After enjoying the success of their acclaimed sweet treats and customized cakes, Café Nataliya is now trying their luck in the culinary realm. This Mediterranean restaurant was definitely on our list of restaurants that needed to be checked out this Ramadan since we were keen to know if they could satisfy our tantalising taste buds as well as they did our sweet tooth.
The café itself is not exactly very picturesque but it is decorated by some of the most gorgeous cakes I have ever laid eyes on. It kind of adds to the creativity of the place along with the mesmerising ceiling made into a covering of stars. It is decorated by walls of pretty pastel pink wallpaper, snowfields of white linen on tables and dishes of food at the far end waiting to be eaten at the call of azaan.
The seating is commodious and they will even accommodate you if you did not book a seat before-hand which is always a treat for the working class. The waiters scuffle around willing to serve at a call away.
The iftari consists of an assortment of the traditional iftar menu like pakoras, fruit chaat, samosas, chana chaat, dahi bhalay etc. The chilli prawns are sublime and you bite into a scrumptious mixture of warm meat oozing in flavors of lemon, coriander, chilli and garlic. The only downside is the dry pizza but it is compensated by other delicacies like the sweet damp chicken wings with a hit of crispy pastry of fire enveloping it.
Their salads are definitely a win especially the Caesar salad which is probably the best I’ve tasted anywhere in Lahore. It is an assortment of croutons and romaine lettuce with parmesan cheese, washed up in Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, garlic and salt.
Moving on to dinner, there is an exciting range of main entrees each looking as scrumptious as the other.
This was the first time I tried Chicken Stroganoff and it instantly became one of my favorite dishes at Redolence. The dish looks appetising with noodles submerged in mushroom broth and chunks of chicken topped with parsley. The marinade has a mushroom and paprika tang that makes you suck your lips.
Chicken cashew nuts with garlic rice is also something to be devoured. There is a delightful nuance between the somewhat bland rice and the fiery sauce with a crunch of toasted almonds.
The Thai beef ginger is also palatable heaped with baked beans and a lot of beefy jus such that the flavour keeps echoing long after you’ve licked it away.
The drinks come with these adorable spiral straws in bright colors. My friend loved them and decided to take some home too!
I finished off with the dessert which was (as expected) the star of the show. The chocolate mousse looks like something straight out of an 11 year-old’s birthday party. The ripe chocolate ganache would make anyone’s knees go week.
The Mocha carnival should be made available as an effective treatment for anxiety. Seriously, it is that good! The swiss roles have a crispy pastry covering delicious crème pâtissière inside which oozes out when you take a bite. The caramel pudding should just be crowned queen. It is one of the most scrumptious blend of buttery sweetness with a hint of malt.
The mango mousse was the only part of the dessert that I did not fall in love with. The taste was a little too sharp to my liking and I feel that it could have been a little less sweet.
Overall the experience was a good one and I would definitely recommend everyone to check it out at least once this Ramadan!
Since the focus here was iftari, I feel that Café Nataliya could do a better job by making their iftari a little more exciting and adding more items to the Iftar menu. There should also be a greater range of drinks available rather than the typical Rooh Afza, Lemonade and cold drinks. The mini pizzas and mango tart need to be worked on as well as the baked potatoes which were basically just a gooey lump of potatoes.
Other than that I feel that it is a great place to dine out with great food!
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