Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Taste of Home Away from Home

Shan Foods Eid TVC by Showbizbuzz 

"woh maula sab ki sunta hai" the new heart touching TVC of Shan Masala going on viral is simply so wow!! 

This  emotionally intense 3 minutes trip to a world of memories, tears, many skipped heartbeats and nostalgia got over half a million views in less then two days and 35,000 shares.

Coordinating high school student exchanges since 2003, I can totally relate to this TVC. Its not only on Eid that we miss moms cooking and family feast, craving for the taste and flavour from home is part of living abroad specially in countries besides South Asia . 

Shan spices has been an all time life saver and of course help not only to overcome homesickness but also to cook traditional Pakistani dishes for our hosts and colleagues we visit during international travels. This new Shan TVC beutifully reflects the  emotions, love, the family bonding so specific to Pakistani values, and the food memories one associate with home all set with a melodious sufi influenced lyrics as playback ‘maula sab ki sunta hai’.

Cuisine are by all means number one strategy to exchange and experience cultures. Shan spices comes handy for all my exchange students who are teenagers. They cook a Pakistani meal on special occasions like Eids while living with American families and turn their moments home sickness into opportunities to share the rich Pakistani culinary tradition and culture with the natives connecting the world together as they connect with their homes and families .  The cool thing is those delicious Shan spice mix are found in grocery store in almost everywhere in the world where we have even a small number of Pakistani community and a Desi food store. Making us feel home away from home having us enjoy the taste of home and happiness  #KhushiyanChakhLo. 


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Pranzo-An Epicurean Surprise

I don’t like surprises but this one time pleasantly surprised and loved it to bits when I at random picked this new restaurant ‘Pranzo’ last evening and had truly a dinner night to remember forever. As I was looking for a place to take my daughter for a graduation treat, someone forwarded a Phegency promotional video of this place. I just picked phone and made reservation hardly ever thinking about it, considering it is easy to please kids, lets experiment with the new place.

 Wow it turned out an out of the world experience, the baroque style decor, the dreamy romantic chandeliers, the comfortable table settings,  the huge premises, high ceilings, and various levels and sections of seating including outdoors and indoors, all culminating into a beautiful overall uplifiting ambience that would linger on in our minds long after. Perfect setting for celebrations, unwinding or to just chilling out after a long day with friends and family.

Something I admired about the setting of Pranzo is that guests can have privacy and quiet dining experience even if the restaurant is full. The service is impeccable and the food is of course ravishing. Very few restaurants have such an extensive menu of  mutton dishes, and here we were digging our forks into tender juicy Lamb Shank, a huge rack of BBQ ribs drenched in awesome BBQ sauce, and creamy spinach shrimp pasta that is loaded with lots of medium sized shrimps that are just cooked to right tenderness and not rubbery as often the shrimp  dishes turn up.

Pasta Fettucinni in Spinach Sauce with Shrimps
Beside what we ordered the menu is extensive contained a range of meat dishes including seafood,  chicken, beef, mutton. A delicious selection of pasta and vegetarian entree is seen too. There were some great steaks on the menu too, will try them the next time.

BBQ Lamb Rack

I totally appreciate the generous servings unlike many fine dinning that has a morsel of food sitting at the centre of a huge plate. Yes we Pakistanis like our fine dining plates full, and Pranzo presented us  big plates laden with good sized servings right from salads, appetizers to main courses. All of this luxuries perfectly set amongst great music, looks like they had some international radio channel live streaming playing beautiful jazz that was aired all around on simply fantastic speakers giving the feel  as if there are live music playing somewhere.

The prices are moderate and justified, a three course dinner complete with fresh juices, we paid  5900/= for a dinner for three,  this includes the taxes and service fee/tip as well.

I had been limping with a hurting ankle for a week now, and finally got to unwind laugh and relax at this place. Yes Pranzo fit in my idea of fine dining in every way.

I have no clue when it is opened who conceptualized the idea or are the owners. But whoever it belongs to they  gave a great gift to us Karachiites.

‘Pranzo’! I see myself dining here many more times in the days to come. You are a KEEPER.

Note: These iPhone pictures all clicked in dark definitly did not do justice to the presentation and food we were served. 

Pranzo on Facebook

Location: Clifton-Karachi