• 25 Nov - 01 Dec, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • High Life

Luxe Retreat

Les Fermes de Marie Megève, Rhône-Alpes, France

As you stroll in the mountains above stylish Megève, you will be captivated by the rustic charm of the ancient timber chalets peppering the Alpine pastures. Launched in 1989, Les Fermes de Marie is reminiscent of a rural hamlet, linked by meandering footpaths and burbling streams, the nine chalets contain 70 cosy rooms and suites, three restaurants, a ski shop, original cowshed-chic spa and a woodsmoke-scented atmosphere. In the outdoor hot tub, guests soak ski-tired legs, contemplating the blanket of snow settled over wide timber eaves, the fragrant pine swags and neatly stacked logs cut for the countless open fires that warm the hotel’s restaurants, inviting snugs and free-standing chalets. The smallest of the chalets, Mont Blanc, is surely one of the world’s finest suites: picture-perfect, with its own garden, a homely sitting room with a vast open fire and a romantic double room.

Table to book

Café Liquiteria

Located at Shaheed-e-Millat Road, Café Liquiteria is a premier shakes and chocolate destination that pioneers Monster Shakes in Karachi. A considerably smal set up, the cosy place also serves sundaes and other recipes made of fine chocolate, including chocolate gol gappas. While they have an enticing breakfast and lunch menu to entertain their guests, after those hours however, the café turns into a haven dedicated solely to chocoholics. Café Liquiteria opened its door to Karachiites last year with the motto of “serving happiness”, and anyone who has ever tried their monster shake would vouch for it to be true. Truly monstrous in size, I ordered the blueberry flavour; the shake was considerably mikly in flavour and texture, and not as sweet as one would expect it to be. But that can work in everyone’s favour, as it is served with blueberry syrup, ice cream, multicoloured sweet edible sprinkles and a blueberry flavoured cone to top it off, which help develop its unique flavour according to individual taste. Not for the faint-hearted, the platter full of chocolate-flavoured gol gappay are served with just a bit of vanilla ice cream and nutella inside, and ample of space for you to fill up the rest with sliced pineapple and banana, as well as vanilla and chocolate ice creams. The richness of chocolate syrup complements all other condiments and the flavour overall tastes amazing with bananas, especially.

With so much sweetness bound to take over the meal, I decided to start with a few appetisers first. The serving of mayo fries does not justify its price tag. The fries are cut poorly and are sprinkled with chat masala and topped with a tasteless mayo. The garlic-mayo dip they are served with gives them a much-needed kick. Juicy chicken strips, although at times felt a bit undercooked, came with highly crunchy coating, and was accompanied by a honey-mustard dip. The best thing about the strips is that it tasted fantastic with all the dips on the table, even ketchup. For anyone who is not a fan of desserts, peri peri bites will definitely be showstealers at the café; I loved the hard-crunch coating on the hot peppers that were filled with shredded chicken and a dip that oozes out with every bite you take. – SSK

What’s in the menu?

Som Tam

Som Tam is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. Probably originating from ethnic Lao people living in present-day Thailand, it is also eaten throughout Southeast Asia. Locally known by different names, the Thai variation was listed at number 46 on World's 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011. The green papaya salad was adapted from an ethnic Lao dish known as tam som (literally meaning "pounding [of] sour [ingredients]"), which used local fruits and vegetables such as green (unripe) mango or cucumbers as the main ingredient, seasoned to a primarily sour flavour. The dish combines the five main tastes of the local cuisine: sour lime, hot chilli, salty, savoury fish sauce, and sweetness added by palm sugar. The ingredients are mixed and pounded in a mortar. Despite the use of papaya, which one may think of as sweet, this salad is actually savoury. When not yet ripe, papaya has a slightly tangy flavour. The texture is crisp and firm, sometimes to the point of crunchiness which allows the fruit to withstand being beaten in the mortar. Green papaya salad is often served with glutinous rice and grilled chicken. It can also be eaten with fresh rice noodles or simply as a snack by itself. The dish is often accompanied by raw vegetables on the side to mitigate the spiciness of the dish. Typically, one cup serving of Som Tam provides 97 calories; 1.8g fat, 3g of protein, 19.4g of carbohydrates, 3.5mg of cholestrol, 2.9g of fibre and 85mg of vitamin C.