If you havenâ€™t heard of Lahore Social”> The Lahore Social yet, itâ€™s probably because of owner Sohail Salahuddinâ€™s affinity for staying low-key. As with his previous stellar restaurant, The CafÃ© Upstairs, he chose to have a soft opening rather than the glitzy red carpet route most restaurateurs seem to be taking these days. So, without much further ado, my friends and I went over to sample the food at this happening new Eatery last weekend, located on the very hustling bustling Mehmood Kasuri Road, and were in for a rather pleasant surprise.
Lahore Social”> Lahore Social”>The Lahore Social has a colonial feel â€“ tiled walls, large pillars, dark wood accents, low lights, and lots of cane and wicker. The Salahuddinâ€™s are famous for their love of the arts and culture, and the fantastic interior is a testament to their perfectionism, and the level of thought and effort that has been poured into making this a friendly and welcoming environment. November in Lahore is absolutely beautiful, so we decided to take a table outside and soak in the cool, crisp evening.The menu will you have spoiled for choice, and we were quite hungry, so we decided to try a little bit of everything. For appetizers, we gorged on the Pate Platter, Beef Teriyaki, Stuffed Mushrooms and Semolina Crusted Calamari. The teriyaki sauce was incredible; just the right balance of tangy and sweet, and the stuffed mushrooms that came with creamed spinach and parmesan were little bites of heaven. We also ordered the Caramelized Pear and Rocket Salad, which was extremely fresh and came with a light balsamic dressing. From the gourmet menu, we ordered the Salmon Sashimi, The Asian Duck Rolls and the Pan-Seared Scallops. The hoisin sauce that came with the duck rolls and the brown butter sauce with the scallops were both perfectly complimentary to their respective dishes, creating truly authentic flavor pallets that left us excited for our main courses. Everything was cooked to perfection and beyond scrumptious, and this was only the start!
To share, the table ordered a Smoked Chicken Pizza. Thin, crispy and overflowing with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted peppers, this was definitely the kind of quality one expects from industry veterans. We also ordered the Calamari stuffed with Risotto, and the Spinach and Cheese stuffed Ravioli. The calamari was a truly original dish that came with a spicy orange glaze, and the ravioli was doused in a rich tomato cream sauce. Did I mention all their pasta is homemade?
From the Gourmet menu, we went with the two hot favourite dishes that everyone on Pakistan Food Forum has been buzzing about: the Squid Ink Pasta and Steamed Salmon. Everything came beautifully prepared and tasted just as heavenly. I had never tried Squid Ink before, but I am definitely going to order it again.
The star dish of the night was definitely the hearty streak â€“ an imported, USDA Certified 20 ounce steak that is a dream come true for any true carnivore looking for a satisfying meal that hits the spot. The steak did not require any sauce as the meat quality was outstanding, and the chef cooked it to the perfect rare. We didnâ€™t order the Wagyu steak, but have bookmarked it for next time. And that next time is going to be coming very soon.
And of course, there is always room for dessert, and so we ordered a bunch to share. The Chocolate Nemesis Cake was sinfully rich and something I would definitely recommend to anyone with a big sweet tooth. The Vanilla Pannacotta, served with an addictive raspberry coulis, was a light, refreshing end to such a hearty meal, but the true favourite of the table (and my personal new obsession) was the Fruit Crumble by Aalia, made to a crunchy and fruity perfection, and served with vanilla ice cream. It was surely one of the best desserts I have had in this country!
All in all, Lahore Social”> The Lahore Social served up a memorable night out, with great conversation and delicious food. Sohail Salahuddin knows his food, and I already have my eye on various other dishes that stuck out to me, including the Duck Confit, Jalapeno & Wild Mushroom Chicken, and dishes from their Thai menu and the wok. To add the icing to your cake, The Last Word â€“ Aysha Rajaâ€™s quirky and well-stocked bookstore â€“ is nestled right on top of the restaurant, as well as fabulous leather goods by AJ. Lahore Social”> The Lahore Social may be the new kid on the block, but my dining experience tells me that itâ€™s soon to become an institution in Lahore.
DRESS CODE: Smart-casual
ADDRESS: 37 A-2 Gulberg III, Mian Mehmood Kasuri Road, Lahore
CONTACT: (042) 35773142