Bread and Butter

October 27, 2019

Bread and Butter


What keeps Karachi’s food scene buzzing is the fact that home-based chefs with big dreams are a dime a dozen. They work tirelessly to develop their niche, build on it by either by putting up stalls at Karachi Eat or advertising on the many social media platforms available to them. Once they have sufficiently tested the market and made a name for themselves, they open small restaurants that people flock to because of their existing brand name. Amavi of Lahore followed a similar pattern with owner Maira Ahmed making a name for her cakes and bread much before she opened a Patisserie and Boulangerie in her central Y block space.

This week, we dropped by to check out the small space that has been packed to the brim by Amavi’s many dine-in and takeaway options. The place itself is a single floor with two tables seating up to 6-8 people but the restaurant’s lack of space is made up for by its many, many options for food.

On a Sunday, we were lucky to walk into an empty place so we quickly grabbed one of the tables. Maira recommended a couple of things all of which were on display and we got into trying them very soon after.

The house special soft scrambled egg sandwich on brioche with avocados was on trial and only available for dining in. The egg had perfect consistency and the bread was buttery and soft. There was a little lack of salt and pepper but I feel that’s a personal preference and the waiter should have just given them alongside the serving. A kick of flavour to the sandwich could also be added with Amavi’s selection of mouthwatering gourmet compound butter. The four flavors; blue cheese & rosemary, harissa & sea salt, olive tapenade and pesto are all available to sample over the counter and also to take away. My favourite had to be the harissa, which I learnt last year is an African chili and not just what Kashmiris like to have for breakfast. My friends also really liked the pesto butter option, basically making us lather the butter over every single piece of bread we ate there.

Maira recommended The Buratta salad as well, which I found slightly underwhelming, missing the punch. It made me think back to a Buratta I’d had that was injected with truffle oil which literally oozed flavor - Amavi’s paled in comparison.

Up next were the savoury eclairs that come in three flavours; avocado, chicken, cream cheese and feta, tomato, avocado and sauteed mushroom with chives out of which we had the first one. It made for the perfect little snack that I could imagine taking home and serving at a tea party or as canapes at a party.

My main course was the highlight of the meal for me - a Thai beef sandwich that worked because of its multigrain bread and the flavourful beef with the perfect sweet and sour taste offset by the crunch of the green chillies in it. Keto is still pretty big across Pakistan with a number of restaurants doing a variety of options for people on the diet. Amavi followed suit with a keto burger that one of my ketosis-induced friends was over the moon about. He said: "It felt like a real burger and satisfied all my burger cravings."

For other weight watchers, there are also ready to takeaway salad boxes, that I couldn’t try that day but looked great… for a salad.

I like that even though the space is small, Maira has everything on display and one knows exactly what they’re getting! The visit definitely convinced me to head back to the restaurant next week to try other things on the extensive menu.

Bread and Butter