What does your favourite cut of steak really say about you? Are you mild mannered, soft-hearted, meticulous and enjoy simple elegance? If so, then a filet mignon, the tenderest of them all, is for you.
People, who prefer rib eyes are even-tempered, strive for balance in life and have laid back attitudes with a bit of a maverick spirit. And while sirloin lovers have a down-to-earth philosophy on life and a “what you see is what you get” attitude, the t -bones eaters have strong convictions and prefer the outdoors and the wilderness, although they are also known to possess a somewhat sensitive side. I wonder what those boffins in the West are going to come up with next? But if you’re just one of those lagging behind in their protein intake types, chances are that your craving for a good steak is left pretty much unsatiated in Lahore. That is, unless you frequent some of the better eateries which provide you a decent steak.
Cafe Aylanto on MM Alam Road is a popular place to get a decent steak. Other than the normal pepper-steak and chateaubriand made with domestic meat, Aylanto also offers a gourmet menu for those seeking New Zealand rib eye, Australian t-bone or Wagyu fillet mignon. It would be a blessing if only they could import a chef who can cook a steak as it was ordered. When cooked right however, the steaks are delicious and diners can enjoy their meal in pleasant, if sometimes tedious, surroundings. But mind you, they are not cheap and will set you back about Rs2,500 for an imported cut of meat.
One normally associated Cosa Nostra in Gulberg with their gelateria and burgers, but their steaks are perhaps the best in town. Served on sizzling stoneware, what the chefs at Cosa Nostra lose out on in terms of options, they make up for in the quality of meat and perfection in cooking. Although fine dining normally takes place at La Tavola on the top floor, they are able to serve you at La Pizzeria also. Diners can opt for the sirloin or the much leaner tenderloin cut — both of which will not disappoint at under Rs3,000. The price includes two side-line items: a baked potato and creamed spinach. While the service at this place needs to be improved, the food is top notch. Your gout may take a beating but your stomach and taste buds will thank you for it.
The final contender in our quest for a good steak is a restaurant that prides itself on having rude waiters. But they don’t quite advertise how proud they are of having their rude waiters rudely serve you the wrong order, and then rudely convince you to eat it up like a good boy. The words “medium rare” or “well done” don’t seem to be part of the vocabulary in the Wild West, but first timers will enjoy the cowboys moving all around as if they were demons stoking the fires of hell. The food will make you think you’ve arrived there already.
Hassaan Ghazali is a food law expert and gastronomic enthusiast based in Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2013.
Like Life & Style on Facebook for the latest in fashion, gossip and entertainment.