Estrela by Orrery

by - 8:20 PM

Other than hitting the nail on the spot with bringing Kareena Kapoor and many other Bollywood stars in their TV Commercial, the owners of the infamous Q-mobile launched a French restaurant by the name of "Orrerry" in Karachi, Pakistan on the 10th of January 2014.

Orrery sprouted along Clifton Block 4, previously known for being a residential area is now quickly turning into a fine dining food street (along with a few parlors in case you need a makeup touch up or a blow dry before lunch/dinner).

BACKGROUND:
Orrery is inspired by the French Restaurant of the same name in London. Zeeshan Akhtar Qureshi is the man behind this experiential 3 in 1 Fine dining concept. One Place, 3 levels, 3 different food experiences:

1. Estrela
2. Cafe Ocoa
3. O'Grill


The Restaurant: "Like the intricate cosmological model that lends its name, Orrery is redolent with attention to detail and elegance. An Orrery is the ancient mechanical model of the solar system device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moon. Our restaurant taking inspiration from the best creation, which is universal, brings you this perfect dining experience in which you go tasting and exploring flavors from around the globe."

They were not joking when they mentioned around the globe. The restaurant offers an array of mouth watering cuisine. At the time of the Orrery Launch only Estrela was functioning but I look forward to having coffee at Cafe Ocoa and some juicy meat at O'Grill in the near future.

Architecture and Interior:
The Restaurant, as already mentioned, is divided into three sections. The ground floor is reserved for fine dining with Estrela, first floor is the cafe and the roof top terrace is the grill. There is an outdoor sitting area as well on the ground floor. The overall architecture / interior is very contemporary. Clean crisp lines, cool greys and whites. The monotony of the linear structure is broken by the indoor (as well as outdoor) modern miniature eco sections and waterfalls juxtaposed with lit up artistic, modern sculptures in wall niches and otherwise. The over all, space is comfortable. Qmobile should shoot their next commercial here ;) A formidable task, elegantly executed.






The Food Experience (Estrela):
When I arrived the place was already packed. The social media was ushered to the 'Cafe' area to wait, thanks to Moiz Kazmi who was handling digital media PR at the event. On inquiring about food we were handed a sandwich and a pizza slice in a foil paper plate. This was a fine dining experience that I had never witnessed before.

I was a bit taken aback. Is that all they are going to serve? However, while making plans of where to head out and have dinner after this sad offering, I took a bite each of the Pizza and the sandwich. Pizza was actually nice. It tasted light yet cheesy, the crust was not too thick or oily. The sandwich, however, was a mess and not even near to being called a SANDWICH.




We were served "dessert" in the form of a slice of chocolate cake. I didn't try it but my fellow bloggers said it tasted like frozen cake but the chocolate in it was good.

When we were on our way out the representatives of the Event and PR agency handling the event, Xenith, assured us that what we got was just refreshments while we waited. The real food will be served. We were ushered to our seats in the fine dining area, Estrela.

While we were being seated Mont Lemonade was served. It was nothing too different. Mint lemonade mixed with Sprite zero perhaps, yet I still enjoyed it.

Rs.125/-






This delightful concoction, Smoked Tomato soup, was my fovorite amongst what I tried here.I rarely come across a GOOD tomato soup. Most tomato soups I have tasted always end up tasting like a thick hot tomato chili sauce or over burnt, liquified salsa. This smoked tomato soup, however, was light and had the right amount of peppery after taste. The corn kernels were a surprise to chew on in between sips.

Rs.385/-



The prawn Cocktail or as menu stated Crevettes Salad, was fresh but could have done justice to our tummies with four prawns rather than two.The prawns were well cooked and juicy but the sauce could have been slightly better instead of tasting like a quick whip up of mayo and chili garlic sauce.

Rs. 585/-
















The main dish, Polo Mandrino, was a pepper crusted chicken with orange basil sauce and sideline of fresh as well as lightly pan fried veggies. The sauce was well balanced, not to sweet. Enjoying something sweet yet savory is a sign of a good dish. My chicken was a bit dry though. I took a bite off my friend's chicken as well and found it succulent. Overall, it was a good dish, just make sure to emphasize on not overcooking your chicken and you will leave with a smile, not an aching jaw.

Rs. 845/-

Dessert selection for a restaurant opening should have been a bit more of a surprise for our taste buds. We were served Vanilla Ice cream with puff pastries topped with Toffee caramel and chocolate topping. It was nice of course but something new would have been delightful.

I didn't see this on the menu so unaware of the price.








The overall experience was good. A few celebrities like Wasim Akram, Aamir Liaquat, Zhalay Sarhadi and Saima Azhar were spotted though I expected more.

Rating: 3.5/5
Portions: Varied (not for the heavy eaters. You honestly should never compare Nihari inn or Biryani center to Fine Dining restaurant which sadly most locals do!)
Would I suggest a Visit: Yes, its good.

P.S: NOTE To whoever decided on serving refreshments in a Foil Paper plate! First impression is the last impression. Thank God the rest of the food saved the day. Next time it wont hurt to use a simple white plate. Presentation is the key.

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