The number of Asian restaurants in Karachi has been growing so fast, we often end up missing a bunch.
When I first heard of Soi the Asian Bistro, I was more concerned with how to pronounce it than what it offers.
I mean, think about it, it's an Asian restaurant so it should be 'soeee' but it claims to be an Asian bistro so should it be 'swah' like in French?
But when I realised it was a lot of hunger that got me to think such questions (which are important!) I decided to give the restaurant a try.
Soi has been around for more than a year now so it was only fair I get to know what makes it a trendy pan-Asian restaurant that many enjoy. I dragged my colleagues to Soi and find out how it's
pronou how the food is.
Where to go
Soi the Asian Bistro is located on Khayaban-e-Seher.
Its logo is easy to spot on the main road and gives a hint of what to expect inside; a chic and quaint restaurant offering Asian fusion meals.
When to go
Soi is open from 1pm - 12am
What to order
Soi claims to have a limited menu but it's extensive enough to cause confusion about what to order. We asked the manager for suggestions and the Soi staff was eager to help us out.
We also found out that Soi is pronounced soy like the sauce... I couldn't leave you guys hanging.
We started out with the Wasabi Prawns. We loved the crispy coating but we wished there was more wasabi in the dressing. I don't hold it against Soi though, many restaurants tone down the wasabi because most patrons don't like it strong, but maybe the restaurant should ask their customers how strong they like their wasabi when they take the order.
The Chicken Satay Salad is a popular choice for many at Soi but for us, it was the one dish that missed the mark. The dressing was rather grainy and the taste of turmeric was too strong. Maybe a lighter hand on the dressing would solve the issue.
The salad we loved was the Crunchy Asian Salad. When Soi says it's crunchy, it's crunchy! We loved the nuttiness that the peanuts brought to the dish and the flavour was earthy yet light.
The Shrimp Siomai Dumplings were my favourite from the appetisers. The shrimps were cooked perfectly and the texture was spot on! The dumplings had a subtle taste and went great with the soy dip.
Moving on to the mains, we have to give Soi a shout-out for their serving sizes. They are huge! We'd requested smaller portions but even then we were surprised at the generous servings. The restaurant clearly encourages sharing.
The hit at the table was the Mongolian Beef. The beef was tender and juicy and the sauce drizzled over the dish had a light kick of spice that tied the meal together.
The Crispy Fish with Tamarind Sauce, however, was the least favourite. While the fish was adequate, the tamarind sauce was too grainy and overpowering. Soi really takes their descriptions seriously. But I really don't want just haldi on my food.
The Gong Bao Cashew Chicken is a safe choice but if you're into adventurous cuisine, this might be a pass. The dish was simple and had a very generic Chinese restaurant flavour that is rather forgettable.
The Japchae Noodle Bowl was a fun venture for us. It balances sweet notes with smokey flavours and the Bulgogi sauce was balanced just right. Eat it fast, though! Once it goes cold, it loses a lot of its flavour.
Soi has a specials menu from which we decided to get our hands on the Asian Chili Crab. Soi has all the gear for your crab needs, including a bib.
The crabs and the chili sauce was great! Perfectly cooked, sweet and juicy. The problem came with the crab's side, the rice. Soi serves plain white rice, which can be switched for brown rice, but the crab-to-ratio is off. While we love generous servings, the rice was too much for even two whole crabs.
Moving on to dessert, we felt the best choice would be the Nutella wontons. They perfectly encapsulate the idea of Asian fusion so why not?
We weren't wowed by the wontons as such and I think it's because of the presentation. The Nutella filling is heavy in the centre but nonexistent on the folded edges, so there are points where you're just biting into plain wonton wrapper. We were grateful for the vanilla icecream that came with the dish though. There is such a thing as too much Nutella, guys...
Soi insisted we try out their raspberry cheesecake and we weren't enthusiastic at all. I mean, it's just another cheesecake, right? WRONG!
We were so glad that Soi did convince us for the cheesecake because it was the highlight of our meal! The cheesecake is served in a chic jar and tasted like no cheesecake we've tried before. The raspberry cut through the sweet and offered some very appreciated texture while the base and cheesecake itself was surprisingly light. This is a must-try, people!
Damage on the pocket
Soi's pricing are cafe-like, with appetisers ranging from Rs300 to Rs400, mains going from Rs450 - Rs700 and desserts from Rs400 to Rs550. However, the higher priced items can easily be shared due of Soi's generous serving. However, if I were you, I'd order that cheesecake for myself because it is just that good!