Lahore has been decidedly lacking an authentic Thai cuisine restaurant ever since Lemon Grass was abruptly shut down. As a big foodie, I must admit I have found an answer in the form of a quiet, unpretentious place on MM Alam road that has freshly opened. Trust me, it is worth the wait.
Called Jing, the said eatery is the brainchild of Marium Saquib who has a hugely popular Veranda Bistro to her credit.
Being in the food business for many years now, it was inevitable that I went to the place expecting nothing short of fireworks. Not to forget, my daughter’s thirteenth birthday made our visit even more special.
As you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by reds, blacks and whites that are part of its beautiful décor. Add to it a casual diner, with cabins on the side that make for comfy seating, and a marbled bar for drinks, and you have a place that has you excited already. Wait, as there is more space upstairs!
One mostly connects Thai food with healthy eating which it is, thanks to its harmonious blend of spices, and the subtle sweet-and-sour taste that is gratifying for the stomach as well as for the eyes and nose. After we made ourselves comfortable, we were served a menu card that had enticing stuff to offer, enough to aggravate our hunger pangs.
Eventually, soups came piping hot and full of favours, exactly as promised. For the information of the first-timers, the menu offers a great variety and there is sufficient focus on aroma, freshness and handpicked ingredients. We were told that the ingredients are all sourced from an organic farm. Well, it showed in the quality of food and a distinguishable taste.
I wouldn’t recommend the place to those who are in a rush, as it is likely to give a slow start to your day. An easy lunch with friends and/or family makes this an ideal spot, though.
Food is served in small ceramic bowls and platters in vibrant colours. The portion of appetisers is quite small in comparison to the prices they come at. However, it makes for a hearty serving in the main dishes.
The service is quick and efficient. Our table was filled with dishes that we had ordered in no time. So, we requested to be served individually in order to avoid the table from cluttering.
Coming back to the food, each dish tasted well; the spices were kept to the level that they remain digestible without being too overpowering.
After having tried Szechuan and the trademark Tomyum Goong Soup we decided to skip the salad and ordered Wasabi Prawns and Duck Wontons that had a crispy crust and a delicious stuffing inside.
Unlike most restaurants, the vegetables had been cut into bite size which actually helps you to savour the food and make it convenient to eat.
Chicken pad Thai, in my opinion, is Jing’s must-try item, and so is tamarind fish which they offered covered in a generous sweet and tangy sauce. Next in line was Chicken Terryaki but the dish that completely won us over was Crispy Fried Beef done to perfection. Glazed in honey and sesame sticky sauce, this was the star dish of the day, as we learnt.
Jing’s dessert menu didn’t have much to offer; only Movenpick ice-cream was available. We ordered fizzy drinks and lychee smoothie from the list, and these turned out to be very refreshing.