Restaurant review: having mixed feelings about Koya
Koya Restaurant is located in phase 6 in DHA, Lahore and is all the rage these days. Hence, a visit was long due, considering all the interesting things we had heard about the décor, the ambience and the food.
The lighting was a little too dark comparing to other restaurants, especially during our Corona fears when one constantly keeps an eye on how well the staff is following the SOPs and wants a very clean and tidy, hygienic feel. The décor had a grunge, dingy vibe going on for it, which was a little basic and minimal (check the view in the window display)- not quite the look one wants for fine dining!
But the combination of furniture, layout, lighting, colours used and overall look was tasteful! We especially liked the basement which had a bar as well. It can be an interesting venue, and perfect for private parties.
For starters we tried Bang Bang Chicken and Dynamite Shrimp. The chicken was spicy and full of sesame seeds but not bad over all. The Dynamite Shrimp cannot be compared to other far superior options available now locally.
After waiting for about 45 minutes our food arrived even at a non rush hour!
For main course we ordered the Slow Cooked Lamb. It was simply delicious- done to perfection, complete with mashed potatoes and veggie sides. That’s one thing you must try at Koya.
Mediterranean Chicken tasted just about fine. Not so delicious for the taste buds that I would go back for it.
The Firecracker Chicken is not for the weak hearted as the spice level threw even the boldest of us off balance! It was a bit too chewy and hard. It can definitely benefit from some improvement.
Then came the dessert, my favourite part. If you are a little late, they can run out of options. So all we could be served at that point was a tiny Nutella Cheese cake. Unfortunately, it did not meet the expectations either.
The owner needs to be a little more involved, although we could hear him talking to customers from across the room, how he had been in the kitchen supervising for the last many hours, we believe he still has some way to go. The potential is certainly there. Koya has a strong pull for the teenage crowd these days as for them ambience probably takes top priority. But Lahore is a tough crowd to please when it comes to food. With just a little more effort, we believe Koya can make it to the top. Even though the experience was less than fully gratifying, we would still recommend that you visit the place and try it out for yourself as there are mixed feelings about it amongst the foodies of our city. We wish Koya all the best for future.