Polo Lounge located in the middle of Polo playing area of the Racecourse Park has an ideal backdrop in summers and winters. In the evening one can enjoy the meals with polo being played in the background. The horses galloping and jockeys showing their skills are an interesting watch while enjoying the food or having tea. The restaurant has a wonderful charm with pictures of polo being played and of polo players adorning the unfinished brick walls. Decoration pieces of wood depicting polo game make the environment more charming.
Recently Polo Lounge introduced its new summer menu, which Sunday Plus had an opportunity to taste. The menu has been introduced by chef Aneela, who is sister of Hina Rabbani Khar the owner of Polo Lounge. Chef Aneela has been trained at various leading London restaurants which include Gordon Ramsay, Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir, Le Caprice, Nahm, Eight Over Eight & Novikov's Brompton Brasserie. The new menu is a skillful blend of East and West serving inspirational dishes from all corners of the globe including adventurous soups & salads, a selection of Asian fusion seafood and delectable entrees made with organic chicken.
“Since I have not lived in Pakistan for the last 10 years, therefore, my palette is different. I live in London and there you need cheese and other stuff that is not readily available here. This is the reason I have avoided cheese infused dishes in the menu.
Lahore is home to the best food items one can come across anywhere in the world. Lahoris food palette is varied and rich like the heritage of city, which has deep rooted traditions of different civilizations. The city has many buildings that remind us of the days of British raj. Fine dining in a colonial setting can still be experienced and the best place is Polo Lounge in the Racecourse Park. The food served at the beautiful rustic place is best that goes well with the ambience.
“Pakistanis do have a palette for Thai food. They don’t have palette for Italian and French food,” Aneela was of the view.
We were served with the chef’s special five course dinner starting with the aromatic Vietnamese fish and prawn soup, which was very delicious. It was served with garlic cheese bread. The start was very refreshing and the five course meal throughout remained as such. The spicy prawn pomelo salad and red curried grilled tiger prawns as appetizers were great. Thai mai beef and chili prawn stir fry were awesome. The summer menu also includes spinach and asparagus soup, strawberry and feta cheese salad, broccoli and crispy chicken salad, Thai fish cakes with peanut chili cucumber dip, salt’n pepper squid, Buddha chicken, green pesto chicken, mediterranean chicken and green cury chicken.
Polo Lounge restaurant uses organic and natural ingredients. “Good food is all about ingredients. The only problem one faces as chef in Pakistan is ingredients. For example you would not get fresh mushrooms here. We get all the stuff imported. In UK, USA and other countries soft shell crab is readily available. Here the fish vendors did not even know about it. All over the world the trend that is going on in good restaurants is almost the same. In Pakistan, however, some things are still not available,” Aneela said while talking to us after the sumptuous dinner that we had. The restaurant had a lot to offer in its dessert menu but I settled for green tea that was served hot. The service at the restaurant was good and very professional. Polo Lounge is a good place for meetings and family get-togethers. Its summer menu definately should not be missed by foodies.Published in The Nation newspaper on 25-May-2014