“People can enjoy bite by bite the entire oriental taste in one plate of food that I create,” said proudly the Executive Chef of Café Forty 4. This newly launched fine dining restaurant in the elite neighborhood of Clifton Block-4 has been successfully in operation for over ten weeks and already busy doing great business.
The premises is a huge double story facility, with many artisticallydesigned seating areas. The ground floor has a total seating capacity of 55, divided into several sections, main dining hall divided into two different areas, and a third one patio area, with which I instantly fell in love with. The patio is ideal eating out for a romantic dinner for two, giving a peaceful airy feeling. The first floor has the most fabulous skylight area that is a huge spacious terrace with seating capacity of 12-15 overlooking palms. Glass panes at one side close the terrace with blinds on the other; it is fully air-conditioned and completely private.
Adjacent to it is the casual"Lounge" with a huge LCD TV on one of the walls perfect for a Karaoke night or watching a game together as you enjoy the food. Well there is still more, a huge rectangular room 'The Space' used for corporate meetings, exhibitions, or for private parties. The entire ambience is enhanced by classic abstract artwork by Sonia Chundrigar, and a wall with valuable display of black and white framed rustic photographs of Karachi. The unique feature is that the entire facility is wheel chair accessible, children friendly with a kids’ menu coming up soon.
This entire setting makes Café forty4 beyond a café; it is a completely well appointed venue for a range of events. Ms.Samina Bilgrami is one of the working partners and a great host with over 25 years in food and bakery business in Karachi and Islamabad. Her personal attention to every little detail of the operation makes Café Forty4 an experience beyond dining.
The Malaysian Executive Chef and his skilled team under the supervision of Samina, has done an outstanding job of presenting a fine selection of Pan-Oriental cuisine. They have used cooking traditions, techniques and disciplines from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Vietnam to bring an altogether unique and distinct finished dish on our tables.
Their menu changes with the seasons, to cater to changing temperatures and eating preferences of customers, and of course to make the most of the fresh produce of the season. Talking to the Executive Chef he proudly mentioned that with the plentiful of fresh produce including fruits, vegetable, herbs, a robust fish industry and livestock in Pakistan, he uses 95% of the ingredients from Pakistan brought to his kitchen on daily basis. They definitely import some special ingredients and produce from Thailand, Dubai and Malaysia. One can find a wide range of meat, poultry, rice and pasta dishes. For the vegetarians, they have a good selection right from starters, soup to main courses. All their bread, rolls, confectionary, sauces are freshly prepared in their own kitchen.
Spending an afternoon at the Café Forty4 with Food Connection Pakistan (www.fcpakistan.com), tasting a cross section from their menu was an epicurean experience. Samina and her staff have been most cooperative and explained each individual dish, its ingredients and origin. My most scrumptious gastronomic adventure at Café Forty4 started with a selection of great tasting starters that include Sizzling Prawns, Fried Dim Sum and Satay. All starters and appetizers are served with a medley of delicious home made sauces enhancing the taste of each bite. I loved the Sizzling Prawns that had spiced Tiger Prawns carrying an oriental chili taste. The satay reminded me of my first ever bite in Indonesia, the skewered chunks of pan seared chicken tasted sweet and nutty in the best ever satay sauce made of spices and roasted peanuts. I am so sure I am goin