the warehouse cafe

The Warehouse Cafe is located in Y block, DHA next to Iron Box. When we parked our car, the first thought that struck me was the oddity of the location, because in the past I’ve seen many restaurants open and eventually close down – the general consensus of the Pakistani awaam is/was that, the property, lane, building etc is cursed, BUT let’s hope this notion is proven false by this new eatery in town!

If you’ve been to The Warehouse Cafe in F6 Islamabad, then let me tell you that this is not even close to that in terms of menu, interior and approach – which is a good thing. The three partners who have jumped on this venture to offer Lahore the best in food and customer service have tried to adapt to the taste of LAHORI’S by making a few tweaks here and there, and run like a stand alone food den!

When you enter The Warehouse Cafe, you see a drinks bar and there are seats for groups of 2 to 4 and 6 people. The place, to an extent, exudes rustic vibes with wooden tables and chairs, and with a few nuts and bolts stacked in the tables with the ground floor being the main area. Then there are stairs that you up to an open balcony with bar-like seating so you can take a good look at the view (perfect to host a day time party), and then there’s a another room for the boys to hang in and play some pool. I’m pretty sure that I heard Mohammad say that soon they’d have a fooze ball table for the girls as well!

Since I couldn’t meet the other 2 partners, but we spent ample time with Mohammad who was kind enough to share his vision with us. He’s a business student who’s open to suggestions, critique and improvisation – an approach not that many young entrepreneurs have! They have a great team of people on board who have been trained well and their Head Chef comes with a lot of experience so he clearly knows what he’s doing. And after my visit last night, The Warehouse Cafe is on my radar and will, hopefully, prove to be a next popular eatery!

THE STARTER

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SPUD POTATOES WITH GARLIC BREAD

They had a small but nice variety of appetizers so I didn’t  have to think a lot before I ordered the Spud Potatoes with Garlic Bread and I loved it. The quantity and over all presentation was really good, however there were minor negatives to it. For eg. the bread a bit too hard to bite, perhaps a little touch of extra butter would have been nice and if they the mayo in the potatoes was replaced with sour cream would add for zing to the flavour

RATING: 3.5/5

MAIN COURSE

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SMOKED BURGER & RIB EYE STEAK

The Smoked Burger was sheer perfection and I made sure that I personally thank the Head Chef. There were 3 layers of meat: fried chicken, beef patty and chicken bologne packed with a chunk of chedder cheese, onions and lettuce. Loved the fact that the usual coleslaw was replaced with a small side salad with green/black olives, caramelized onions, lettuce and a sauce. The best part is that it was extremely fulfilling and and called a Smoked Burger for a reason since every single layer of meat had that smokey effect.

RATING: 4/5

The Rib Eye Steak didn’t come through to our expectations. First of all it was served to us at a wrong temperature, we asked for a medium rare but it was well done, the sauce was just your plain old bbq sauce with onions thrown in it, the sauted carrots were slightly raw and the steak was served in a sizzler plate which made it very difficult to eat. The meat tasted just alright, BUT I would not not go there again and give another steak a shot. Everything’s learnt through trial and error.

RATING: 2.5/5

DESSERT

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NEW YORK CHEESE CAKE

After a very long time, I had a cheese cake that reminded me of the ones we used to have at Masooms Cafe in the GNC plaza. Their New York Cheese Cake was velvety and suede-like with a dense texture, just too perfect, with a tangy and almost sweet cream cheese and I got taste of that at The Warehouse Cafe. So, will I go have it again? Of course! And if this one dessert is so good, I wonder what the others would taste like!

RATING: 4/5

DRINKS

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APPLE & GINGER, ORANGE & POMEGRANATE CHILLER

Fresh, bursting with flavour and chilled. You’d think that they’d disappoint you by adding a punch of crushed ice or ice cubes clunking to each other, which normally restaurants do, but these Chillers complimented our meals.

RATING: 3.5/5

THE VERDICT

Over all, The Warehouse Cafe is a must visit. Sounds repetitive but I’m glad my order taker knew what each dish was about, how it was made and the etiquette to serve (a steak) – the kind of meat, which part it was and how old it was etc. The ambiance is cool and casual, the wait staff is polite and efficient, and I heard that the management has a surprise in store for their customers very soon! So, give The Warehouse Cafe a go and let us know what you thought about it!

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