• 10 Mar - 16 Mar, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • High Life

Luxe Retreat

La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa

The hotel was originally built for the Duc de Morny, Napoleon III’s half-brother, so spaces are airy and grand, although not over-bearingly palatial. This is a space that feels more like the home of a Parisian millionaire. Located in a row of grand Haussman-era houses, it oozes decadence with its antique-filled living spaces walled in ruby silk, its gilded library adorned with leather-bound tomes, and its floors scattered with Persian rugs. Its rooms, though, are light and luxe. Beds are swathed in crisp Quagliotti linen and bathrooms lined in white Carerra marble. The views, from wrought-iron balconies, are as romantic as the best in Paris: over the copper Pantheon domes towards the Eiffel Tower. Should any guest consider leaving their suite, there’s a candelit spa downstairs, slick, elegantly attired staff to arrange excursions, and fine-dining menus to sample. Dinner is gourmet-style fine French dining – but of a light and inventive kind, rather than traditional and rich, from tender milk-fed lamb to marshmallow-light pepper-filled ravioli, and red-mullet with asparagus to pretty-as-a-picture wild-strawberry tiramisu. In-room continental breakfast consists of just-cut fruit salad, with treats such as slithers of mango and spoonfuls of passionfruit and pomegranate; silver bowls of still-warm crisp pastries (from blueberry-and-hazelnut brioche to super-chocolatey croissants); big jars of jams, honeys and salty butter with five kinds of bread; and big silver pots of coffee, all served on crisp white linen with silver cutlery and fine white porcelain. It’s the discreet place for high society to meet.

Table To Book
Stars Club

The restaurant is one of the oldest buildings we have standing in Karachi today. The colonial period space has the distinction of having served our Quaid and Fatima Ali Jinnah, as well. Fast forward to present times, the newly opened Stars Club has been redesigned to accomadate a literary corner, karaoke station, art exhibitions, recording studio and a dining area with a screen that shows Pakistani songs and movies on movie nights, exclusively. On a lazy weekday, our team decided to stop by the place that’s fast on its way to becoming a hip and happening spot for the young and mature, alike. Stars Club’s menu is one of its most interesting features – the pamphlet features sketches of yeasteryear Pakistani actors and the dishes are named after old movies, songs and catchphrases. We started our meal with Mizla Chat Patti, spicy and tangy chana chaat topped with lots of masala, chopped onion and papri. This is one has a strong spicy kick, just the way we like a true Karachi chaat! Then came the owner-recommended Tuntun Halki phulki, phulkian made from dal and tossed in sweet yogurt, served with finger-licking tamarind sauce. It was claimed that this is one the most different and best-selling of their items, and we understood why. They tasted fantastic, but the quantity of yogurt was far too less for us to enjoy the dish completely. A healthy serving of Des Pardes Salad came our way next. Juicy grilled chicken breast lay over crisp romain lettuce tossed in caesar dressing. The salad was the perfect way to balance our taste after having the hot chaat. Intrigued by the name, we also ordered Shabnami Chawal which are served in a matki, in which they are cooked too, covered with foil. The dish can be made with chicken, prawns, or vegetables, we opted for chicken. While it is not the best we have had in Karachi, this biryani is tasty with the cumin yogurt served with it and makes for a hearty dish to be enjoyed with good company. Stars Club’s appetisers win clearly and should be tried at least once! – Editorial Desk

What’s in the menu?


Pierogi are filled dumplings of Central European origin made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savory or sweet filling and cooking in boiling water. These dumplings are popular in West Slavic (Polish, Slovak, and Czech), Hungarian, East Slavic (Belarusian and western Ukrainian), some Baltic (Latvian and Lithuanian) and other Central and Eastern European cuisines where they are known under their local names. However, pierogi are especially almost always associated with Poland and Slovakia, where they are considered national dishes. Traditionally considered peasant food, pierogi eventually gained popularity and spread throughout all social classes including nobles. Polish pierogi are often filled with fresh curd cheese, boiled and minced potatoes, and fried onions. This type is called in Polish ‘pierogi ruskie’, which are probably the most popular kind in North America. This variety is not necessarily the most popular in Europe, although very much liked. More popular in Poland are pierogi filled with ground meat, mushrooms and cabbage, or for dessert an assortment of fruits (berries, with strawberries, or blueberries, the most common). The dumplings may be served with a topping, such as melted butter, sour cream, or fried onion, or a combination of those ingredients. One typical serving of three poerogi provides approximately 285 calories; 14g fat, 5g of protein, 34g of carbohydrates, 422mg of sodium and 36mg of cholestrol.