Trying out four very different iftar menus in Islamabad

Trying out four very different iftar menus in Islamabad

Chatta's, the Marriott, Asian Wok and Loafology — which one comes out on top?
30 Mar, 2024

When it comes to Ramazan deals, each eatery has its own unique charm. There are iftar-dinner deals all over Islamabad this year and it seems like the more items on the menu, the higher the price tag.

I visited four different eateries to test out their iftar-dinner menus and see whether they’re worth visiting.


Nestled in Sector F-10, Tariq Market, this desi dhaba has already made its mark in Islamabad as an eatery known for its authentic and organic cuisine.

Cashing on the cool spring breeze, the outdoor seating was the right choice. A first glance at the buffet spread was a sigh of relief as both iftar and dinner items were laid out together on one long table — no need to wait ages for the second round.

The iftar items were the usual and so was the taste. However, the palak pakora was one that is usually not found in the average pakora congregation. The spinach was fresh, crunchy and proportionally soaked in yellow flour thus allowing its taste not to be overpowered by the batter.

The dinner was an impressive showcase so it made sense not to waste too much time on the fried iftar feast. There was chicken seekh kebab, chicken boti, shahi beef haleem, desi ghee beef nihari, palak paneer, desi daal channa and makhan chicken karahi, and all of it was a testament of Chatta’s tried and tested culinary skills.

“I do not believe in number of items. We have our own hot selling favourites round the year and we do not stray from them,” Waqas Chatta, the 40 something owner of the eatery, told Images. Although the BBQ items were piping hot and the white chicken karahi with kulcha nan lip-smacking, nothing matched the combination of desi ghee channa daal with crispy desi ghee tandoori parathas. Packing a punch, it was the magnum opus at Chatta’s, hands down.

Iftar dinner at Chatta’s is priced at Rs2,999 plus tax, whereas a bundle deal for a group of 15 is Rs2,499 each without tax.

Asian Wok

This Pan- Asian restaurant located in F-6’s Beverly Centre takes the cake when it comes to iftar for Thai, Chinese and sushi lovers.

The eatery was swarming with foodies when we visited. Long lines were formed around the food tables, with people eager to fill up their plates with chicken drumsticks, potato fish balls, prawn tempuras, Korean chicken wings and fried veggies, not to mention the “must have” channa chaat and fruit chaat. “We are a Pan-Asian dinning outlet so we have replaced pakoras and samosas with eggplant, capsicum and zucchini tempuras,” Shafayat, the general manager at Asian Wok, told Images.

The spicy Thai soup and Asian Wok special soup were served on the table but for everything else, patrons had to help themselves. The extra effort didn’t stop hungry guests from swarming to quickly replenish their plates with potato fish balls — the pièce de résistance of the evening. The golden brown crumb fried potato fish balls were crusty from the outside but melted in mouth, making it very easy to dissect the ingredients as all the components of the dish made their presence felt.

The other hot item was the prawn tempuras, which I thought were overly battered but still managed to create an oomph with their crispy crunch and juicy prawn paired with a garlic chilli dip.

The servers very professionally replaced the iftar stations with dinner items as the guest left for a prayer break.

Vegetable, fruit and crunchy maki managed to sent an adrenaline rush coursing through the vein of the sushi lovers as they picked up their chopsticks, armed with soy sauce and wasabi to enjoy the Japanese delicacy. The taste was divine!

But even the best maki couldn’t make me overlook the Thai yellow curry, garlic prawns, chicken chilli dry, vegetable chow mien and egg fried rice waiting in the silver cauldrons. The Thai yellow curry with white sticky rice was the showstopper — Exquisite in taste and considered to be of a milder form amongst its peers, the dish was full of flavour, with the taste of coriander, cumin and cayenne. It also looked great with pepper bay and lemongrass leaves as garnish.

