LAHORE: Rina’s Kitchenette has been the go-to cakes and dessert place in Lahore for as long as we can remember. This month, the popular home-based eatery capitalised on its name and clientele and expanded with a restaurant in Y-Block, DHA. Retaining the same name with an extended menu, the eatery has quickly become the ‘IT’ destination in the city’s culinary circles.
At the restaurant, one can witness chef Batool Mohsin, who has recently returned to the motherland after receiving professional education in the field, along with her brother Ammar Mohsin, making recommendations to customers. Here’s our experience of the restaurant:
We started with the Spicy Thai Beef Salad that made for the perfect summery salad. Each bite slowly released the flavours of the juicy and succulent beef coupled with the crunch of fresh leaves. The salad was quickly wiped clean and we were served our mains right away. We had ordered the Baked Chicken Pot which was lidded with a crisp and buttery puff pastry. We slowly pierced our way through the flaky crust which revealed a creamy white sauce with mushrooms, chicken and corn. A heartening meal with depth of flavour, it was so good we wanted to hug it like a comfort blanket.
We also ordered the Grilled Chicken & Sundried Tomato Pasta, despite Ammar earlier warning that people generally have a love-hate relationship with the entrée. The pasta can be given top marks for presentation as it arrived with parmesan shavings over beautifully grilled chicken. A bite into the creamy concoction and we understood what he had carefully taken the time to point out. The sweetness of the sundried tomatoes can be a bit cloying and overpowering for some, but for us, it proved to be a refreshing change of taste.
Although at this point we were ready to wave the white flag and were slowly giving in to the impending food coma, we could not leave without tasting the dessert. We ordered their Apple Fritters with Salted Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream and while waiting for that, we were sent over their Panna Cotta. The perfect one comes down to three factors; its jiggle, the sweetness and the cream. This particular one was a dream, held together with a little bit of gelatin in a shot glass. When the fritters arrived, they resembled doughnuts; crispy on the outside and soft and chewy with slices of apples on the inside. Topped with caramel sauce and a dollop of vanilla ice cream, they were pure heaven. Batool pointed out that they use imported green apples to ensure that they retain a level of crunchiness. No complaints!
Currently, the bistro is a small area but personalised service is what the family-run business is aiming for. The waiting staff has this philosophy down; they didn’t rush us in fact, kept us engaged in cheery conversation. The small area can get loud with the convergence of multiple conversations echoing over the sound of music but the helpings are large so it makes sense to visit in big groups.
Verdict: Having ogled at pictures from Rina’s Kitchenette on social media for weeks, we had high hopes from the eatery and our trip to the restaurant did not disappoint, on any account.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2016.
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