meats. The chef had done a good job, but its just not my style even though i did enjoy it at that moment… Hehe

Azqa loved her pasta, but she was upset that the serving was way too small! And it was. Really, they should work on their pasta serving size.
The cappucino i ordered was just right though. Perfectly creamy and slightly strong!
NOW TO MY FAVORITE PART!!!
πŸ˜€
HotSpot has opened up in Maisonette!!!! YAYYYY!!! Which means I can have waffles, ice-cream, supersonic superfudge, Squidgy Cake Slice and and andddd all the yummy things on HotSpots menu :)))

This is Choclate KitKat and Choclate SuperFudge scoops πŸ™‚

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This great restaurant is on Ghalib Road, Lahore. It’s close to Gino’s Pizza and Masum’s Coffee place.

If you don’t know where any of this is...here is a map to help you out πŸ™‚


Woohoo! Went to Opium Thai AGAIN today, since it was a holiday and I had to meet up with a dear friend of mine and her family, we decided on this very, very Thai place!

We ordered the prawns again today AND also ordered the Beef with Cashew Nuts (I think that was the name) and Golden Prawns in Coconut Sauce with garlic rice.

I would recommend the Golden Prawns if you like the distinct coconut flavor, because I know I do and it’s meant for people with exotic taste buds. Haha, kidding! But, really because of the different flavor that the coconut sauce brings in a curry it becomes important that you acquire a taste for it or at least try it once so you know how real thai food tastes like.

The slightly nutty flavor of the sauce is wonderful and has quite a few secret ingredients in the sauce, some of which I guessed must be lemongrass for the distinct tangy flavor mixed with coconut milk of course and some herb -maybe basil and galangal. The beef was extremely tender and just melted in your mouth, not spicy and the cashews added to the Thai flavor of the curry.

Thoroughly enjoyed our lunch out, meeting after so many months over a great meal πŸ™‚

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HOW TO FIND THE ROOT OF ANYTHING THAT’S BOTHERING YOU? #2.


If there is an ecstasy that can get you high, it’s Opium Thai. Just off the MM Alam Road, which by the way has become way too bumpy for my liking, is the Thai sensation that I have been addicted to since a year. I fell in love with Thai the minute I read ‘Get High on Opium Thai’ – sounds like an invite for a daring plunge but then again, we all love a little controversy here and little dirty secrets there, don’t we? πŸ˜‰

Bet me, the name is actually just perfect and you’ll know why when you drop by for a mouth-watering Thai experience! It gets you hooked onto the Thai flavor, and does justice to the cuisine by carefully combining all the right ingredients.

My friends and I dropped by the other day for lunch. Voila! B1G1 Free! Yes, we were a chorus of eight high on ecstasy, and paid for four only. The main course offers Buy 1 Get 1 free, and the best thing is that Opium Thai serves food in traditional Ala Carte style, that as fast food meaning single serving.

Gluttony is a major weakness for almost every self-respecting Lahori. Though, I’m not that big on ordering starters or appetizers, because it leaves just a little less space for the main course, B1G1 is treat for an opportunist. Little Miss Greedy tempted us to take the plunge. Prawn Tempuras was top on my list. I hadn’t had prawn tempuras since Shun Bar shut down. These Prawn Tempuras were as good as the ones I tried in Phuket. Ah Phuket! That was almost year and a half ago when we stopped at Phuket while on a cruise trip in Far East. The aroma of fresh cooked sea-food brought to my mind the scrumptious sea-food memories as the ocean liner sailed on the clam sea. Yum Goong Salad, Stir Fry Prawns in Coconut Sauce and Thai Fish Curry with Basil and Coriander, of course rice as a side-order made my day.

The Prawns and Salad were just the right choice for my friend who cannot handle too much spice. Anyways, I’m getting impatient with the details and I HAVE to jump on to tell you how much I LOVED the Prawn Tempuras.

