The weekends. A time which can turn out to be a collection of the laziest 48 hours or a time when you could go out and discover the greatness of good food. A restaurant which was much hyped about recently (within my own circle of family and friends mind you) was The Warehouse.
I don’t eat out much and mostly fall prey to the fast food joints that my fellow Pakistanis have seem to embraced with wide open arms. While some places are good, the majority are in the synthetic domain where the burger pattie clearly tastes like it was made of plastic. Fortunately The Warehouse was not such an experience.
The Warehouse-ish environment
The restaurant is not located very far off. Nor is it located down a creepy down road inside some strange old trailer but rather in the good old fashioned manner is right next to the newly built underground parking in the F7 markaz. This means that you can not only enjoy food but also have ample parking space! The restaurant hides itself away from the prying eyes of commercialized junk lovers and one has to go through the reference process to locate it. Which is simply a fancy of stating that the restaurant is hard to find but easy to locate if a friend or family member has already been there. They would be able to pinpoint the location for you much easily. The restaurant sits amidst two shops. Meat One and a place called CO-OP whatever that is. Seating space is located inside and outside the restaurant and a small cozy looking black board welcomes you to take bite out of the great food that is provided at the restaurant provides.
The restaurant from the inside has a very different look and feel from what you would find in most places. There is no ceiling and electrical and AC pipes are visible hanging from the roof. The floors have no tiles on them and are pure cement polished with a special chemical which seals them from water and gives them a marble like finish and shine. Finally, the kitchen is open. You can see everything that is being done to your food and how it is being prepared. The interior at first sight was complete and total love as the directly painted on unplastered brick walls spoke of an adventurous kind of entrepreneurship that spoke of doing something different without a fear of lashback. All the other restaurants I have been too have their interiors that are too over done. This is the first restaurant in the maybe the entire history of Islamabad that did not attempt to play it safe. And the experiment worked out perfectly, because maybe the guy or girl behind this restaurant had decided to focus on the one thing that matters – The Food!
Islamabadians need to understand that they go to a restaurant to eat the food and not the walls and the chairs! Atleast someone understood the idea. The good part is that the interior still looks superb and edgy and I can imagine how much lower the cost would have been to have had such an interior done from what is done traditionally. Nevertheless, whatever prompted this action regardless of it being pre-emptive planning or last minute budget cuts the thinking behind it was innovative and smart. I was beginning to like this place.
We walked into the restaurant navigating to a location beside the windows. This was the first time I was trying out the place and was here with a cousin. We had decided to skip lunch and head on here to determine what the cause of the hype was all about. We found a bunch of low seaters and were immediately stalked by a waiter who gave us a menu and inquired about what we would like to order. If you still haven’t understood what I was getting at,in restaurant terms this is a good thing. You want the waiter to stalk you (in the positive sense) and actually ask you about what you would like to have for the very purpose you came into the restaurant. When we arrived, the place was packed, this still did not deter the waiter from giving us the attention that was needed. Another aspect of the service was the open kitchen. The manner in which the food was being prepared and the utensils that were being used were all visible and the hygiene seemed to proper and in order. This is the most important part of a restaurant into which visibility only improves the experience of the customer and the repute of the restaurant.
Now comes the most critical part of the review. The food.We decided to order something off the menu after alot of deliberation called “The Pitmaster”. The menu wasn’t very complicated and wasn’t filled with every offering God has made for humans since the dawn of mankind as is the case,sadly, with some very good restaurants in Islamabad. The food item was double pattie beef burger with a side of fries and pickles. The food arrived in about 20 minutes or so, again, an ode to the great service, regardless of the restaurant being packed at that point. The food was eliminated from the plate in around 15 minutes or so. It was simply that great. Yes, a place where the burger pattie did not taste like synthetic rubber car tires are made from! The pattie was the right amount of done and the bread was soft and fresh. The pickles were fresh and the fries were excellently fried. It was as if the chef had known the secret formula to deep frying in terms of hours and amount of oil required. Never before was food so satisfying!
The expectation with most edgy places nowadays that have dotted themselves all over the city is that they will push a serious dent into your pocket. That assertion is not true with The Warehouse. The pricing is competitive with what most places have on offer and if you would pay PKR 700 for a meal at Hardees then your much better off paying a slightly lower figure for the Pitmaster at The Warehouse. When the food is good, the money feels well spent. Everything about the experience at The Warehouse was great and the best part about it all was that you don’t feel like a pretentious bag of dog poop when exiting the place (which is the most prevalent feeling you have even when exiting the bottom layer restaurants such as McDonald’s). You would actually feel like you have been given great value for your money and you would naturally recommend the place to friends and family.
If you live in Islamabad and haven’t been to The Warehouse then you should get out of your bat cave and head on over to The Warehouse which is located at the F7 markaz. It is not really hard to find. Right next to the PSO pump located in the markaz opposite to the side where Safa Gold mall is.
- The amazing interior
- The open kitchen
- The fresh food
- The seating arrangement
- The timings
- The Location9
- The Experience9
- The Food9.5
- The Service9