Kuch Khaas, being the center for ‘art, culture and dialogue’ in Islamabad, one would expect nothing less out of the Cafe, recently opened ‘The Lime Tree’. It’s like an extension of Kuch Khaas, with food.
Since it was revamped, I had to drop by, not that I am a food critic, or even know how to appreciate good food; my taste buds being medieval and very boorish, it was the (racking my brain for a pretentious yet vague enough word to put in .. ah yes) ‘feel’ of the place I wanted to absorb.
The first thing that strikes you is the green. Having been called the Lime Tree, you expect a certain tinge of green. The decor is quite simple, white walls with some striking art pieces hanging on them. A couple seem familiar from the art exhibit by the NCA final year students at PNCA I went to earlier this year. The question I had in my head back then ‘who buys the art’ was duly answered.
Accompanied by friends, I enter into the what is now called the Lime Tree. For anyone who might forget, there are two signs right when you enter the main gate at KK while turning towards the Cafe. For those who might have been blind or too distracted not to notice, there's a huge and literally a huge sign right across the cafe lawn and one right by the door. Talk about effective branding.
Disclaimer: I am no food critic, nor at any time do I pretend or declare to be one.
I am greeted by a glum looking man sitting behind a table. Although the table has muffins, velvet chocolate cupcakes, strawberry pies, brownies, biscoties and freshly baked breads among other things. The baked goodies look scrumptious! I wonder if he just hates his job or he’s just busy doing arithmetic in his brain which just leaves his face looking, for a lack of a better word - Glum. I order a couple of lemonades, tea and some bakery items and food to indulge in while we converse. The food arrives, we indulge ourselves. The lemonade is cold, with crushed ice, and a reasonable amount of lemon flavor to it. It’s lemonade, unless you are from Mars, its very hard to go wrong with it.The strawberry pie has a nice brown crust filled and a handsome filling of strawberry. The brownies just melt in your mouth, giving you a rush of sweet chocolate. The cupcakes soft on the taste buds, like fine sponge. The flavor isn't overwhelming. The double sausage ‘hot dog’ is one of the best I have yet eaten. The sausage is tender and the mayo just right. For ease of eating its cut in half and toothpicks stuck in it so the good things don't fall out the rear while your busy munching it down.
After washing it all down with lemonade, we decide to sit out side and bask in the sun for a while on the sofas by the cafe lawn.
I ask for the bill. I list out the items bought for his benefit - the glum looking waiter behind the table, apparently still doing arithmetic in his head - mistakes it for another serving of the same. Five minutes later, instead of bringing me the cheque, he walks up carrying a tray of the drinks, which we just had.
‘No’ I say to the waiter, ‘Don't be embarrassed, to err is human.’
But he’s already turned back half way and out of ear shot.
The ambiance's is great. Right at the end, there’s a selection of books with leather clad sofa’s and coffee tables so you can sip tea while you read. With huge windows and comfortable chairs and a couple of sofa’s, there’s a lot of sunshine and the view of the green cafe lawn, and Margalla hills beyond.
KUCH KHAAS House 1, Street 1,
(Entrance on Margalla Rd)
Guest post by Kamil Rextin.
Photos from The Lime Tree.
Have you been to The Lime Tree? How was your experience? Let us know by commenting below!