Marco Polo - Pearl Continental Hotel , Karachi
Named after one of the greatest voyagers of all time, MarcoPolo is one from among many restaurants housed by the Pearl Continental Hotel chain in Pakistan. For over a decade it has been tantalizing the taste buds of its guests, with exotic dishes from various countries of Marco Polo’s travels as well as local Pakistani cuisine. With a considerably large seating capacity of 165 people, the restaurant is extremely accommodating and lively at the same time. Adequate lighting, plants on the sides and paintings of ancient civilizations coupled with contemporary patterns and paneling on walls lends the place a semi casual and warm feel. The tables are well spaced out, making sure that the guests don’t feel cramped. Marco Polo serves all meals throughout the day, from breakfast to lunch, Hi tea in the evening and dinner, to supper at night.
It is most famous for its Sunday brunch buffet though. You and your family/ friends can enjoy a laid back Sunday brunch for Rs.1195 (plus tax) per person. You can feast to your heart’s content on a mouthwatering array of delicacies from fresh salads to a sizzling hot selection and delectable desserts whilst relaxing to the sounds of live music. The place is generally crowded during the brunch hours every Sunday afternoon. The guests are usually with families or in a group of friends, from varying age groups, lending the space a nice welcoming atmosphere for all.
(Hi-Tea at the MarcoPolo)
Guests are presented with a huge variety to choose from at the Sunday brunch. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself confused about where to start from. Some people like starting off with the breakfast items , as one can choose from a variety of cereals, croissants, muffins, breads, French toast and pancakes. The guests can also get their customized egg made live as per their very own specifications, whether that is a Pakistani omelet, a cheese mushroom omelet or a fried/scrambled egg. A whole range of fresh juices, as well as the traditional Lassi is also present.
Others prefer starting off with salads, before attacking the grand offerings. The fresh salad counter is rather extensive with a choice of assorted salads. The Chicken Hawaiian Salad and Mexican Mixed Beans Salad are the most devoured ones. The grand offerings include a whole range of options. Traditional Pakistani cuisines which are lined up include, on most days, Nihari, Paya Curry, Biryani, Balti Gosht and Chicken Karahi among others. Brain Masala, considered an essential item at brunch buffets by many, is also present and is definitely more than fulfilling. Offerings like Vegetable Chowmein, Prawn Tempura, Grilled Chicken, Halwa Channa, Chicken Sajji, Seekh Kebab and Chicken Boti among others are also present.
At the live pasta counter, there is usually a rush of people waiting in queue to get their preferred pasta cooked and served into their plates. An interesting concept at Marco Polo’s brunch is of having a separate kid’s table, considerably lower in height to encourage kids to help themselves with their servings. The kids menu has Beef Sausages, Finger Fish, Scrambled Egg, French Fries and Spring Rolls lined up. An extensive range of desserts is available, with the White Chocolate Peanut Butter Scotch, the Chocolate Brownie with the White Chocolate topping, and the traditional Kheer clearly stand outs.
The showstopper dish of the Sunday brunch however is the Tawa Fish which is freshly fried at the live counter. It is an original Balochi recipe made from spices and herbs from that province. Fried to perfection, the hot savory Tawa Fish is mouth wateringly delicious. The Seafood Thermidore is extremely delectable too and deserves a special mention. The Sunday brunch at Marco Polo can be classified as an enjoyable and satisfying experience.
At regular times, the A La Carte menu is on and it has some exciting options. Among the appetizers the Scottish Smoked Salmon which is served with Melba toast is highly recommended. Among the main entrees Grilled Pomfret, Lobster Thermidore, and Grilled Lamb Chops are the most sought after. They also have a special seasonal fruit menu available that is worth trying. Currently doing the rounds is the special orange mania seasonal menu, which includes a range of orange related beverages and desserts.
In the beginning I mentioned how Marco Polo was a great traveler and the restaurant’s menu reflected the cuisines of various places where he had been to. Additionally, he was an influential writer as well. Interestingly enough the first page of the menu narrates the story of Marco Polo in exquisite summarized writing. So if you plan to know more about him over food in a warm welcoming environment, you know where to look.
Posted by WAQAS ATHER SAEED on January 29, 2012