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When at Monal

With the year ending, Flashbacks of the adventures and great times I had this year demand that I blog some of those memories. And while The Fairy Meadows travelogue is still pending , my heart wanted me to share this one beautiful night of my life. The night when I  saw the lights from Monal for the first time.

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We humans have a natural, inevitable and almost childlike infatuation with lights. I realized this on my way , up to the top. As our host of the evening drove the car up to the mountain, round and round it went, I rolled down the windows and stuck my head out. The wind against my face was cold. But it’s what my eyes saw in the sky that made me scream like a kid.

 It was sparkling with diamonds. Diamonds that we can never touch. Or eat.

I would never forget those moments. Or any moments that I have spent behaving like a maniac upon seeing a  sky full of stars. The same sky was hundred times more alive with twinkles when I had visited Islamabad in 2013. When you are driving to Islamabad at a clear night and you’re almost near Rawalpindi, you witness a mesmerizing sky filled with wonders. Stars scattered everywhere. 

This time, I was headed towards the most talked about Restaurant,  situated at the top of a mountain.

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This is Monal. 

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This part of the restaurant is very small as compared to the rest of the place. If you ever visit Monal, I would suggest , you roam the whole place as I unfortunately, couldn’t. Because we were in a rush. Secondly, we were done with our food so no point staying there, thirdly, my camera battery had died on me right in the middle of the dinner. And The last reason is perhaps the main culprit. We females had wasted so much time on admiring the amazing shops outside the Restaurant that we didn’t realize the men inside are getting upset and hungry. 

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This man had the most amazing Kashmiri Kurtas in his possession. Out of which,  one Firozi Kurta stole my heart. I tried my best to make this man lower the price of it which in my opinion wasn’t much, but according to my mum, it was outrageous. 

My best shot at getting the price lowered was to bribe him with the prospect of being published at my website. 

Hi Mr, Shop man. In case you are reading this, I did keep my promise. You are on my website. Congratulations!!!

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 Another shop next to this one was of jewellery. I think my mother bought some earrings from there for me. I’m not sure what else she got as jewellery is not my thing. 

Moving on, we entered the most comfortable place. 

And it’s one damn expensive place, too, if you don’t order smartly. 

In our case, we were hungry for sure but we were more hungry for the sight so we made sure we don’t order anything that would go to waste or anything extravagant.  Our menu was Pakistani so it cost us around 3k to 4k to eat to our fullest. 

I can’t believe it.

But that’s the truth. 

The place is packed with people , and the air there is full of delicious tastes. I spent most of my time there photographing the view. And photographing the people. My cousin wouldn’t let me sit for one second and made sure he’s got enough good pictures taken for his Facebook Display.

I couldn’t be more annoyed with this but then my mom joined in, and I couldn’t refuse to play the role of the happy photographer. 

And after few minutes, my camera battery died. I handed the battery to the polite Restaurant Man serving us that evening, and till we finished out dinner, the battery was decently charged. It gave me the chance to take these further shots.

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The above pictures were taken while my cousin enjoyed his Tea standing near the Metal fence. That’s where people get to enjoy the view, as before them sparkle the city lights. 

Once everyone went their way to enjoy their few last moments at this place, with tea in hand. I sat down with my cup of tea and took some random shots. It gets too disturbing to capture human faces all the time you know. You ought to appreciate the details in the objects, too.  And this shot was my favorite picture of the evening. You may or may not understand why. It sat there, quietly, as per our will. Quenched my thirst, as per my will. Not asking me to picture it all. That made it even more innocent. It doesn’t make sense, I know. But sometimes it does.

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What happened to the Photographer?

They could not take a normal picture of her. I had only a series of some blurred and unfortunate shots. Nobody could take a one decent picture of mine. In some pictures my face is not visible. And in one of them I have a glass in hand blocking my face. The pictures my mom try to take of me had me out of focus, and the background very clear. The shots my cousin brother took had me in focus but sadly, the angles are very out of this world.

If you’re ever in Islamabad, try not to miss this place. I highly recommend it after The Faisal Masjid.

That night when we got home, I was too tired but too happy. I still remember the last thought on my mind as I drifted to sleep. It was a half typed text to a friend, telling how beautiful the stars looked. So did the night.

The Monal Restaurant,
9 km, Islamabad – Pirsohawa Road, Islamabad
Phone: 051 5837218, 19, 20

For details, visit: http://themonal.com/

foodpanda Returns With Another Massive One Day Food Festival

Discount on food? Really?! Okay, here I go.

