Pranzo: Good Service, Bad Food

Photo credits: Pranzo’s Facebook page.

A former colleague, now a good one friend, was leaving Pakistan for good and to start a life with her husband, so we – a common couple friend and my husband and I – decided to take her out for a farewell dinner. She and my husband share a common interest in theology and get along quite well, so I was sure this was going to be a good evening.

I was given the tough responsibility of choosing a restaurant which would suit the tastes of this party of five. I recommended a newly opened restaurant near Lyceum and volunteered to call them to make a booking. When I called on the day of the get together, I was informed the restaurant will be launched next week.

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Now, I had few hours to think of another place, inform everyone about the change in the plan and also book a table. The first place that popped up in my head was Pranzo. I had been to this place with another friend of mine on one of our girls’ night out and I had fallen in love with its décor at the entrance on my first trip. When we were led into the hall, I was both surprised and overwhelmed. Surprised by the number of tables they had – just five – and overwhelmed by the Star Plus staircase – a grandeur one – in the hall. Once we settled at our table, we realized there were more seats on the patio as well.

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Since during my first visit I had enjoyed the food, it was a confident choice. I booked a table on the patio this time, thinking there would be more space for the baby to explore. We were the last in the group to reach the venue as we didn’t want to break the custom.

My husband immediately developed a liking for the place. The setting in patio was amazing, classier than the interior. The tables were set far from each other, not crowding the space or compromising privacy.

We had a table on one corner and, at the far end, there was a counter. Few feet from us was a table set for two, decorated with rose petals and balloons – someone was in for a date or a proposal. This gave us a topic to talk about for some time and kept us going till our food arrived.

The food, to my surprise, was an utter disappointment.

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It was very ordinary and not worth the value of money. The lamb my husband had ordered was of bad quality. The fish a friend ordered was too chewy. Though the quality of service by the waiters was good and they offered to change or redo our order (which we denied), the restaurant still failed to exceed our expectations. I had ordered the lasagna which was also not up to the mark – it wasn’t creamy at all as promised in the menu. The ambiance and good service by the waiters saved the evening but it was still an embarrassing situation for me because I was the one who suggested this place.

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At the end we got a nice click to remember and went home.

Pranzo doesn’t offer amazing or out-of-this-world food when it comes to the taste or the variety but they go out of their way to make it a nice experience for you. I just hope they change their chef to save the restaurant or else it will become really difficult for them to survive in a cutthroat market of cafes like Karachi, where an average café or restaurant can go out of business pretty easily.

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