Not just another café

January 1, 2017

The freshly opened Café Latch offers a gourmet menu with diverse options

Not just another café

The number of cafes in Lahore has risen sharply over the past decade or so, and every Lahori has at least one favourite that appeals to their distinct taste palette. The freshly opened Café Latch hopes to find its own market.

Located inside the Mall 94, Fashion Avenue, in Gulberg, the city’s elitist haunt for eateries, the café offers verandah seating with a beautiful view around.

An imposing blue glass door ushers one into this comfy, little place which has a scatter of basic wooden tables and roof panelling, a few framed mirrors and blue-themed tapestry. The see-through door on the steps outside is the perfect vantage point from which one can catch a glimpse of the lively atmosphere inside.

Café Latch offers a gourmet menu with diverse options such as burgers, pizzas and sandwiches along with scrumptious dishes like chicken kiev, French onion soup and lasagna.

The café’s dessert menu is equally enticing. Consider these: Peanut Butter Slice, Salted Caramel Mousse, Strawberry Eton Mess and more. The assorted dessert recipes are the brainchild of one of Pakistan’s most acclaimed patisserie chefs, Muneeze Khalid -- and hence are a must-try.

It seems to be becoming a favourite spot for the city’s elite that likes to dine out in contemporary luxury.

In addition to appetisers, me and my friend ordered soups as a warm start to the evening. Served within ten minutes of ordering -- the classic French onion soup, and broccoli soup -- arrived steaming hot. I found the French onion soup tasty but a tad salty for my liking. The broccoli soup was a perfect combo of broccoli and cheddar with a dash of cream which gives it a supple texture. The creamy texture didn’t feel heavy and was a healthy yet a delicious starter.

We were also served dynamite prawns on the recommendation of the owner Hassan Agha, who repeatedly came to check on the food quality and taste which also showed his personal interest in the venture and how seriously he takes it.

It seems to be becoming a favourite spot for the city’s elite that likes to dine out in contemporary luxury.

"I want to bring gourmet food to an informal dining setup with wallet-friendly prices," he said.

Coming back to the food, it didn’t take us long to devour the delicious entrée of dynamite prawns -- battered and deep-fried with a tangy margarita sauce. The crispy coating on the prawns was light, didn’t stick and also retained the freshness.

The café also offers mozzarella cheese sticks, hummus platter, chicken tenders, fried calamari and buffalo wings but their most-talked-about open face smoked salmon and avocado cream cheese sandwich take the lead.

We ordered a bowl of crispy chicken salad with honey mustard dressing as well. Comprising fried chicken strips, iceberg, romaine and shredded cheddar and tasted just the way a salad should -- crisp, fresh and light. They serve flat bread pizzas in veg, pepperoni and BBQ chicken on wooden spatulas which are a bliss for a foodie.

We tried the trio -- burgers, pizzas and sandwiches -- and were pleasantly surprised to find the filling quantity and equally good taste.

Mini burgers with a peculiar add-on of mushroom, cheese and jalapenos is served with a batch of French fries on stone plates which makes for an eye-catching presentation too. They also have a variety of sandwiches and paninis which we did not order. But we will surely be back for another helping of their delicious lasagna, fish and chips and their most well-liked dish chicken ala kiev.

Their desserts are famous too and with good reason. So, we saved some space in our tummies to have the yummiest salted caramel mousse and a divine decadence of melted chocolate croissant butter pudding served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream which qualifies as a meal on its own. This dessert took 20 minutes of preparation time but was totally worth the wait.

Not just another café