RESTAURANT REVIEW: THE PATIO- An alfresco dining experience
When ‘The Patio’ first opened, it appeared to be a transformed house with the porch and side yard turned into a lovely alfresco dining experience. This homey feeling along with the inclusion of fresh ingredients and impeccable service generated word of mouth for this unassuming restaurant. Since then, The Patio has grown into a favorite, constantly reinventing itself, and its latest menu showcases a kitchen that continues to evolve.
Located in the same lane as Koel and Cafe Flo in Clifton Block 4, Karachi, The Patio is good for walk ins, with reservations only necessary for special occasions (such as Mother’s Day, Eid).
The latest renovations have transformed the formerly casual joint into a modern space with good lighting, minimalist interiors and fun art. The atmosphere is low key and informal, making it a go-to spot to relax with friends and family.
The menu is well thought out overall, but especially remarkable is the tapas section. Patio’s tapas menu goes beyond the average appetizer and includes rarities like ‘Honey Crunch Lotus Stem’ and ‘Paneer Calamari’, as well as the more conventional ‘Wasabi Prawns’ and ‘Soy Glazed Chicken’. Those so inclined can make a meal of these bite size morsels by creating a platter of their favorite four tapas.
The stuffed mushrooms are new on the menu and the presentation is lovely, but they are bland and the texture leaves a lot to be desired.
We’ve always thought of laksa as the ideal winter dish, but The Patio’s version is so good, it can be enjoyed in any weather. Creamy, full flavored broth with just the right amount of spice and coconut flavor is the winning base for prawns, noodles, bean sprouts and crunchy peanuts.
In a land of meat lovers, it’s nearly impossible to find a vegetarian or pescatarian-friendly restaurant. The Patio fills that niche with assurance.
That is not to say that chicken and beef dishes are not delicious (a restaurant could hardly be expected to survive in Karachi without them), but the fresh take on vegetables and seafood is unique and appreciated.
The ‘Paneer and Mushroom Kuzhambu’ was anything but ordinary. The aromatic gravy was piquant, yet delicate in flavor with just enough texture to make it interesting. Fluffy, tender steamed rice was the perfect accompaniment.
The ‘Patio Prawns’ come with a creamy sauce which is a touch overwhelming. Some spice would have balanced it well. The garlic rice with it also lacked a zing, and the garlic flavor could have been more pronounced.
It’s easy to be tempted by the dessert menu. Instead of the run of the mill molten chocolate cake and bread and butter pudding, The Patio shows innovation here as well. The ‘Peanut Butter Cup’ was a deep, rich and creamy peanut butter mouse in a dark chocolate cup that cut the sweetness.
Though the food is impressive, it is the impeccable service that drives us to visit the restaurant again and again.
Rating (4.25 out of 5):
Food: 4 | Ambiance: 4 | Service: 5 | Value for money: 4