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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