A warm Sunday afternoon can be stifling in many ways, and a cool buzzing café can often be an antidote. And our antidote happened to be Cosmopolitan Café on Karachi’s E – Street, which is synonymous with eclectic boutiques, salons and hip cafés.
Given the recent chatter on social media, and having not been to Cosmopolitan since the day it opened, my family and I decided to get our own taste of the buzz. And when we walked in for a late breakfast, the place buzzed with the chatter of customers, the clatter of the kitchen, the hum of the coffee machine and the usual whining of young children.
It was only a matter of ‘food’ luck that we found a space at the far end of this eclectically designed, black and white, 60-seater establishment. Instead of taking you through the entire boring order taking and waiting routine, let me dive straight into food and take you through my ‘Impressive Scale’ rather than the sequence in which the dishes arrived.
The Ferrero Rocher pancakes were highly impressive. Sitting on a bed of pillowy whipped cream, four well-risen pancakes were sandwiched together by fluffy chocolate mousse and the final crown was a thick dark chocolate ganache with chopped nuts. One word – Fabulous!
Ferrero Rocher Pancakes – They could do with a name change because this heavily chocolate loaded stack did not taste of Ferrero or Nutella. Yet it rocked the boat.
Return Factor 9.5/10; Price Rs. 475
Next on my ‘Impressive Scale’ was the Italian Tartine which was served on a grey slate – a mozzarella studded panini bread with turkey bacon, accompanied by a folded plain omelette topped with delicious herb curd, tomato salsa and creamed spinach.
The Italian Tartine – Big helping, crispy cheese-filled delicious bread and creamed spinach with a brilliant blend. Too many flavours on one plate; no one will miss the turkey bacon if omitted.
Return Factor 9/10; Price Rs. 525
Jalapeno Poppers – Crisp, cheesy and sublimely fiery. Just five poppers seemed a bit lonely on the plate, even if they came as a starter; a couple more would have been ideal.
Return Factor 8.5/10; Price Rs. 375
Another platter with shareable portions was the New Yorker – thick palm-sized beef steaks topped with sunny yellow fried eggs. But this is not all; there was a corner of sautéed vegetable relish (aka potato hash) with sliced sausages and some hand-cut round potato chips.
The New Yorker – This manly meaty meal can be for those who are on the very famous protein marathon, but not for someone like me who is a complete rice lover.
Return Factor 7.5/10; Price Rs. 650
Hence I ordered the rice bowl stir-fried with seafood, beef bits and a poached egg. I was certainly surprised to see savoury rice being part of a breakfast menu and then thought back to my days in the Far East where rice was definitely a morning item.
The bowl was scrumptious with delicately cooked prawns and calamari and chilli flakes. Somehow I felt the beef chunks were intrusive to the entire bite and the jiggly poached egg seemed like a plonk of white jelly to me and so not required.
Mr. Chow – The dish had a variety of meats, yet the taste was delicately balanced. I will probably order this again on my next visit and ask for Chow sans the poached egg.
Return Factor 7/10; Price Rs. 725
It is a pity that I missed their yogurt parfait and Bircher Muesli; perhaps I was too excited about the pancakes, so a second visit is clearly on the cards, if not more.
Giving off a good vibe and buzzing with excited clients, this place is here to stay. Given its friendly and helpful staff, neat food and receptive owners, Cosmopolitan is slowly building up a regular clientele. With decent food portions marked with reasonable prices, my only request to them would be not to over-stimulate the client with so many players on one plate. Whilst the plating of food is simple and clean, the protein choices in one dish get a bit overwhelming.
Address: C-33 Main E Street, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi
Phone: +92 21 35290156
Opening Times: Mon-Sun, 8:00 am – 12:00 am
Saadia Tariq is an avid foodie, blogs at www.capturebyst.com and can be followed on Twitter @capturebyst