Asian Fusion at The Patio | Karachi | 2013
The restaurant is stationed just off 26th street – at the swanky new resto district which is fast becoming famous for hosting an eclectic mix of eateries in the area. The Patio is located in the same lane as Café Flo and Koel – a couple of minutes down the road. However, the access is almost like a clam that we nearly missed it. Anyhow, once we made it to the inlet, we were quickly shown to our table.
The Patio is nearly 3 years old and needs no introduction to enthusiasts of pan-Asian cuisine. I love the ambiance – simple and intimate. There is an indoor hall and a gorgeous set-up for alfresco dining. There is ample use of wood, simple artwork on the walls, and a splash of color that is pleasing to the eye.
While we scanned the menu, Saima Achria, Owner, The Patio joined us and offered us a delicious refreshing drink made from crushed watermelon flesh with just a hint of lemon. It was outstanding! Chilled to perfection, this is just what you need to beat the Karachi heat. Achria was very attentive, and took great care and time explaining the various dishes on the menu to us.
The menu is ingenious and is influenced by pan-Asian cuisine and crowd-pleasing gusto of the Indian sub-continent. To blend two different palates in a single menu is being over-zealous and many a times, restaurants don’t really thrive. But here at The Patio, the finest authentic dishes from different influences have been brought together to give an overall inspired experience to the patrons.
We started the meal with the ever popular Mezze platter. This was utterly delicious, with Mutabbal/Babaghanoush, Izmeh, Labneh and Hummus. One of the best platters I had in Karachi with a sensational combination of flavors. The aubergine based dip with yoghurt, garlic and tahini tasted good and had a creamy and nutty finish from the sesame seed paste. The Labneh had a silken texture and so delicious – trust me; it’s a perfect dish for the hot and humid weather of the city.
Next came the honey crunch lotus stem – this was sliced lotus flower stems fried golden brown and sautéed in spicy honey sauce and garnished with spring onions. Fiery and crispy with just the right amount of sweetness from the honey – this was delectable! If I could, I would have ordered this as my starter, my main course and even my dessert. Too good for words!
We were also made to try the seared calamari which was basted with soy sauce and seasoned with a chili tomato jam. It was tasteful – but a bit overdone and chewy.
Finally we tried the Prawn Laksa – spicy, aromatic coconut broth with vermicelli noodles, mushrooms and prawns. This was great, with fresh prawns, complex seasoning and a light, appetizing coconutty broth. I also really liked the sambal on the side which gave it a good depth of flavor. They have other options in chicken and tofu if you don’t like seafood. The addition of bean sprouts and peanuts also lent it a nutty crunchiness.
Much thought had obviously gone into this dish and I was really pleased by the myriad of flavours, textures and combinations of Asian ingredients.
The service was attentive and impeccable. Dish after dish, the team at The Patio proved to be truly accomplished – the food was delicious, counter balanced and beautifully presented.
All in all, The Patio is a great place to hang out with friends to enjoy a simple but well executed food at very affordable prices. Recommended.