Iftar dinner at Asian Wok is priced at Rs3,895 plus tax

Marriott Hotel

One has to do a roulette at Marriott’s iftar dinner as there is more than meets the eye with the items on display. It is highly recommended not to fill up with iftar as a treasure trove of Italian, Arab, Thai, Chinese and Pakistani cuisine awaits you come dinner time.

Live cooking stations where pastas were tossed, glass noodles were simmered with garlic fish, sharwama was grilled and Mongolian beef was cooked awaited us. In direct competition, an ostentatious Pakistani counter took centre stage. From angara chicken boti to mini chappali kebab, daal mash to mutton kunna, dumpukht biryani to bong paye and beef haleem to aalo bhaaji, it was a dream come true menu for everyone fasting.

Paired with salads, desserts and sweet drinks, this was a truly hearty meal that had you wanting to take a long walk home. The true stars of the meal for me were the angara chicken boti, Mongolian beef, fattoush salad and tawa pasande with piping hot nan. The best dessert on the table was kulfa falooda.

Iftar dinner at Marriott hotel costs Rs6,800 plus tax


If one is looking for a quiet iftar evening, Loafology is your go-to place. With its fairy-light decor, Loafology offers iftar in tranquility.

“The place gets busy post-iftar as there are only a few table covers at iftar time,” the manager at the eatery told me. The café offers a wholesome iftar platter presented on a triangular wooden platter containing all the necessary items for the meal — dates, an assortment of fried foods, a fruit chaat bowl and mint lemonade — but only a single serving.

In order to justify the price tag, oven baked chicken tikka, mediterranean chicken in pita sandwich, mini burger and crème brûlée are served before you call it a night. The star of the meal was the nihari mini burger — the beef shank ruptured in the mouth and tasted just like nihari but without curry. A mix of herbs and seasoning coupled with a homemade gourmet bun landed the entrée the title of showstopper.

Loafology’s iftar is priced at Rs2,995 plus tax


Taj Ahmad Mar 30, 2024 01:46pm
Very nice looking all Iftar menu’s.
Khurram Khan Mar 30, 2024 03:15pm
Mariott ko thori se sharam karni chahye bass! I mean 7k mein heeray jawahayraat de rahay hain sath!
Syed Hasni Mar 30, 2024 05:25pm
After going to these mouthwatering Iftar dinner you will have to say, I have a body made for sin... Too bad this sin is gluttony.. Enjoy till it last- your body not Ramadan
Venkataraman Iyer Mar 30, 2024 06:59pm
Costly food during Holy month.
HUSSEINALLY j hASHAM Mar 30, 2024 07:57pm
3000 per head and at the same time millions are opening their fast with simple khajur!
Guest 2024 Mar 30, 2024 08:11pm
Oh the eateries of the mega rich! The price of for one person could feed a whole family in ramadan for a week!. No bread? I hear you say?..Let them eat brioche...
NYS Mar 31, 2024 12:42am
"FÃTTOUSH SALAD" créme de la crème
Talha Mar 31, 2024 04:38am
I love this article , the pictures included also the detail on price .... thank you for writing this ...
Hamzah Rifaat Hussain Mar 31, 2024 05:01am
A proud Islooite. Have been to all the above restaurants and have to say that Chattha's wins hands down in terms of taste, appetite, palette and variety.
Mr B Mar 31, 2024 09:33pm
Why would one go to a fancy place and pay a exorbitant amount to try street food when one can walk to the street vendors and try it there in authentic ambiance of the real street????
Premal Dave Apr 01, 2024 07:44am
soDoc Apr 01, 2024 11:38am
too expensive
Laiq Apr 01, 2024 03:07pm
Ramadan teaches modesty, humility and simplicity but sadly commercialism has dampened those values.
Farouq Omaro Apr 02, 2024 06:28am
Muqali Khan Apr 02, 2024 08:42am
These extravagant iftars are certainly not for a common person who struggles to survive from day to day.
Nayyar khan Apr 02, 2024 04:31pm
Really impressive information