A first look into Lahore | Pakistan Today

A first look into Lahore

LAHORE – As the plane hit the tarmac at Allama Iqbal International Airport, every possible frame of reference vanished and only as I stood in line – the board read women but for some reason there were only men – at the visa counter, did the full might of my decision hit me. Getting married was one thing, following the man of your dreams to Lahore was quite another. So, as the early morning clouds of the Lahori dust rose in puffs to greet me, I tried my best not to think of what I had left behind and decided to dive head first into life in Lahore. What came thereafter have been laughter, tears and food, mountains and mountains of food.
This column is a collection of our eating experiences – the Lahori style! The MOD (Man of my dreams) decides to follow the ‘dive in head first theme’ and so in the hope of achieving an ‘ethnic experience’ the crew are bundled into the car and we set off for a day of exploring the old city with its beautiful mosques, breathtaking fort and colourful markets. And as the sun begins to set we realise that the MOD still had one up his sleeve. Nestled cosily near Heera Mandi, Cuckoos has all the trappings of a fairytale including the Allahdin-style view of the Badshahi Mosque. As you enter the multi-storied building, which itself is an art piece, you cannot help but notice the enchanting art pieces and decor.
After all the restaurant is owned by Iqbal Hussain, a well-known Pakistani artist. There are sculptures and antiques scattered all around the dining area, and the sounds from the water features add to the chilled out atmosphere. The main restaurant itself is on the top two floors and the food is ferried up the little turrets by a unique pulley system from the street below. The night sky as a ceiling makes Cuckoos the perfect romantic night-eating-out choice. The menu is Pakistani and the service staff is eager to serve and wear smiles throughout the evening. There are heaters available for the colder nights and soothing music plays in the background. The food is fresh and therefore worth the wait. The ‘naan’ is puffy golden brown and the Karahi is cooked to perfection.
The kebabs are well spiced and the traditional desserts are complemented by the well-brewed Kashmiri chai. The prices are a bit steep but the toilets are clean and well kept (a bonus for Lahore). The ambiance is warm, cosseted, artistic and full of flair, the four of us had a blast. We ate and chatted and joked and even were carried away enough by the vibe to begin singing – out of tune of course. Cuckoos is a total sensory experience with views of the profane and the sacred vying for your flavour as you satisfy your appetite. And as the beauteous ladies on canvas and the magical view of the mosque bid us farewell, it really was as though we were stepping of a magic carpet ride. Cukoos receives 8 for the kebaabs on the 10 scale. A must do again for the food looters.

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  1. Rashid Motala said:

    An excellent, well written piece with beauteous explanation.

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