Archive for July, 2006

Guess Where?

GUESS what? It is a scene from a katchi abadi, but right in the centre of ‘Islamabad the beautiful’

Enjoyin!

Federal Health Minister Muhammad Nasir Khan dances with a foreign lady at a musical function at Lok Virsa late Sunday night … :D

Noori gonna rock Isloo…

Noori is coming to rock Islamabad on the 21st of this month at Islamabad Marriott.

Wanna rock-n-roll?

Call 111-22-33-44 [Marriott Islamabad reception] and check for ticket availibility.

PS. Tickets cost Rs. 500 each!

Espresso Lounge

If you’re looking for a dim-lit, intimate rendezvous with a small group of people, then the Espresso Lounge in King’s Arcade, Jinnah Super (Behind the Shell Petrol Pump) is the place for you. As the name suggests, it is basically a coffee house with a seating capacity of around a 25 people at the max. offering some variations of the beverage itself along with an average selection of appetizers, desserts and snacks. On an average you could pay up to 300 rupees for a cup of coffee (Espresso, Latte, Mocha, Cappuccino etc.) and a dessert or aperitif (Apple Pie, Brownies, Cajun Chips, Wings etc) which is okay considering that you

What makes Espresso Lounge ‘THE” point for my friends and me is the ambience. It seems like it is a little way away from the world, closeted away in a basement. Leather sofas are grouped in settings of 4 to 6 around glass tables, each enclave lit with mellowed lights. A television is on at all times but whatever is on has nothing to do with the music that streams from mounted speakers around the seating area.

It could pass muster for an old fashioned jazz lounge, minus the jazz since most of the time the music is quite up to date. The selection on the menu is limited but it is the fun kind of finger food or comfort food (as far as the desserts are concerned) which a person can nibble on while sitting and chatting it up with a good group of friends.

(p.s. I hope I’m not infringing on anyone’s territory here. It’s just that I’ve been there thrice in the last 2 weeks with my friends and was just wondering about why there of all places? Cheers! :) )

Cranes after Rain

Cranes swooping on a wetland on the outskirts of Islamabad after Thursday night’s heavy downpour … Looking beautiful naa :)

Floody Situation

The low-lying areas of Gujar Khan are inundated after the first monsoon rain … !

Munchies blue area and Olive Tree

yesterday , i had a long confused food search at blue area… My flat mate wanted to have something good at night so we went to Blue Area to find something good..

RED ONION
The initial idea was to have a Red Onion Pizza..Red Onion is near Savour Foods..Their Pizzas are great..really great..infact one of the best i have ever had..but they come in pairs..they have their BUY ONE GET ONE FREE offer ..and they are a bit expensive…you get 2 medium size (8 inch) pizza for Rs.520…(i am not good in measuring ..its just by chance that i remember the size this time..:) ) .My flat mate considered it too less for that amount.. so from there a search started ; a search that made us go to Rahat , a new Munchies spot, Rehmania Restaurant ,Lasania , Jehangir, Olive Tree and finally Haleem Ghar.Of these , I will only talk about the two new ones.

MUNCHIES BLUE AREA
(not to be confused with MUNCHIES, Super Market)

It is a newly opened place in front of Rahat..at the back of Mobilink Office…..i am not really sure wether it is really assoicated with the main Munchies in F-6 Super Market or not..a friend says it is and it seems that they are , cause they offer nearly all the things that you get from Munchies F-6.. On menu they have paratha rolls , chaats, burgers , sandwitches etc…An addition to the menu is Salad..a Rahat Bakery style salad…at the same price.. ..

Like the Super Market ones, this Munchies too has no proper sitting area……and there are very few seats and tables in their open air arrangement….so its a kind of place where you usually end up having food in your own car..

A good thing about this Munchies is they are 24 hours OPEN…so its a good thing to keep in mind for those who live a vampirish life style..

OLIVE TREE

(not to be confused with OLIVE GARDEN, F-7)

I also visited Olive Tree last night …Its near Jehangir and Lasania….They offer a buffet dinner only….No La Carte yet….They inaugrated on 8th July ..and they will start offering La Carte and other services (probably delivery too) gradually…Since they are new , they ask every passer by to at least browse their dishes…and yaar! do i ever reject any such offer?? :) They had all pakistani dishes..who not onlylooked good…but tasty..and..mouth-watering..

The ambience….well its not a very beautiful place, if you are ambinece sensitive….It doesnt seem that they have put any efforts in designing the eating area…With too bright lights in the hall and no partitioning walls, it seems they are not even conscious of the design..

The buffet price is Rs. 349..including taxes..I might try it sometime.. its just that.. i am a kind of guy who prefers to prepare properly before buffet dinners…..by having no lunch… :)

Thats all..now i request all of you to pray fora quick recovery of my disordered stomach.. as i gotta attend a friend’s birthday tonight… :)

Traffic Non-Sense

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Why have we as Islamabadites completely lost any semblance of traffic sense, provided we had it in the first place. The ever increasing traffic and our day to day documented failure to deal with its pressures are apparent every time you get out on the road.

