Asia Live

  • 23 Nov - 29 Nov, 2019
  • Eman Saleem
  • High Life

For any foodie, the Karachi style buffet – BBQ, desi and continental food all doing equal rounds – is quite the culinary experience and a challenge to self to eat your worth’s money. But an open buffet doesn’t mean uncountable servings of underwhelming food; the art of consistency and presentation play equally well into successfully serving the buffet experience and Asia Live at Avari Towers has not disappointed yet, not when I went there for the Punjabi Night all those years ago, and not when I walked in at the Danish Night last week. The traditional heavy chairs, soft classical music and the clanking of cutlery set the mood for the night: warmth settled in by a soup for starters and courteous on-their-toes staff to make your dining experience exclusive. A celebration of cultures and cuisine, the Danish Night featured foods of the two cultures, delicacies straight from Denmark and the best of homegrown cuisines presented on shared tables, an exhibition of cultural coexistence for the onlookers. Starting the feast of daily and some new tastes that lay ahead, I rejoiced at the arrival of Potato Soup on my table of two. Thick, creamy and smooth textured soup with pieces of chicken thigh and adequately seasoned without any overpowering flavours, it was just the starter needed to warm up the taste buds. I started with small portions from the salad bar featuring a display, some familiar and some never seen before items. The Potato and Green Parsley Mayonnaise salad packed a surprisingly tangy taste. One thing I can never miss out in a buffet is multiple servings of seafood. In cocktail glasses layered with lettuce and tempura sauce were submerged shrimps, the whole sight too beautiful to fork into. While the presentation was 10/10, the shrimp looked slightly underdone. Exploring the main courses, I decided to skip the kormas and pulaos and aim for the Danish specialties. Without much difficulty to understand the dishes (everybody speaks food), I packed small servings of Piri Piri Pasta, Stuffed Striploin with Rosemary jus, Cajon Chicken with Mustard sauce and Breaded Fish with Pickles on rye bread. The fillet fish topped with pickles was golden fried to perfection and was well-balanced. However, I feel fillet fish is best served piping hot and the mildly warm fish didn’t hit the notes of a seafood lover. I skipped the stuffing of the boiled egg in the Beef Striploin; cooked to ultimate perfection, the beef fell apart at the poke of the fork and the muted flavours of the entrée without overpowering any element, made a taste bud-tingling winner. Penne pasta dunked in white sauce topped with strip of grilled chicken was tried out next. Expecting the ordinary taste of an alfredo pasta, I take a first forkful – a new pasta based entrée that finishes on a slightly sweet note made me quiz myself on what I was tasting. Finishing my serving of pasta clean, I search my vocabulary for an adjective. Let’s just say it was ‘interesting’. Brandade with pickled onions and herbs was a rectangular serving of a curious looking and aesthetically appeasing item. Biting into it, I couldn’t guess what it was, but had to appreciate the labour-of-love presentation. Smoked fish, mashed potatoes and pickled onions topped with white and green dallops of purees and finished with herbs, the Brandade was curiously delicious, definitely not for the desi picky eater. With one eye on the dessert counter, I had to call it a cheat day as I made my way to explore Danish and Pakistani dessert, all in pick-me-up sizes. Ceramic spoons with Gulaab Jamuns cut in half and topped with whipped cream added an aesthetic touch to the counter, and even more so on the palate. Gulaab Jamun can ever disappoint – the theory stands undefeated. Soft and moist texture Tiramisu was the works of a coffee lovers dream – the bitter taste of coffee hitting the right notes and the absence of a cup of Americano piqued for a second. Chocolate Mousse in shot glasses topped with coconut shavings was my second favourite at Asia Live; over sweetened but smooth textured and not for the ones with a faint tolerance for sugar overdose.

Address: 242-244 Fatima Jinnah Road, Karachi
Cost: Rs. 2350 plus tax per person


Most buffets serve bland food, Asia Live has been consistent with flavour at every dine out and themed night. However, some foods are better served piping hot.


The staff is extremely courteous and available to help. The salad bar could’ve done better with labels on it.


You’re paying for a luxury experience, the ambience does not disappoint. From the traditional dining tables to the theme appropriate décor and wall mounted Danish flag, playing at the theme and well-maintained through the years. 


Like any other buffet experience, the presentation did not disappoint. Single servings were neatly aligned, inducing hunger at sight. 


It’s all you can eat, the value for money for food alone depends entirely on your appetite.