Actress Laila Zuberi and model Natasha Hussain pose with the Sherdil team at the launch of Meraki restaurant branch on Tuesday. — White Star
Actress Laila Zuberi and model Natasha Hussain pose with the Sherdil team at the launch of Meraki restaurant branch on Tuesday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Upscale restaurant Meraki opened in the capital amid much fanfare, with movie stars, businessmen and women and foodies gathered to attend a red carpet hosted by Natasha ‘Natty’ Hussain.

The head chef, Kamran Khan, was busy preparing bites for the guests at the opening. Syed Junaid Ahmed, the owner, said that his sister and parents were all involved in the venture as they were all passionate about food.

He said: “We like to eat out a lot and we go to different restaurants and eat different cuisines, so Meraki caters to different tastes. There are no hard and fast rules as to what can be on the menu, so anything from Arabic food to sushi can be found here.”

The name of the restaurant is drawn from a Greek word that means the soul, creativity or love put into something, the essence of yourself that is put in your work.

The restaurant has an extensive offering of cuisines including café style selections, Thai and Chinese dishes and a fine dining menu with Jarret D’Agneau, Wagyu Ribeye, Lobster Thermidor and Norwegian Roasted Salmon, amongst other delicacies.

Azfar Jafri, the director of the movieSherdil, said: “The vibe I get is that there is limited fine dining here and people enjoy exclusive dining. I’ll try Meraki and the atmosphere certainly is very enjoyable. The decor, the set up and even the crowds here are amazing. There’s a storm outside but people have still shown up for this launch.”

Taimur, who works at a fashion magazine added, the event was very nice. He said he has eaten at the Meraki restaurant in F-7 and the food there was good, adding that he was looking forward to trying the fare here and reviewing it online.

Abbas Bilgrami said: “Islamabad has grown so large that every face here is new. This is a real happening event and what is very nice is that this whole area has become a happening place. Meraki is a new addition to everything else here.”

Another guest, Alamdar Khan, said Meraki was doing a great job. He said it has exclusive food, and people who like such dishes should drop by.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2019