Spoilt for choice while deciding where to get together with your friends this weekend? Want to relish some quality family time over scrumptious food, but don’t know where to go? We might be of some help here:
Where to go: The Cube
The Cube at Nishat Hotel isn’t really a new restaurant. But its new menu makes it worth a visit this weekend.
The restaurant's new chef, Waqas Malik — a silver and bronze medal winner in modern cuisine at the International Istanbul Gastronomy Festival 2015 — is behind their all-new European menu, which has something to suit everyone's tastes, spicy or mild, vegetarian, meat or seafood.
Malik (who claims he’s the youngest chef in town) serves organic chicken and eggs, the best quality beef, seafood and vegetables, even if that means procuring it at a higher rate. He's introduced the use of Swiss cheese at The Cube, something he says is new to Lahore.
When to go
The Cube is a particularly nice spot at lunch. Their cosy venue enjoys a lot of sunlight from one facade, and the cube-shaped installation doubles as a chandelier, so you're never short of light.
It's never brimming with people, so finding a table isn't difficult. People will also appreciate that tables are not placed very close to each other, so they can be sure to enjoy their privacy.
What to order
The best thing about The Cube's new menu is that it’s limited, and not a replica of every other restaurant. This could very well be The Cube’s USP if they maintain their quality.
Recommended soups: The Roasted Tomato is a lovely combination of sweet and sour with a slightly creamy texture and a dash of pepper. The Cauliflower Almond is a unique combination with roasted cauliflower slow simmered in a chicken broth with hints of crunchy almond.
Recommended appetisers: The menu boasts a variety of starters, but the Japanese Fried Prawns with cayenne cream had our thumbs up. Only slightly spicy to the taste, the prawns are served on a slab of wood, and are also pleasing to the eye.
For those who don’t fancy seafood, the honey-glazed Spicy Chicken Meatballs is recommended. Cooked in Asian spices, it is served with a side of cucumber salad and Thai dressing, and is a delicious start to a meal.
Recommended main courses: We weren't too keen on trying the burgers and sandwiches, so we tried The Cube's Salmon Eggs Florentine since it's not a commonly served in restaurants. These soft-poached organic eggs, resting on a thin layer of creamed spinach and toasted bread, covered with a dash of Hollandaise and surrounded by smoked salmon, are a unique and thoroughly delightful choice.
If you’re a seafood fan, you’ll love the Red Snapper with Spicy Carrot sauce. A grilled fillet of Red Snapper is complemented well by a mildly spicy orange carrot sauce, jasmine rice and grilled sweet pepper.
Another recommendation is the Grilled Tiger Prawns, served on on a bed of spaghetti tossed in herbed garlic butter.
The Cube's Mongolian Beef will leave you wanting more. A generous serving of thinly sliced crispy beef fillets is topped with a savoury brown sauce, sliced onions and chilli peppers. But the jasmine rice, accompanying the beef and snapper, could have been softer and not sticky.
The Steak au Roquefort has to be the best steak in town. It's a pan-roasted tenderloin of beef cooked medium like medium should be, and pink in the centre topped with a splatter of delicious Roquefort blue cheese and served with roasted potatoes and cauliflower.
Recommended desserts: Their selection of desserts, though a bit limited, is not to be missed. The hot dark Chocolate Souffle served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramelled bananas in a crispy cup is not just visually appealing but also quite a fulfilling dessert. And so is the baked lemon ricotta cheese cake with berry compote. It's not a heavy dessert, and is quite a balanced blend of flavour.
Pro tip: The chef recommends that diners order cuisine they are familiar with, because the spice level can come off as a rude surprise! Order what your palate is used to, if you’re not the adventurous, experimental type.
Damage to the pocket
The Cube is competitively priced. While some starters may appear to be steeply priced with a minimum Rs 675, the burgers and sandwiches balance it out with prices starting around Rs 600.
So if you plan to have a meal complete with a starter, a main and a dessert, then be prepared to shell out over Rs 2,000 per person. But, if you’re going for a main entrée and a drink, then you’ll pay around Rs 1,500, depending on the mains you choose.