In the ever-growing gastronomic experiences in Karachi, only a few end up making their space in the heart of connoisseurs without being at the risk of yet another run-of-the-mill ‘café’. Promising exactly that distinct experience is the city’s latest pit-stop for bread, chocolates, and desserts, Coco-9.
Located in a rather obscure alley behind the bustling Shahrah-e-Attar, the restaurant mixes an interesting palette of luxury and modern-chic interiors with a small patio-esque seating area outside (which may become uncomfortably hot in summer) and a proper boulangerie and patisserie inside.
Brainchild of Pinky Perwani – who has mastered the art of bread making and pastries from the French Culinary Institute in New York City – Coco-9 offers a wide variety of unique goodies, which are signature to Pinky and now, the restaurant.
We recently had a chance to try out some of the products available at the café, and in a bid to do things differently, went from eating desserts first and ending with the savouries.
In the smorgasbord of desserts that were ordered, each plate offered a distinct setting on the palette, ranging from bite-sized macarons and Belgian brownies to a trio of mousse and a chocolate praline tart.
Whilst each dessert guaranteed a signature rich chocolate taste – which anyone could tell in a heartbeat is imported and high-quality – the mother of all desserts – and also Pinky’s signature as we got to know later – was the 20-layer Belgian Mousse Cake! In a city where the done-to-death malt cakes still rule as king, this is a much-needed addition, which we’re sure every other bakery will now try to imitate.
Although each dessert was impeccably done, one had higher hopes from the brownies that smelt great but didn’t taste as much. That being said, the other options such as the tart and macarons were melt-in-the-mouth.
When it comes to desserts, Coco-9 has it in the bag. One may even compare it to Lal’s and give this café a higher rating, any given day. In the same manner, the price list too, matches that of the former. With most desserts ranging between PKR 300 and above (a cake slice is a whopping PKR 600), the price range is slightly towards the higher side, albeit the taste makes up for it.
Having said that, desserts still aren’t the magnum opus for the café. In the true sense, Coco-9 is a boulangerie that mustn’t be missed out on.
Offering an exceptional Challah bread – which also can be enjoyed with a spinach & artichoke dip in the middle – along with a large variety of savoury bread options and a viennoiserie, this may just be the ONLY place in the city which comes close to the idea of what bread should be like.
Whether it’s Pinky’s keen eye for perfection or the tastefully picked items on the menu, Coco-9 provides a much-needed new spot for dessert and bread lovers in Karachi. If there’s one place which truly believes that there can never be enough chocolate, it’s this.
- This article was first published in Instep on Sunday 21/1/18.