Now the name might be pointing heads towards being a fancy American diner inspired by the Yankee life in the Big Apple and also denoted by the logo being the face of Lady Liberty, but New York Coffee is originally a Bahrain based café/restaurant with two of its chains right here in Karachi. The first one being at Zamzama and the second, and newer one being at Sindhi Muslim Society. Now, we will forgive New York Coffee’s slight confusion and their identity crisis due to the fact that we walked out of New York Coffee as satisfied customers which we are going to drone on about in our review below.
We visited the SMCHs branch with a growling belly and were surprised by the decor of the place. The place was widely spacious with black and white wooden flooring and walls and pops of red and orange color. The walls were decorated with picturesque scenes of Manhattan.
An attentive young waiter seated us on the marbled tables and gave us the menus. The menu was something which got us very excited, they had a vast menu with 13 pages of food filled gorey details, complete with food description and the best part was the addition of pictures to give the customers a good idea of what exactly to expect. There were endless options to choose from; omelettes, pancakes, waffles, pastas, grilled dishes, crepes, wraps, frappes, cappuccinos and other drinks.
After spending a good 15 minutes being lost in the menu, we decided to ask the waiter to simply tell us what their specialties were so we could order that and we actually did order those without any question, so in short we wasted 15 minutes just drooling over the menu, which was time worth wasting thanks to the visual and the taste buds stimuli.
We ordered the following dishes
1) Spicy Fajita:
This Fajita chicken was a proper sizzler platter with seared bell peppers, salsa, chopped onions and spicy sauce with lemon spark drizzled on the top giving it a perfect lemon zest flavor, paired with the char-coaled meat, and all of this was complete with the necessary loud sizzling platter noises for added dramatic effects.
2) Alfredo Pasta:
Honest confession: we ordered this pasta mainly because it was one of the economical dishes. The white sauce was creamy but a little bland, but we didn’t complain much (honest confession #2: no complains because we did save a few bucks on this one). The grilled chicken was ample enough, usually most places just throw in a strip or two of chicken in a pasta dish and think its enough. Here we had a big piece of chicken with the pasta and two crispy pieces of Garlic bread.
3) Mexican Pizza:
This dish is a huge hit at NYC, also being a classic example of a Tex-Mex styled dish, with a well cooked and thin, yet soft crust being crispy around the edges, with toppings of Mexican grilled chicken, capsicums, onions, jalapenos, mushrooms and lots and lots of gooey cheese and sauce. This pizza was fiery flavored and maybe that is the reason why it earned a few extra points from us.
4) Chicken Quesadilla:
This quesadilla looked more like a rip off of the Chicken cheese paratha. The tortilla wrap looked and tasted more like a ghee wala crunchy paratha instead of the soft flatbread and lightly grilled tortilla. It was stuffed with Chicken tikka flavored chicken and lots of mozzarella cheese. Now tell me if I’m not wrong, doesn’t that sound more like Baithak’s stuffed cheese paratha. I mean it was delicious and all, but where was the tortilla and the stuffing of beans, corn, chopped onions and tomatoes and salsa toppings, along with guacamole and sour cream dips? The dish was delicious but not entirely authentic.
5) Chicken Strips:
Again this dish was pretty good, with four juicy and fat strips coated and fried to a crisp all while retaining the succulent nature of the dish. They were served with cole slaw and and a dip.
Now my own verdict for the New York Coffee would be 8/10. But before going to New York Coffee, I asked around for suggestions from my friends and some of them were adamant on their negative reviews regarding the pricing which for me was around rs. 800 per head. Make it 1k if we had ordered dessert, which I think isn’t bad for the portion size and the food quality we got.
The only things I’d like to talk about here is the fact that people are not wrong when they talk about New York Coffee being over priced, considering the fact that they are going through an identity crisis. For a simple coffee house it is indeed expensive, but if they had established themselves as a fancy fine dining place, only then the prices would have been fair.
The other thing New York Coffee should improve on is the authenticity of Mexican and tex-mex food. The Quesadillas should have been authentic and the Mexican menu should be increased in variety and spiciness, which is something we Pakistanis crave for in our gossips and our food.