November issue 2011
New Bistro on the Block
At CafÃ© Flo Sikander discovered his love for food, and after being involved in helping his mother run the cafÃ© for two years, he decided to open his very own restaurant, Xander’s. The name is a play on Sikander’s French name, ‘Alexandre,’ and like the name, the place too is an extension of his personality — young, vibrant and laidback.
With an array of fine-dining options already available in Karachi, Xander’s targets an unexplored niche — specifically foodies who want quick, healthy and fuss-free options. The lime-green walls exude a light, breezy, yet comfortable feel and Sikander, who is no stranger to the restaurant business, has chosen a spread that is simple, yet meticulously and organically prepared. Just a few days before his grand opening, Sikander appeared relaxed and confident about his new venture; his only concern was that the newly trained waiters may end up messing up the orders.
Kitchen Nightmares, the one-page menu is a sign that Sikander knows what he is doing. My recommendations are the smoked chicken sandwich with cranberry and pistachio — the balance between the chicken and sweet cranberry sauce is an absolute delight — and the roast beef sandwich, which is simply succulent. For the less adventurous, the menu offers the Old School Cheeseburger highly recommended by Sikki. The perfect third course, the flaky chocolate croissant, is right on the money. The temperature is just right, warm and crispy, and as I cut into it, lots of chocolate oozes out — and that warm, buttery smell is an added high.
Xander’s will definitely be a hit among the younger crowd and is my top pick for Sunday brunch.