Ciao Restaurant Review by Farah S Kamal
It was a pleasant surprise as we entered Ciao one spring evening, completely stunned by its very light and cool summery interiors with soft and romantic jazz music in the background. I started to unwind sinking into the comfy sofa in the lounge like setting. Just what I needed after a long work day. This is the new look of the Ciao, completely revamped by the new owners who took it over in December 2011.
As I started shuffling through the menu, Owais the restaurant owner walked in and I grabbed the opportunity to bombard him with a lot of questions. His enthusiasm, love for deliciously presented food, and presenting the same with great service to his customers is highly appreciable. He ventured into the Ciao with his partner Shahzad Tareen, the brain behind the Elbow Room, made Ciao a true gourmet treat for people.
Owais and his highly trained executive chef offered a selection from their menu which were all at present under test before presenting to customers. It was a delicious learning experience as I carried on with shooting these beautifully styled innovations, and discussed the taste, texture, aroma, flavour and blend of each one of these with Owais and the Chef.
The new starters include the French Onion Soup, my favoruite dish to look for in any menu beside Chowder. A deliciously rich and smooth slow cooked broth, with caramelized onion in it. Served with croutons topped with molten cheese. The improvement point here is to lessen the amount of onions which were a little too much in quantity. The Grilled Chicken Wings were a smart creation served on skewer and the chicken wings are midly tasting, grilled just enough so to retain its taste and juices.
The main courses that are being perfected by the chef includes a tasteful and artistically presented selection of grilled and or pan seared steaks. The Grilled Red Snapper with Shrimps was the winner for me among all, a super fine creation of lightly herbed and grilled generous portion of fish steak that is succulent and full of flavour. It is served with a selection of fresh lightly sauted vegetable in a crunchy cup. The beef steak was a tad tough and needs some modification before it can be added. The Grilled Chicken Steaks with Mushrooms was equally sumptuous, served on a bed of mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and sauted veggies in the signature crispy cup, altogether made a satisfying meal. The presentation of most of the dishes was very artistic and somewhat towering which can be a little daunting for some people since they appear unstable.
The restaurant have a fully stocked bar that creates hot and cold beverages. It was one of the first café in town, and even after changing hands it prides itself in serving best Italian coffee. Ciao offers a very extensive range of cuisine to people looking for a good place for lunch, dinner, grabbing a bite on the way to office or just hanging out with friends for a good cup of coffee and chat.
The kitchen team at Ciao regularly comes up with new recipes and work on it until it is perfected to present as chef’s special. If these dishes appeal to customers taste buds then they are made a regular item in the menu. At present one can find many of these dishes either the Ciao menu or as Chefs special.
The price tags are fairly affordable for the clientele it targets, a four course meal costs.
Rs-1200-Rs1400. Ciao follows long hours of operations, from 8:00am-1:00pm, with a seating capacity of 54, it is a great place and is available for business meetings, and medium sized parties.