Veranda Bistro, Lahore

I’m back. Before saying anything else, let me apologize for the random hiatus from writing. Life has been busy and now that I’m virtually jobless (for a while and by choice hyuk), I have enough time to review a few restaurants. Expect a lot of blog updates in the near future, readers!

Apparently, Verandas Bistro is a restaurant chain in the US. Someone in Lahore came up with an unbelievably creative twist on the name and started Veranda Bistro, Lahore. Yes, a missing ‘s’. I’m pretty sure this isn’t one of the US chain’s branches in Lahore as the one in the US offers casual dining and a wine house. This one in Lahore offers one of the prettiest, ‘fine-dining’ set-ups I’ve come across in my 8 years in this city.

Veranda Bistro, Lahore. Courtesy - Saad Sarfraz Sheikh

My first impression of the place as soon as I arrived here for dinner last week was, “Damn”. The place has one of the most beautiful dining setups in Lahore. The theme is extravagantly classy and is achieved through expensive wood and glass work. And this is just the interior-dining area. The actual ‘veranda’ is even prettier and has this amazing Fire and Water combination theme with wood tables that suit the outside environment, umbrellas and all.

This is not an interior-designing blog though so let’s jump straight to the food. Having talked about the decor even while sitting there with a few friends and an American visitor, we all placed our order. Like always, I try my best to make everyone order something different at a new place so we can try out as much of the full menu as possible. I and Saad Sarfraz Sheikh (a dear friend and an outstanding photographer/journalist) ordered their Chicken Fettuccine, Hassan Qureshi (my best friend since 2002) ordered the Lasagna, Abbas Khattak (friend-having-bro-status-visiting-from-Islamabad) ordered a Lamb combination, the name of which I forget, and our dear gori ordered steak, a T-bone I suppose. Excuse my lack of knowledge on a few orders here. I was sitting far across the table and didn’t have time to focus on everyone’s order or inquire a lot.

Chicken Fettuccine - Saad Sarfraz Sheikh

Keeping it short, the food was below average, shockingly. It’s amazing how such an amazing-looking place, recently opened during a time when restaurants and cafes in Lahore are enjoying healthy competition for a while now, can come up with food that is so..mediocre. The Fettuccine tasted like a concoction produced by combining pasta and several packs of vegetable-flavored Slanty chips. That’s all I could say to describe it and Saad gleefully agreed. The Lasagna? It was served in a 3-inch diameter bowl that looked like the ones we use for baking muffins. To cover up for the ridiculously small serving of lasagna, it had been placed in a huge plate lined with a ruffled table napkin. And the lasagna tasted totally desi – I’ve had better lasagna at desi homes in Lahore actually. The only thing I actually enjoyed on the table was the complimentary bread served as soon as we ordered. Freshly baked, served with garlic-infused olive oil. Bliss.

As I didn’t get the chance to try the Lamb, I asked Abbas about it and he said it was pretty frikkin’ good. Considering though how Abbas is a complete lamb-lover and had failed to find decent lamb on the previous dinner we had at Salt n Pepper Village, I think his opinion was a little biased heh. I asked our gori how the steak was, and she serenaded about how Islamabad sucks and Lahore is where she’s finally gotten some amazing food. That statement is based on prior food-bomb experiences in Islamabad and is a little biased again LOL.

All in all, I think the food experience pretty much bombed for everyone. It was confirmed when we got the cheque- Rs. 12,000 for 7 people who ordered an entree and drink each, no starter or dessert. Sad, sad day for fooding. To save one of the newest additions to Lahore’s Restaurant repertoire however, I want to add that the veranda area is a must-visit if you are between 18-22 years of age and a Shisha-lover. Order their Shisha and some thin-crust pizza, which is NOT a single serving as the server might tell you (serves 3). They might even throw in a complimentary Pomegranate cooler to cheer you up.

Thank you for welcoming me back, readers. Do leave a comment if you agree or disagree with the post. Love. ❤

Summary: Veranda Bistro, Lahore. Great place for classy dining if your pockets are super-heavy and if your food judgment is clouded by previous food-bombing experiences. Must-visit for Shisha and thin-crust pizza.

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47 thoughts on “Veranda Bistro, Lahore

  1. Interesting review. I’ll definitely try the sheesha although I still haven’t found sheesha nearly as good as sheesha in Saudi. I have learned to manage my expectations though. And whats with the 18-22 age group for sheesha?

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    • Haha that was my own criteria, the 18-22 thingy lol. I feel I’m past the stage where I’d only go out for Shisha now, at least in Lahore.

      And yes, I haven’t found Shisha in Lahore better than what I had in Dubai either haha. But haan, guzara. You should forget all the Lahori places though and only go to Hot Fuzon for Shisha. Seriously. And ask Faisal to serve you. Great guy.

