Islamabad has undergone drastic change since a few years now. New contemporary dine outs are mushrooming here and there, exhibiting magnificent interior decor with hip hop music that makes you compromise on price or quality of food. But what we miss the most is Sheesha.
Absurd as it may seem, Sheesha was one of the main reasons why 99% of youth hung out at food outlets. There were a couple of very good eateries that failed to survive once Sheesha was banned, at least from what the youth gossip of the Capital says.
To add to our misery, comes the construction of the great Metro (which I do hope makes travelling easier for us), and now the prolonged Azadi March. No one can imagine our misery; on one side the city is dug out for Metro bus service while on the other side of town millions have marched in to protest against existing government.
It was during one of these days, my friend and I decided to drop by at the ‘Jalsa’ to have an insight into what’s actually going on. Honestly, once we were there all I begged the good Lord was for some peace and serenity. We decided to hit our favorite spot Rendezvous, located in Gol Market F7/3. Rendezvous has been our favorite restaurant since college days. It was one of the top places where we hung out more than often for snacks, chit chat and Sheesha. Even though some eateries lost its young customers since the ban of Sheesha, Rendezvous remains in spotlight due to its multi-cultural cuisine, quality of food and price.
Divided into three main sections; the Café on the ground floor is famous among the younger crowd. The café with comfy chairs of dark wood is recommended for those who want a quick snack or a quick cup of coffee. The fine dining upstairs with its classy appeal is for a rather sophisticated clientele, but outdoor is, of course, for Bar-B-Que and for those who like to be closer to nature.
That evening, we decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the city by dining upstairs. The avant-grade interior décor not only added elegance to its aura and ambiance, it engulfed us in a wave of serenity. Downstairs, as I noticed, the café was full of crowd that refused to divorce themselves from politics, and dragged the topic with them whistle enjoying their snacks.
We ordered our favorite food from the menu; Blue Margarita with Tex Mex Nachos and Lebanese Grilled Chicken. My Tex Mex Nachos were made of crisp tortilla chips covered in cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, fresh jalapenos, salsa sauce and sour cream. Lebanese Grilled Chicken looked tempting, and it was all the more tempting since my friend refused to share it with me. The dish that I have had before is made of boneless chicken with skin, marinated in Arabic spices and some special sauce – served with rice and Salad. We grubbed the meal fast, but it was so filling we couldn’t finish chocolate fudge cake we ordered for dessert. Well, the best part is that we qualified for a lucky draw that might help us win free hair styling services at a renowned salon.
We felt relieved- away from the chaos of the city, and after a befitting meal we felt all geared up. The ‘Jalsa’ had left us all drained out. Although I wish we had Sheesha too, which Rendezvous stopped serving as soon as the government banned it, the quality of food and overall aura and ambiance of the restaurant once again won my heart. – By Ch Muhammad Saboor