ISLAMABAD: Table Talk on Thursday held an open house to celebrate the launch of its new deli, as well as a revamp of the restaurant itself.

It was a pleasant evening for such an event. Guests arrived before the doors opened at 7pm, with many mingling and clustered around clean white tables adorned with large floral centrepieces, all tinged purple from the outdoor lighting.

Table Talk, in Kohsar Market, has been revamped and a new Table Talk Deli has been opened the floor above it.

The deli is more of a casual space with a Scandinavian vibe, the decorator, Arsalan A. Khan from MKC, explained.

The accent colours upstairs are lime green and candy pink, with front-facing windows and glass doors that open into a small balcony, and another wall of bookshelves.

He explained that the deli would be stocked with sandwiches, salads, cakes, organic products – through a partnership with the organic market – and, possibly, organic cheeses made in Pakistan.

“And, of course, Table Talk started off with having a bookshop connected to it. So they’ve retained the bookshop in the deli, and downstairs is like, art books, and upstairs is novels and fiction and non-fiction; it goes well with the vibe,” he said.

“The idea is that people come, plug in their laptops, chill, have coffee,” he added.

There is also a large blackboard behind the counter, which will soon be inscribed with various menu items. “We decided to have a blackboard because they have an ever-changing menu,” Mr Khan said.

Downstairs, in the restaurant proper, the accent colours are emerald green and blush pink, with an art deco floor and custom-made gold light fixtures.

The space is small, but it feels cosy rather than claustrophobic. Large coffee table books about art and culture adorn one side of the restaurant, while art deco themed prints adorn another.

“This is much more formal, as opposed to a very casual space upstairs, and it’s entirely inspired from 1920s glamour, but we’ve made it sort of new age,” Mr Khan said.

“Table Talk was revamped completely after nearly 15 years,” Riffat Mani, who runs the restaurant, said. “We kept the same theme, but then we decided to move on with the times.”

What about Table Talk’s much-loved menu? “The upstairs has a different menu, the downstairs – no. It’s a mixed cuisine, which we always had, and it does well,” she said.

Meanwhile, on the menu for the open house were items that are going to be served at the deli as well as Table Talk, such as quiches, pot pies, sliders and pizza. “I am trying to get in touch with somebody from Lahore who does [organic cheeses], and if that works out there’ll be nothing like it,” Ms Mani said.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2017

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