There are clear deliniations of lanes and turns and yet at any average traffic light, you will find cars squeezing into spaces near the kerb and making up a 4th and at times 5th lane just to get by quickly. In fact if you’ve seen intersections where the turnings have been marked out, you’ll see drivers taking a left turn onto the perpendicular and then a left from the middle of the road just to go straight down the road they were on hust to avoid stopping at a red light. (Try and follow the sequence of the turns… am sure you’ll get it)

And then what is it with us and bloody cell phones? Why is it that we have to receive an urgent call or make one just as the lgiht turns green and we get to go?

I’m not discussing the hazards that are posed by bus, taxi and van drivers in the city or even the bicyclists, although God knows they all deserve a kick in their respective seats but about ordinary people like you and me. The reason I mention it is because I know myself to exceed the speed limit on roads where I know there is no monitoring or at night when the speed cameras don’t work, just as I know myself to cross a red light when I know there will be relatively less traffic.

The onslaught of cars on the road has brought with it the stress, tension and short tempers but has also unfortunately, brought out an inherent carelessness and recklessness in Islamabad that stems from our failure to understand the magnitude of change in the temperament and feel of the city as a whole.

However, it is no excuse to be irresponsible especially when people like you and me who call ourselves educated, and who have awareness of traffic rules in general partake in such blatant disregard of the few laws we have in our state.

Savour Foods

Savour foods is located in the blue area near Saudi Park Tower..Its marks the ending (or may be the starting) of the so called Food street of the blue area…It is a heaven for chicken pulao (a rice dish) lovers..once a little shop in pindi , Savour has now grown to a big name that has total three branches in the twin cities..two are in Pindi..and this one big three story branch in Islamabad and they have done that just by maintaing good quality of only one dish..Presently they also provide fast food and ice cream but the main dish remains the Pulao.. I am not a rice lover and usually dont give it much lift in presence of other dishes,but Savour is different ; it has the power to make me change my eating priorities :) .. The only thing bad about Savour is they do not have any Home Delivery services…though they do have very excellent Parcel services..

Because of its location and taste savour attracts a lot of office people at the lunch timing…you find a swarm of people at both the lunch and the dinner times..they have two very big halls (i am bad in measuring spaces but trust me , they are really big :) )..and most of the times you have to wait for a while to find a seat for you…but the service is always quick …and you do get enough refills.. most of the times you dont even have to ask for it…..

Besides its great quality , one thing that distincts Savour from many other restaurants is the affordability of food… You can give a very generous treat to your friends…and I assure you that the bill will hardly touch Rs. 100 per head…so do mark Savour as a must visit food spot in your list…

Books Haunts

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As with its other haunts Islamabad has some treasure troves hidden away in its corners for the most ardent of book lovers. From classic literature to the most basic of all fiction, from serious political analysis and reviews to lifestyle; and from professional to the basest of the beauty magazines, lots of stores cater to the most discerning and non discerning of palates.

If you have the money, browse and spend to your will on new books at Saeed Book Bank in Jinnah Super or at the London Book Co. in Kohsar Market. There are always options of Book Fair (Jinnah Super), Book Town (F-10 Markaz), Mr. Books and Mr. Books Too (Super Market) but the first 2 stores hold a far better inventory than the rest.

Saeed Book Bank is by far the largest store in Islamabad at present and has a huge collection of reading material on any subject and is helped further by having a handy terminal that allows you to check the availability of any title. London Book Co. is a little smaller, and far more personal with a tiny coffee shop on its first floor with a pretty good stock of international magazines and newspapers.

For those like me, strictly on budget, we have options of various old books shops in the city. The Jumbo Book Sale in Jinnah Super (Near Ufone Office) has the hugest collection of books new and old at very affordable prices. Check out the stock I bought last night. :) It’s run by the same people who run the Old Book Shop located at the Back side of Jinnah (Near the shoe stores) so you can be sure that you’ll get a reasonable rate. I should know since I’ve literally gone from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Archie Comics to Robert Ludlum and Archie Comics browsing in that same store. The interesting thing is that relatively recent titles and acclaimed books are also available at a fraction of the price of a new one and they are in pretty good condition. The only thing to be careful about and that is when buying older titles of fiction especially is to make sure that the photocopied pages are at least complete but there are plenty of copies available so you do find a complete book. But make sure you have the time to browse.

Another note, the old book shops in Jinnah Super itself, especially the one next to Kim Mun Restaurant and the one next to Cake Palace seriously and horrendously overcharge even for pirated and copied versions so watch your selves.

Happy Readings!

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