In the sixth episode of Restaurant in 60 seconds we were invited to the Game of Thrones themed restaurant Westoros Cafe. The cafe is located in the ever popular Lalik Chowk area, T Block Defence Housing Authority Lahore. It is already surrounded by popular and great chains like Maro Tandoor and Gloria Jeans but I don’t think those establishments offer anything as unique as Westoros Cafe does.
Game of Thrones in a Cafe- Westoros Cafe
My first impressions of the cafe were put aside because of just how much I was gushing over the place. I am a huge Game of Thrones fan, the Song of Ice and Fire has been my favorite one for quite long time now. And in Pakistan, the closest thing to Game of Thrones related merchandise are flimsy key chains so an entire themed cafe with the world of Westoros alive inside was all but too much to take in all at once.
As I entered the cafe, they had the Rains of Castermere playing, and if you’re a self respecting Game of Thrones fan, you would understand why I checked every corner for archers and every man for chain-mail armour.
The cafe had a very old feel to it- as in it felt very medieval. I wouldn’t exactly say that I got a very Game of Thrones feel ( what feel is that any way?) but I did get a feel of medieval-ness, which to be fair is the time and setting the show and the books are in- so kudos to the cafe’s interior decorator. They nailed the interior.
The cafe is divided into three major portions- The Wall, the main area and upstairs. Each of these portions has their own thing going on-as in their own theme. Also I have to give props to the interior decorators here, they did a very great job of giving each portion its individual character and design. The Wall was gloomy – yet comfy. The main hall grand and open, the upstairs dark and warm.
The Wall was my favorite portion- mostly because I favor comfy places but the decorators played a little joke here that I found to be very amusing. Now if you have seen Game of Thrones or read the books- you’ll know the Wall is a giant structure made completely out of ice to keep the wildlings and the White Walkers out. It is a very very cold place, cold as it gets in Westoros. Now imagine my laughter when the only (visible) air conditioning in the entire place is put here.
What a neat little joke.
The Wall itself was adorned with shaved wooden spikes, hanging lanterns, and lights covered in crows nest. Such a cool place. But one thing i did not like about this was the huge picture of Jon Snow. Look I like the man just as much as the next guy, but you can’t have a huge-somewhat pixelated picture of him on one of the wall. It’s just unsettling. I’m trying to think of a You know nothing, Jon Snow joke here but i can’t come up with one. I guess I know nothing.
The Main Hall-King’s Landing.
This is the portion of the decor was what any person will see upon entering. The reason I say this might be King’s Landing because it had THE IRON THRONE THERE! The Iron Throne! Westoros Cafe managed to get a replica of the Iron Throne made locally and it looks amazing! The Iron Throne!!! It is a life-size replica of the actual thing, so you can in fact sit on the Iron Throne.
The throne is surrounded by actual swords and helmets- one of the swords is Ice! Ice was the Stark family valyrian sword Ned used in the beginning of the show.
Walls have maps and other swords hanging from them. Every major house also has their banners up on the wall with their insignias and house words. On some of the throw pillows too. There was also just this well adorned dragon head popping out one of the wall which was so cool. Really added to the aesthetic of the place. The dragon has rubies for eyes which reminded me of the Resident Evil games more than anything.
This main hall was also where they had the bar. This was something straight out of a Game of Thrones episode. It really pulled the place together. Honestly they did a really good job with the decoration of this. It has logs of wood placed inside a red-brick base. There was also this mahogany stag wheel that was in the middle of it all.
This place reminded me of the SPOILERS AHEAD dragon glass mines Dany and Jon recently explored. This portion was a tad warmer than the rest of the place and it had that dark and gloomy burnt feel to it too. On every table were eggs and on one special one there was this nest with replicas of Dany’s dragon eggs from Season One.
We ordered Potato Cheese Balls, Westoros Pizza, Westoros Burger and the Pollo Fritto Pollo. I was worried that the place would just be a gimmick and the food would disappoint- as is the case for many themed restaurants. They spend most of their effort into the theme and aesthetic of the restaurant and not enough on the actual food itself. That was my concern ordering. Another thing that bothered me was that- the items on the menu weren’t Game of Thrones themed-save for a few.I asked the owners about this and they told me they did not want to alienate the people who did not watch Game of Thrones, and make them feel comfortable too.
The Potato Cheese Balls
For the appetizer we ordered the Potato Cheese Balls. They looked like a dish King Robert would have ordered. Three fist-sized balls made of potato filled with cheese. These cost only 250 rupees and I gotta say, they were an absolute steal for that price. They were not too heavy, not too light, the perfect starter. THey were hard from the outside and nice and soft from within. The taste was this mix of spices and herbs blended with cheese and the sauce they had poured on top. The presentation could be improved though.I was extremely satisfied with the appetizer. Definitely get this if you’re planning a visit.
A brickoven hard crust pizza. By the old gods and the new- was this good. The hard biscuity crust added as a great platform to the classic pizza toppings of mushrooms,olives,bell peppers and spiced chicken. The cheese was a melt in your mouth delight, complimented by the sauce and wonderfully spiced chicken. The soft cheese and the hard crust worked in tandem with each other. The sauce was tomato based and quite delicious. Went really well with the cheese but did not overpower the taste of the chicken. There were quite a number of us on the table and we could not finish this all on our own. For 950/- I think this was the perfect amount.
I really enjoyed how well balanced the pizza was. So may other credible pizza places manage to screw up just how much of what should go on top of the pizza. Kudos to the chefs of Westoros Cafe, they really outdid themselves with this pizza. Oh and the presentation was on point too! They didn’t have to rely on other theatrics to make their dish standout, the pizza itself was a very visually striking. Realising this, they chose a classic pizza tray to let the pizza stand out on it’s own.
Heavy-filled and tasty. I’ll get straight to the point with this one and stick it with the pointy end. What a filling burger. We were all struck by how heavy the burger was! The mince meat burger had been well marinated with some hot spices. I could definitely taste some spice but it was well balanced so I never felt as if I could call the burger spicy but I could call it a feature of the burger. The sauces- probably homemade were very delicious. They were extremely flavorful and tasted of a blue cheese base. The burger was served with a healthy serving of fries and one of the Potato Cheese Balls we had ate before. There was also this overall tanginess to the burger that I would attribute to the mustard sauce. It worked really well with the burger,
Overall very impressed with this dish.
Pollo Fritto Pollo
You wouldn’t expect an Italian dish in Westoros but here it was. The Pollo Fritto Polllo was a large portion of chicken breast covered in crust and then dipped in a black pepper sauce. The chicken itself was very well cooked and delicious, the crust was delicious. But I could not say the same for the black pepper sauce. It was a bland mix, and all I could taste was the black pepper. No variety in flavor in the sauce at all. And it left an overall bad impression of the dish as well. I had hoped that it would have worked with the chicken but no- it did not.
I can’t say I expected much from an Italian dish from a Game of Thrones themed restaurant. I can only hope they improve upon this portion of the otherwise impressive menu.
For a Game of Thrones themed restaurant Westoros Cafe really managed to out-do my already high expectations. I was thoroughly impressed by the atmosphere and the food. While they could work on the some of the rough edges of the ambiance, they really did nail the feel of an old and medieval Game of Thrones environment complimented by the excellent food and great service.