Prawn Tempuras are love at first sight; the aroma and taste! Just the right amount of crisp, the batter had beautifully fluffed around the prawn. You have to see it to believe it! The Prawn Tempuras were juicy and tender when you bit into them and perfectly fried-crispy from the outside. Of course, not to forget the divine Thai Chili sauce with it! I’ve been dying to have this sauce ever since I tried it in Thailand, and here it was in front of me to savor. I was in seven heavens! Absolutely delighted with the way the meal started.

Opium Thai was actually made me high on the food, the aura and ambiance and everything in between. We had nearly almost forgotten the salad because of the excitement of the prawns. The main course also arrived shortly after we devoured the prawns. The salad was good too. It’s must try. The herbs has a way of filling the stomach lightly, yet made you hungrier for the main course. The crispy Prawns in the Honey Chili sauce along with my favorite greens was just perfect. I have always loved the combination of Honey-Chilli, and Opium Thai got the balance just right. Trust me, it’s a difficult one because I have tried making it at home and it’s always either too sweet or too chili!

The combination of a Stir Fry and a Curry is a favorite in Lahore, and somehow has stuck with me as well. The serving is perfect, not too much and not too stingy with the helpings, Opium Thai had it just right for us. Even though I would have loved to try the spicy dishes, which I will next time, we had to make do with the mild spicy ones and Lo and behold, do I have something to write home about? More than just something! Both the dishes were gorgeously displayed and cooked with the love for food that only an excellent chef can have! As you can see, we took the opportunity to try sea-food because Opium Thai is the most authentic Thai cuisine in town with a huge array of Japanese and Chinese on board.

Opium Thai

Try Opium Thai if you haven’t and let me know what you think. Which dishes should I try next and which I shouldn’t?

Get High With Opium Thai

Don’t be Shy, Give it a Try…..

I’m a really bad poet…but I just discovered the secret ingredient lies with MASTER OPIUM!

Ok, Bye!


I haven’t been around the world or anything, but I have had the chance to taste Baskin Robbins/Movenpick/Haggen Daz etc.

And I really don’t understand the big deal. I mean, they’re regular icecreams! The flavors aren’t out of this world, they are just average. Yes, I’ve had Gold Medal from BnR, not impressed.

Nothing to write home about, or at least that is how I feel. Maybe being a Lahori, i’ve developed very strong and particular taste that only ice-cream parlors in Lahore can serve :p Probably that. Because, almost everyone I meet is all ga-ga over these ice-cream brands.

I’m not and I really tried…

So, back to Lahore and its wonderful ice-cream places. Number 1,2 & 3 on my list is :

  1. Cosa Nostra’s Gelateria

THE. BEST. ICE-CREAM. EVAR!

Nutella, Tobelerone, Nutella

Their ice-cream has an unbelievably genuine flavor, whther itsAfter-Eight, Toblerone, Snickers, Oreo, Strawberry Cheesecake(OMG), Fruit & Nuts (Double OMG!) and the list goes on. It tastes exactly as the flavor name suggests.

Top 3 favorite flavors

  1. Fruit & Nut

I love, love, LOVE the Cadbury’s choclate by the same name, and this ice-cream flavor makes me want to cry in joy everytime I eat it. It tastes just gorgeous, with the chopped crunchy almonds, sweet raisins combined with milk chocolate ice-cream.

  1. I’ve been having a very hard time deciding whther I like Tobelroen better or Strawberry Cheesecake =(

     

I love both. It’ll be unjust, and if this post goes on my blog with one or the other better than the other, I will never be able to forgive myself. Not really. But you get the flow πŸ˜‰

Both of these flavors are GORGEOUS! Even if you dont particularly like strawberry cheesecake, you should definitely try this flavor. Tobelerone, I guess you have to be partial to, but nonetheless give it a try, wont regret it.

If you feel like trying something new, non-chocolaty, go for Strawberry Cheesecake. Otherwise, Tobelerone is good too.

