When reviewing a restaurant on my personal blog, I do it for the kicks. That should be evident since the first one I ever reviewed was a fast food joint. Who wants to sit there and read on & on about some boring restaurant and a load of boring comments on food that someone else ate? I couldn’t do it. I don’t encourage it either. When I want to read a restaurant review, I visit a site built to serve that intensive purpose. Just kidding, read my restaurant reviews.
Due to the fact that I have ridiculed the honorable name of Pakistan so much, it is only fair that I mention something wonderful about it. Even if it’s only relatively so, although it isn’t.
With that said, here is a brief account of my trip to one Cafe Aylanto, conveniently located on M.M. Alam Road in the Gulberg area of Lahore along with every other restaurant in Pakistan. Seriously. If it’s a restaurant and it’s not on M.M. Alam, prepare yourself for an introduction to gastrointestinal problems you couldn’t pronounce in a decade. Pro tip: you can never prepare yourself for such things.
If you are intimidated by giant front entrances, you will love this place. It was like driving into my own room, except that this time my room offered valet parking. In the afternoon. How awesome is that?
The host greeted us with a smile and walked us past the family hall, dedicated to groups with children, into the more intimate and busier dining hall. Past that would have been their alfresco seating which I never got a good look at, but would be a wonderful setting come winter time. I happily accepted a table and chair, for the sofas and high tables always seem so awkward. I don’t like being at eye level with my food. It’s just weird. Always feel like it’s staring back at me.
As the server brought out a soft, fresh baguette we had decided to order a room temperature bottle of water for myself and a piña colada for the lady, non-alcoholic of course. The baguette was served with a delicious spread, garnished with just the right amount of herbs.
Aylanto offers a variety of menu options, conveniently categorized by the type of cuisine and meat. The pancake incident at a different time and different place had left us feeling a bit insecure about our expectations. Despite being worried about ordering steak and receiving a meatloaf, we decided to order a chateaubriand steak with bearnaise sauce and a flame grilled tenderloin with stroganoff sauce & pasta. By the way, they had kobe beef burgers on the menu. I just couldn’t bring myself to trust them with it. I would now, and here’s why: their steaks were absolutely off the hook!
The chateaubriand tenderloin, cooked medium well to all of it’s scrumptious perfection made me believe in God. No man could have come up with this recipe. The creamy, smooth béarnaise sauce was worth the blasphemy. This must be the fifth or sixth steak I’ve had in my last three years in Pakistan. All of them in Lahore I believe, out of which two of the best were at Gunsmoke & Salt n’ Pepper. I detest their unavailability in my area. Seriously. Not ONE joint in Mirpur that serves a beef steak.
Anyhow, the other steak we ordered was just as delicious, if not better. I only got to take one bite out of flame grilled tenderloin with stroganoff sauce for this review’s sake. My fiancee did, ever so graciously, offer me the left over pasta which came with it though. She also insinuated that I ordered the better of the two steaks and screwed her out of the easier-to-cut chateaubriand, but I had nothing to do with that. I knew just as much about the place as her and anything else you hear her say is pure propaganda. She is tiny, she would have had just as much trouble with the chateaubriand.
Yes, I am starting to add my own little copyright stamp to my pictures because they are awesome and I deserve whatever credit I can get for them.
For dessert we shared a tiramisu. Lady fingers never tasted any better.
This is almost unnecessary, but just so that we’re clear:
Value for Price: ★★★★★