Monal's Tree House is part of The Monal, a dining complex perched on the Margalla Hills 1,000 metres above sea-level, which has the most spectacular views over Islamabad. The larger Monal Restaurant specializes in local Pakistani cuisine, especially the sizzling kebabs. Last night, we were brought to Monal's Tree House, which specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. One note of caution: Pakistani renditions of "Western" cuisine tend to be extra-creamy - my experience with the other extremely popular "Western" restaurant, Tuscany Courtyard, seems to bear that out.
- Cream of chicken soup: extra-rich, but otherwise quite tasty.
- Seafood chowder: very creamy as well. The bits of finely-chopped seafood (shrimps. meat, etc) didn't seem fresh, and were overcooked.
- Sweet-sour prawn salad: Prawns were very stale & dry - avoid!
- Mushroom salad: overly pickled in vinegar(?) - avoid!
- Pita bread and hummous dip on the side
- Pan-fried turbot in lemon sauce: the fish was perfectly-cooked, crisp-crusted and still moist. But the lemon-scented sauce turned out to be creamy as well.
- Pan-fried seabass with asparagus: the vegetable was substituted with French beans, but without us being notified. Again, the fish was smothered with a thick, extra-rich cream sauce.
- Pan-roasted tenderloin steak. Very nicely-textured - this is one thing Pakistanis do very well: cooking beef perfectly.
- A mixed grill which included beef, lamb shops, minced mutton and chicken.
- Bread-and-butter pudding: beautifully presented, crowned with delicately-spun sugar. Tastewise, the bread part was too sweet.
- Molten-centred chocolate cake a la mode - perfectly-timed, resulting in a light, crusty shell encasing melted dark chocolate.
It's perhaps one of the *best* places to dine in Islamabad. Just don't get your hopes too high on Western cuisine in Islamabad.
Monal's Tree House
Gokina Moor, Pir Sohawa
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