  1. After-Eight

Its not just Mint flavored chocolate ice-cream. It is genuine after-eight. You’ll feel like you’re eating frozen after-eight chocolate without the minty centre in the actual chocolate (that almost always drips its way down my chin =/ messy eater me).

Flavors I’m not particularly happy with:

Ioreo. It tastes exactly like the biscuit, but I wish it had less of the biscuit and more of the oreo cream flavor, but thats just me. I am partial to the cream inside biscuits, more than the biscuits themselves.

Also, the Ivorian Chocolate is not for me. I dont know what to make of it, whether its dark or milk or…coffee?

Dark Chocolate -my mother in law is a dark chocolate fan, so she likes the ice-cream. I am a thorough milk-chocolate person, so im not too fond of it. Thats because im biased, so its not that I’m not ‘happy’ with the flavor, I just don’t appreciate dark chocolate much.

Ok, so HotSpot is on number 4 for me

Since I’ve been having Cosa’s ice-cream, I feel that Hot Spot is too sweet and their ice-cream is a bit…icy. Its got slight ice crystals in the ice-cream and not as creamy as Cosa’s. However, I do like their Sundaes, my favorite being the

  1. SuperSonicSuperfudge

One supersonicsuperfudge pliss. Heh.

Everytime I order this, I feel so cool. Very Futuristic, no? :p

Love the brownie at the bottom, mixed with the nuts. The ice-cream almost always melts, so im left with this thick gooey mixture of chocolate syrup, melted ice-cream, nuts and crumbling brownie. The combination tastes heavenly though πŸ™‚

Alos, the MnMs sundae is a sweet treat for you, once in a while. Hmmm, their belgian chocolate flavor is good, havent tried too many flavors here. I will. But I wish they had a better waffle cone. Cosa’s freshly baked ones are much much better!

On number 5 is Gelato Affair

Aaaah lovely ice-cream! Ive had the few times that I make it to the other side of lahore -i.e. Defence.

They have a decent number of flavors, and i’ve tried many including the fruit flavors -strawberry, grape, pineapple, all of them are very very good. Fresh, cold and not ‘icy’ but creamy and doesnt melt that quickly either.

I know Im being unfair to GA because I havent been there enough times to say much about it, however if you are in the area it is a MUST. Let me know of any flavors that I can try next time.

HICO!

Not many grocery stores keep Hico anymore. Probably, also because their production has gone down, but Hico has that old-school ice-cream flavor that makes you nostalgic of the simpler times. Really good ice-cream, try their chocolate fudge, which is actually vanilla with swirls of frozen choclate in it. Really good!

Gourmet Ice-cream, again is a hot favorite at our place. It’s cheap and the it tastes really good! I havent tried their 4 new flavors, but the rest are reallyyyyy good! Their Kulfa Pistachio sth is very popular in my household.

Nostalgia, again :)


Nostalgia.

It’s such a beautiful emotion.

Makes me feel grateful for all the wonderful times I’ve spent with all the amazing people in my life. Every memory brings a smile on my face just thinking that Allah has given me SO SO SO much to be thankful about. He’s given me the most amazing family, in-laws and loving friends with whom I have spent such good times πŸ™‚ Alhamdulilah!

And so…tonight, nostalgia was me. On the night that my husband, Saad, left for England. It was around 5 in the morning on our way back from the airport. It’s that amazing time right after fajar, when the dawn is breaking, birds are waking up…esp in Lahore, it is JUST beautiful. Definitely, my favorite time of the day. It made me go back in time, thinking of all the times when Saad used to come back home at 5 or 6 in the morning from a night shift at work and we’d go out for breakfast to Marco Polo or Capri or just drive around Cantt…. Sigh πŸ™‚

For this blog post, I wanted to write about another place that I’d been feeling VERY nostalgic about that night.

It was of a week me and Saad spent in Nathia Gali.

A Foggy Evening in Nathia ❀

A beautiful time in my life, almost exactly a year ago from today when me and my husband spent a week in Nathia Gali. I’d never been to Nathia before, whereas Saad has spent countless summers in Nathia. So, he’s always full of wonderful stories about Nathia and his excitement over our visit was so infectious, I couldnt wait to be on our way and explore everything.