If eating makes you happy, then here’s a great chance for you to be the happiest person on earth today. Run for it! 

Grab your friends, get your family, invite the entire household!! And it doesn’t matter where you are in the country, the Great One Day Food Festival by foodpanda brings you deals & discounts Across Pakistan.

TGFFFestival

What do you mean by Deals & Discounts Across Pakistan, Khanum?

It means the nation is going to witness a massive display of fast food love on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 which is TODAY by the way, in the form of various discounts and exclusive deals made available by foodpanda.pk. And this generous offer was planned out after the successful execution of The Great Karachi Pizza Festival!!

How nice of foodpanda to reach out to its valuable customers nationwide for another digital event called The Great Fast Food Festival! They seriously, never fail to amaze me with their great work in the food industry.

Which Restaurants should I run for to avail this amazing offer?

Well! The world is your oyster, and your stomach, I am sure, would be glad to know that it can feast in 50+ Restaurants today. There are some exciting deals waiting for you, and that is not all; the festival brings forth star studded fast food giants like KFC, Subway and Johnny Rockets with a staggering range of discounts.

Al-Waha Lebanese Cuisine in Islamabad will serve 50% off on the entire menu

whereas Lahori Bites is set to welcome all burgers & sandwiches lovers with 40% discount.

NTC Fast food, Obeez Burger, Trapper‚Äôs, Subwich, Omnom, Zefra, Hoagies, Burger Factory, Red Apple etc have also made it to the event, offering 30% to 50% discount on selected deals. The event has already commenced at 10am today, to take pre-orders and will remain live till midnight. So hurry up, and have a great day with the food you love to eat the most. 

How do I order food?

Simply go to foodpanda.pk and make your day, the most memorable one. 

Bon appetit ! ūüėČ

 

Tea at Sukh Cha’n Salt’n Pepper Cafe

Are you looking forward to spend time with your friends and sit for long hours without spending much money? This is the place to crash.

After attending a focus group of bloggers somewhere else and having our stomachs full with lunch,  me and my two friends decided to have tea at English Tea House. We just wanted a corner to sit, relax, and start chatting about our troubles since we were meeting after a long time.

Ideal evening, right? so it was.

We got into (my teacher cum Mphil mate cum a very good friend’s) car and drove off. The funny part was, we all three were so busy chatting and bickering that we lost our way to English Tea House and landed at Sukh Chan, Salt’n Pepper instead.¬†Sukh Ch’an¬†is basically a well reputed wellness club with gym and swimming pool facilities, but they also have this cafe inside which is also open for non-members.

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Two of us ordered Tea, while the third one went for Lipton’s green tea. And then to have something sweet to go with it, we ordered a¬†brownie that we shared. Chocolate mousse cake was unfortunately not available despite of being on the Menu card, nor was Peanut tart.

Here comes the tea now with freshly baked brownie.

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Yum ! Yum ! Yum ! we lost our minds over that brownie and I couldn’t decide what to do with my canon. We both are inseparable these days. But so as me and food.

So either I could enjoy what was on the table or photograph it with perfect composition.

I decided to choose the former option. Did snap snap snap quickly and then put aside my camera to enjoy my tea.

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Our cells went on silent mode and minutes ¬†turned into hours. Nobody came to bother us that¬†why we had been¬†sitting there for so long when we had¬†no tea left in our cups. I believe, such places where they bring you the bill as soon as you’re done eating is bit impolite. They literally keep an eye on you. But at this cafe, everything was just so calm. I noticed that even the music wasn’t loud. For me, this means decency¬†and they¬†gain my approval.

Although this wasn’t my first visit to Sukh cha’n Salt’n Pepper Cafe, but when I had visited it last time, I was in 2nd year and not a blogger.

Being a blogger now, automatically turns my mind towards noticing little details of the places I visit because I feel like my readers deserve to know.

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That’s my Teacher cum friend sitting over there, looking at the children playing in the swimming pool outside. It’s¬†the the open air section.

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I tried to take the shot of the swimming pool area from the place where I sat comfortably. I just wasn’t in the mood for getting up and play the role of a photographer so I stuck with lazy shots.

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That’s my last shot of the evening as we drove off to our homes. But what an evening it was!

If you wish to check out this place, Click Here

Address: 25-H, Gulberg II, Lahore (near Salt’n Pepper Grill)

 

 

Delicious Chicken Irani Boti at Bundu Khan & My Pakistani Sentiments.

Yesterday was girls day out.

My mother determined to take me out of my square room decided to lure me into fried finger fish trap. Because she was bored. And sick of cooking.

