EATING AT SERAI

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Tubah Zafar checks out Islamabad’s hottest new boutique hotel and chows down at their signature restaurant

As a serious foodie who moved to Islamabad last year, I’ve been making it a point to scout out as many restaurants and food joints as I can. I recently visited Serai, a contemporary and upscale boutique hotel located in the heart of Islamabad, and was in for a pleasant surprise. Housing thirteen luxurious bedrooms and tucked between the scenic Margalla Hills and the hustle bustle of Khosar Market, Serai’s contemporary interior and serene vibe is the perfect getaway spot.

 

Offering a stylish and tranquil environment to visitors,Serai’s signature restaurant serves Continental favorites with a twist of fusion, along with classic Pakistani cuisine. Patrons can pick from formal seating or cozy armchairs at the indoor restaurant, or venture upstairs to the all-white rooftop, complete with an automated roof mechanism and a breathtaking view of the Margalla Hills. The walls are filled with vibrant art made by local artists, lending a sleek and chic look to the restaurant. Fun, diverse music plays softly in the background with old classics like NusratFateh Ali Khan, giving patrons a relaxed environment to enjoy their meal.

My husband Taimur and I were served warm dinner rolls with homemade butter. I always say you can judge a restaurant by how good the bread is, and this set the tone for a great meal to come! For appetizers, we tried the Buffalo Chicken Wings served with fresh French fries, and the Tempura Chilli Prawns, which came with a much-needed warning on the level of spice. I also had the Ceasar Salad, which was light and full of fresh ingredients.The serving quantity was reasonably sized and not too heavy, leaving room for the main course. I already have the Beef Carpaccio in mind for my next visit.

For the main course, I ordered the SpaghettiPortofino, tossed in a light cream sauce with grilled chicken. Taimur dug into the Beef Tenderloin Steak,which was cooked medium-rare, precisely to his liking. We didn’t try anything from the Pakistani menu, but the Chicken Karahi, PalakPaneer and Beef Nihari are all said to be mouthwatering favorites. We already have our eye on the Kobe Beef burger, the Foil Baked Red Snapper and Luciano’s Special Pizza! For the health conscious, there’s also a delicious low-calorie Lemon-Baked Chicken.

The highlight of Serai is the rooftop setting, which is the perfect setting to enjoy the most important part of the meal: dessert. The crèmebrulee– something not every restaurant is able to master – was absolutely divine, while the bread pudding had an excellent caramel sauce drizzled on top.For the chocolate lovers, there is a deliciously indulgent Chocolate Lava Molten Cake that is a must try!

Overall, my visit to Serai was a great experience. While I didn’t get a chance to see the bedrooms, the hotel itself has been designed and decorated with immaculate style and panache. With a view to die for and delicious food, I can’t think of a better place to have a romantic dinner or a low-key night with the gals.

ADDRESS: 2-A, Street 16, F-6/3, Islamabad.
PHONE: +92-51-227-7118/9
DRESS CODE: Semi-formal

The writer is a freelance publicist and literature major with an extensive love for film. 

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