Considering the fact that I am a food lover and living in Lahore, a city known for its fierce love for food, I don’t really eat out that much. Or not as much as folks think I do. I like trying out a few new places here and there sometimes but just like most people, I have a few go-to places that I keep returning to from time to time and Mocca Coffee Gulberg, housed in Mall 94 on Main Boulevard is one such place.
Most restaurants and cafés in Pakistan offer some pretty good sehri and iftar deals during Ramzan. So when one of my good friends and I decided to catch up over some good food, we headed to Mocca Coffee Gulberg to partake of the exquisite looking Ramzan Platter that they had a picture of on their Facebook page.
Known for its fine micro-roasted coffees and superb gourmet food, Mocca Coffee Gulberg loves the concept of uncluttered space and lots of it – none of that standard ‘restaurant-café’ look here. Their minimalist Scandinavian design aesthetic is reflected in the stripped-to-essentials chicness of wood, space and light. This place has perhaps the most cleanly modern look out of all restaurants in Lahore, a winning look indeed as it gives an immediate sense of calm and peace as soon as I step into it. It is also, in my opinion, perhaps the most efficiently air-conditioned café in Lahore, an oft overlooked but important consideration when operating an eatery in Pakistani temperatures.
The glass entrance door of Mocca Coffee Gulberg takes you straight to their gorgeous patisserie display counter – under elegant glass cloches, you will find familiar sweet treats like buttery croissants and Swiss chocolate brownies and more unusual ones such as marzipan apple pie and Paleo energy bars. This drool-worthy section of the cafe with its mouthwatering selection of sweet beauties has something to satisfy every kind of sweet tooth.
Mocca Coffee Gulberg has a pretty nice open-air rooftop sitting area which is great for cool evenings and winter days. It is my favorite place to have breakfast in winter. I was very happy to see that they’ve built a closed section right next to the open-air seating area so you have the option of sitting out in the open and taking in the views or sitting inside when its a bit too hot to sit out in the open.
This closed rooftop seating area is another example of simple minimalism and has the same pared-down design aesthetic like the rest of the café. The beautiful large floor-to-almost-ceiling doors and windows shaped like hollow one dimensional Rubik’s Cubes give a sense of still being out in the open while inside the merciful comfort of an air-conditioned room.
The Mocca Coffee menu is not only delicious but healthy and nutritious into the bargain. From fresh artisan salads, stuffed savoury crespelle and vibrant pasta dishes to detox breakfasts, Paleo brunches and well-thought out vegetarian options, it makes me want to order the entire menu in one sitting.
Since this time we had gone there especially to try the Ramzan Platter, we ordered two of those plus grilled paninis for later. Mocca Coffee’s iftar platter is a bit different than most restaurant/cafe iftar platters. It consists of:
- pitted dates
- dried figs
- fresh peaches and mangoes cut in small dice served in a small glass
- two spicy crisp fried chicken strips
- a decent sized piece of grilled chicken breast with a deliciously piquant sauce
- a portion of Greek salad
- choice of 2 macarons or slice of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
- a glass of fresh fruit juice or lemonade (we opted for a ginger-lime lemonade and an apple-mint-ginger smoothie
Everything on the platter was fresh, tasty and refreshing – a complete mini-meal. The chicken was hot, the salad, fresh fruit and drinks cold and the dried fruit and sweets at room temperature – perfect.
Our paninis arrived after we were done with the Ramzan Platter; frankly the iftar platter was filling enough but since we are fans of Mocca’s paninis we’d ordered them anyway. Each panini (grilled paprika-jalapeno panini for my friend and marinated grilled vegetable panini for me) was accompanied by a side of potato wedges encrusted with a paprika and rosemary coating, some crisp salad greens with sun dried tomatoes and black olives and some tangy aioli. Both paninis were deliciously crisp grilled with flavorful fillings but since we’d already had the Ramzan Platter, we could finish just half of our paninis and doggy bagged the leftovers for later.
Overall another pleasant experience at Mocca Coffee Gulberg. We stopped at the luscious patisserie on our way out and exited the café with a box of 8 different flavored macarons, the finest in Lahore in my opinion. Yum!
Note: This is not a sponsored post and I was not compensated by Mocca Coffee Gulberg in any way for it. The views expressed in it are entirely my own based on my experience.