And trust me, its not really that easy to make me get out of my blanket and wash face with real water like water when its freezing cold in December. Not even shopping for new sneakers could shake me, but fish did. Somehow I got dressed. My sadness of nothing began to fade away.

In fact first I tried to make excuses to escape from this like look! omg! How foggy it is out there. But Mom is a mom for a reason you know. I wore blue she wore green and voila! After praying zuhr, I was on my way to eat fried fish from Bundu Khan. Mom had to make a stop at hyperstar to buy some bakery. It has got awesome bakery. Thats the only thing I like about that place. Other than that I hate the fact that hyperstar wouldn’t even let you drink anything inside the building. Even if you’re dying.

Anywho, I bought some of  my bakery stuff too. And the types of bread I got deserves a post on its on. I wanted to get baking utensils too but my budget was off already. So, happy and contended, I happily hopped my way to Bundu Khan because  I was simply in love with their fried fish until I met with a new cuisine.

Chicken Irani Boti (Grilled)

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Behold! The best chicken boti I have ever tasted (if my faulty memory serves me right). I swear I loved it! This is the dish which I have been introduced to by an Iranian I interviewd during my thesis days. He told me how Pakistan food is so spicy and how very nice and less spicy their food is. I got hold of their chicken tikka recipe and voila! I cooked it in summers but didn’t block it.

When I ordered fish finger, I had to order something more and new for my mother. She’s a high blood pressure patient and eating fish simply means high BP. So after thinking much, I narrowed down to Irani grilled chicken boti. I knew it would be something similar to the dish I had prepared at home but boy! Served with Naan this was even more delicious.

Before it got served, I forbade mom to taste any dish before I have photographed it to my heart’s content for blog. But the moment it got on table I forgot my own words and attacked the food. I was hungry. ūüôĀ

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Sunny sides of the dish:

It was juicy, soft and served hot. Very delicious indeed. 5/5.

Not so sunny sides of the dish: 

1- Quite Expensive. It was for Rs 800 and something. I could throw a chicken party at home with that much green paper. 2/5

2- ¬†Freaking small portions. The moment I ordered it, I got worried about the amount of pieces they would serve. You want good amount of food in front of you when you’re hungry and also when you have paid alot to get it. Total 12 pieces didn’t please me at all. That too small ones. ¬†3/5

And I have noticed it almost everywhere in Lahore now, that serving less in plate and charging more money for it has become like a fashion. What has gone wrong with Lahoris? We are not in France where serving less is about class and money! We are Pakistanis. We are hospitable people.We like to eat and we want to eat 24/7. ¬†It’s better we stopped coping other race on table etiquette.

Anyway, There’s always a first time for everything…coming towards Friend Finger Fish.

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I love this dish. Its the best thing I like to eat when I’m having severe flu. But this time I was terribly disappointed by Bundu Khan.

Last time in March and then before that time even, Whenever I used to eat friend finger fish at Bundu Khan, it used to be served with sandwiches. As far as I remember. But okay, maybe I am mistaking it. However, Could I mistake the quality of crisp ? This time it was served rather soggy. Soft is good but only from the inside. If the crisp that is supposed to be on the outer layer is not there, I’m sorry! It’s not served fresh and right ¬†from the fryer. It was nor served very hot as it used to be. Really disappointed and am sure going to try out this fish somewhere else now. No more Bundu Khan for me.

Sunny sides: Out of order.

Not so sunny sides: I paid Rs 720 for something I anticipated a lot but didn’t quite enjoy it.

Final Remarks. Naan is Rs. 40. I like to enjoy I like to spend on food and fun but I also know the value of money. Especially when I’m unemployed. The reason I concluded, that why we Pakistanis spend money on expensive restaurants is because there are no good recreational activities or alternatives for enjoyment available to us. I wish Lahore had open air cafes. And some places where I can take my mother and let her enjoy quality food with quality environment around without me worrying over ridiculous bills.

After all, You can be a millionaire, but that doesn’t mean being conscious of your spending is haram on you and spending carelessly is wajib.

No more dinning out for me for atleast 3 months! -__-

Khanum’s Review on Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Oh my Gosh! I’m so sorry, that’s the wrong picture there, just the remains. Actually I was so hungry that day – ke bas. Let’s rewind back to the beginning on how I came across the most royal dish on the face of earth I have ever tasted for your sake. Spaghetti Bolognaise, ladies & Gentlemen!