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  2. oh i knew abt this place way before it opened and offcourse cz i was told abt the amazing interior it wud have… (i stalk designs :/) and what i was xcited abt was that they wud have open air conditioned verandas… open as in open air… do they have that??
    and 12000 seriously?? u can get a nokia c3 in 12k… tough luck i wud say 🙂

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  3. Hehe, it felt like I’m sitting there and eating some of their not-so-good food! Good work bhai jaan!

    Are you serious about the lasagna being “served in a 3-inch diameter bowl that looked like the ones we use for baking muffins.” HADH!

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  4. Hey! I soo totally agree with you here. It was a major disappointment! For a second, it seemed a nice place. The interior was great, the prices were ok, but the food, uff tauba!
    I had to gargle all night to get rid of that terrible vegetable slanty flavoured pasta! Hell, Hotpot has better Al Fredo! :p
    Will send you pics of the food! Here’s the complimentary bread [http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs978.snc4/77148_10150319479350405_818325404_15626785_3856270_n.jpg] Hope it opens!

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  5. Great analysis!!!… Food was definitely below average but still a must visit for the sake of ambiance… I tried their chicken stuffed with cheese + toasted almonds… Somehow they served it with rice along with noodles?!! WTF!. I asked why the hell rice and noodles both? They said its their chef’s ‘creativity’! :p…

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  6. The food was okay and ambiance definitely worth the visit but Mr Kamran Shaikh, the owner, as he claims to be spoiled our evening when he came to tell my friend to sit straight as these were not table manners. In all these years we had never experienced something like this before and it was done to create plain nuisance value. The staff seem to be extremely cordial and well mannered until this happened which completely shattered the experience

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  7. That is shocking and weird, but I’ve seen the owner act really weird on other occasions too. He once screamed at a waiter for spilling a cocktail, for 5 minutes. In essence, it’s just a Rs. 100 glass probably and a spilled cocktail. The owner’s reaction was rather appalling, considering how the place has ridiculous prices on the menu already, and a tiny broken glass here n there is part of operating a busy restaurant.

    Thanks for the feedback, anon.

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    • yes definitly! i totally agree with u! i have been to that place and i had that buffet deal that they hav durin those hrs… and you wont believe sumthin but there was a dish some lamb in a gavvy which was suppose to taste like a continental dish and it tasted total bizzare and almost like desi nehari-!

      and the owner,, he is a freak and has some serious control issue… he embarrassed the waiter just bcuz tthe pencil that he wanted to use werent sharpened! and he stopped one man enterin into the restaurant juz bcuz he wasnt properly dressed up…. :S i mean that’s unfair… saw sumthin like this happenin in a restaurant for the first time…..!

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  8. yes! definitely! i totally agree with you all! i visited that place durin lunch hr and we had that buffet deal that they hav durin those hrs… u wont believe but there was a dish some lamb in a gravvy, which was suppose to be a continental dish but it totally tasted like a desi nihaari!

    and the owner is a total freak…. he embarrassed one of the waiter just becuz the pencil that he wanted to use wasnt sharpened.. and he stopped a man from enterin into the restaurant just bcuz he wasnt dressed up properly..i mean that was weird! saw sumthin like this for the first time….
    though ambience was nice.. but it was too crowded wen i visited that place with my friend…

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    • Thank you for your comments Anum. I think that’s just how some people manage a business, authoritarian and everything. I’m sure Veranda will learn from feedback and continue to cater to consumers in a better fashion.

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  9. yaar i read all comments and i just resentely got to know about this Res…. Well i am 22 🙂
    I saw pictures of res on some site and i am just searching a Rich friend to go there with me…who can afford a Rs.1500 minimum or Rs.1150 for a aftar party pir mai bhi aap sab ko bataonga…
    Well ager Zinger Acha Nahi Hai TO KHATAYYY QQQQQ HOOOOOOO LOLZ

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  10. Great and exact analysis…… must agree vd u ……Food was definitely below below average but still a must visit for the sake of ambiance…bt never again ….. I tried their steak 😦
    paid heavy price for no taste …… bt its upto us wt we actually prefer while dine in at any plc either it wz for the sake ov ambience or the taste lover chasing taste….

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  11. I have to agree with every single word of it I don’t know why did you forget to comment about the poor service! I had an idea about the pricing but I was expecting much better ambiance, service and especially the food from what I have been hearing from a lot of people but u fortunately it was very much below average! They had such a small menu for the lunch buffet and everything was finished. Completely worthless! Not at all value for money at all

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  12. Come and Enjoy the Best Traditional Bamian Cuisine presented with a Gourmet Flair and served in an Elegant and Casual Atmosphere for Very Reasonable Prices.
    This is a place for all who enjoy quality food in a very creative ambiance.
    The menu is a Unique Fusion of Balochi + Afghani dishes.
    The New restaurant has just been formed;
    1/2 km from Thokar Chowk,Opposite Rabbani Hospital;on the canal.
    The concept of Sitting Arrangement in khaimas(tents)is entirely a novel idea being practice at Bamian Restaurant,Lahore ;which is being admired moreover persuading people to just walk in and enjoy themselves in a, out of this world atmosphere while they have their mouthwatering food.

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