And besides its always fun seeing your better half so excited about something πŸ™‚

View from our room

I wanted to see where he’d spent his summers, to eat at his favorite restaurant, stay at his favorite hotel, to see and hear of all those things that had been a part of his life. Saad is a great story-teller and being at the exact place helps the imagination πŸ˜€

Coming back to the point, since, this is a food blog, I will be writing about the food I had in Nathia=D

Food = Happy times!!!

Nathia’s weather is absolutely GORGEOUS! Especially in late september, when its chilly and there are very few tourists. It’s the perfect time to go if you want some quiet, alone time with your better halves πŸ™‚

We stayed at the Summer Retreat and at the PTCL Resthouse (which scared the daylights out of us :p).

So, the first ‘food’ I will be talking about is the Porridge we had at the Greens Hotel. Yes….porridge…because it was the first thing that Saad wanted me to have in Nathia. Too many memories attached with porridge from Saad’s childhood, haha! And I guess now I can understand why…

The waitor informed us that porridge is only available in summers, when they layout an elaborate breakfast buffet. But, we requested him to look extra hard…and of course, after about half an hour of freezing in the cold, he came back with the good news that it will be served in a few minutes πŸ˜€ We would have jumped with joy except, I couldnt feel my legs and arms, numb with the cold.

And, I have to add here, that I love porridge.

Wheat, barley, rolled oats…any kind.

But, to have it early morning in Nathia, when your hands and nose are numb with the cold, your teeth are chattering, you can hardly talk, not to forget the chilly breeze whipping your cheeks…it is THE perfect thing to have.

Really HOT porridge, with hot milk, which we loaded with sugar made for the PERFECT breakfast.

Aaah, the warmth!!

….( and yes Of course, we had parathas, omelete, tea etc afterwards :p we are, after all, true lahories)

Honestly, porridge is not half as fun as it is in Nathia, because it can never get that cold in Lahore and I dont know about you, but we hardly have breakfast sitting outside in the winters.

Now to item number two in our list….

Nathia’s famous Chargha Chicken. OMG. Omg. OMMMGGG!

‘Nuff Said

Lol, Im sorry but I get so excited everytime I think about this CHICKEN! I have never in my life had such amazzzzzing chicken. It is spiiiicy, it looks beautiful and it just has this taste about it that I know for certain that nobody can make except for that one shop in Nathia Gali’s market. I think the restaurant is called ‘Taj Mahal’ or something. When you come down from Summer Retreat or Greens, it is on the corner of the street. We went upstairs to enjoy the view of the market and I love the fact that its like a typical road-side hotel, no ‘trying’ to be desi or rustic. It is genuinely rustic, desi truck-driver style, road-side restaurant.

Of course, like all food in nathia, it is sizzzzling HOT, despite the cold, even the naans are fresh from the tandoor. But, how do I describe how beuatiful the chicken tastes? I really can not.

They smother the chicken with coarsely ground red pepper flakes in oil, sort of like the red pepper sauce we sprinkle on our pizzas. The chicken itself is very well done, it is fried then cooked on low heat. Also, have it with tea or coffee.

I love having spicy food with hot drinks, like tea or coffee. It intensifies the flavor, if you know what I mean. Hot and spicy, literally. :p

View from the restaurant

SO, if you go to Nathia Gali and dont go here, you’ve seriously missed out on a LOT. It’s one of those things that you have to have, because you wont have it anywhere else. It’s a Nathia speciality and it actually tastes out of this world. It will make your experience in Nathia, even better. Trust me.

Oh, and you should definitely try the Peshaweri Kehwa they serve at every restaurant. Saad loves it so much, he would get extra cups for breakfast. It actually is very good, helps with digesting the amazing food, soothes your throat and also makes you feel better in the cold.

Peshawri Kehwa ❀ oh, and that’s him in the background :))

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