So this is going to be my first food review that I gobbled down my throat few weeks back. I would like to dedicate this post to Nadia @nadiamasood.com , She’s a Food Guru and Queen of Reviews on any food that you would find in Dubai. *I kid you not –¬† honestly | pay her a standing ovation like the man in the picture below*

Pizza Hut | The place to be when you want to have posh food *m serious * in a foody n posh environment *m very serious again* and with posh friends, *now you can laugh*. ūüėÄ I hope my gals are not reading this.

It was our last day of examz and we all decided to hit the place. Now check this out , we are such innocent Pakistanis , pizza is almost like a street food in west and here we are, eating pizza with forks and etiquettes in Big Name Food chains Restaurants just cause of our crippling economy, west’s street food is our 5 star food! And right now if any agent of Pizza hut is reading this post – he is planning to hunt me down and sue me.

Please do wait , there’s more at This branch of Pizza hut located at M.M.Alam road in Lahore. First thing first – I give the staff 100 stars. Umm and ok lets be generous some more, I would give the environment 100 plus too. It was neat and clean and very airy. And oh! The guy standing at the entrance greets you with Assalam o Alaikum! so nice and so — nice again I must stress. Lets give him the award of Mr. Good Manners who had weird Moustaches. I am just being generous nothing else. Now behold¬† the Menu card where I fell in love with Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Our order spanned over 2 large pizzas, Chicken Tandoori and Chicken Fajita, 3 Salads , Someone ordered some shahi chicken rolls , Another ordered Lasangna, While I ordered Spaghetti Bolognaise to share with my friend. Seeing this, 4 of my friends also ordered the same dish and shared in half.


Now –¬† the salad bar, before the Pizza came we attacked on the salad bar and as you can see in the pictures , this is the place where even the damsels give up on diet and load heaps and heaps of salad in one small tiny little bowl. We payed Rs. 330 for each bowl of salad after all. How could we spare that and not halal the money?

There is my friend, Masha Allah , in process of making a sky-scrapper in the bowl.

And there we finally did manage to make a sky-scrapper. Sadly we couldn’t finish it all it was to heavy. so we did the most decent thing we could. We asked for it to be packed for my friend’s sister. *yes we believe in sharing*

Next stop – Pizza Sheeza!

Now this is my plate on top of the pizza. One slice and there I was – all full. I wonder how do guys eat so much. Pizza Hut people must hate men for eating up more than they pay for the deals. As for girls, I think we just mostly waste food and money. Like my friend she went to the salad bar and came back with a small circle of – no actually it wasnt even a circle it was a dot of salad in the middle of the bowl. The moment we saw this insult of salad bar and our money we were like. GASP!!!! WHAT DID U DOOOOOO !! NOOOO NOOO NOOO!!! HOW COULD YOU WASTE 330 RUPEES AND NOT FILL THAT THING UPPPPPPPPPPPPPP :O :@ … “Haan meinei socha itna bohat hai” was her reply. Right!

Anyways, The pizza was good enough so as the salad. Yummy! Lets move along now. Finallllyyyyyyyyy to our big  surprise dish of the year.

Thank you very much for reading khanum’s review on Spaghetti Bolognaise. Click here for My final serious verdict on Pizza Hut’s Special Recipe , the ravishing remarks on the dish that is just made of noodles and mashrooms and very alien taste.

Peace out!

But P.S. Lunch at Pizza Hut cost us Rs 4000 and sumthing sumthing. And since we were total 10 people we divided the amount and it came down to 500 each. Next Place to be explored: Tutty Fruity, Insha Allah.

Now final Peace out!

This blogger recently had Gol Gappay

On our way to the main¬†ground, there was a girl sitting quietly in the corner having her mouth ful of something something. ¬†Me and my friend found some space to stand near her evi main and I don’t know why we started to stare at her tray of delicious khatay gol gappay ..

Two good minutes of stare like two bhookey nadeedey bachey, and then….

“Hira!” ..

“Jee? ..”

“Hmm. Aj mera kuch khatta khane ko dil kar raha hai. ”

“Oh!” ..she made that one amazing face which she always makes. “Ap ka bhi esi fazool cheezon ka dil karta hai?” :O

“Jee ¬†:D..khayen gol gappay?” and next thing I know, we crossed the University road, attacked on the gol gappa wala and I had my first experience of having gol gappay ¬†at University in my 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 years of life there. Uffffff !

price per tray ( a dozen  gol gappay) : Rs. 50.

Advice: Please abstain from eating on street. Use the bridge to dine fine and shine. It will not only give you peace to enjoy ur tray of gol gappay but also save you from the hooligans roaming around on jail road since 1945.