Every Karachi-ite has a place reserved for the Xander’s and Colette in their hearts. Nested in an urban garden, both restaurants sit side by side in one of Karachi’s prime locations: The E-Street, Clifton. The busy crowd in this area, to my surprise, isn’t something that turn its customers away. In fact, the ambiance and lovely service that account for much of its enormous appeal to the newcomers make this place a popular destination for unwinding with friends on a Saturday afternoon.
Xander’s, started in 2011 by Sikander Rizvi, is THE spot for getting fresh gourmet meals at an affordable price.
The tone is set the second you step foot in the restaurant, the bright colorful mural painted recently by two famous graffiti artists, Neil Uchong and Sundus Tariq, contribute to the chic and artistic vibe of Xander’s.
Look up, white parasol umbrellas are spread across the lawn and outdoor dining area. At night, the umbrellas are closed to set a cozy and romantic atmosphere with the fairy lights for the evening customers.
And what’s more, that outdoor open-wood pizza oven produces what I believe are some of the best pizzas I have ever had.
The Feta & Spinach Pizza (Mini – RM12, Large – RM22) and Pepperoni Pizza (Mini – RM15, Large – RM22) are the first thing we ate. Both pizzas are wood-fired and topped with Xander’s special tomato sauce.
Then, there is the classic dish of Xanders, the Penne & Cheese Pasta (RM25) made with gouda, cheddar and parmesan tossed with grilled turkey bacon and crispy breadcrumbs.
Well, we couldn’t stop ordering. So as you can see, I tried out a variety of their specialties.
The Goat Cheese & Fig Pizza (Mini – RM15, Large – RM25), made with caramelized onions, goat cheese and figs (of course), roasted garlic and parmesan white sauce. The Buffalina (Mini – RM15, Large – RM22), a Light Pizza made with sliced tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, parmesan regiano, and rocket leaves sprinkled with oregano and olive oil on the top.
Full of rare and unique combinations that are definitely worth a try. If you’re reading this thinking ‘so what’s the big deal? After all, it’s just pizza”.
Oh boy, I can assure you can never go wrong with a Xander’s pizza.
To be frank, Xander’s pizzas had always been my top cravings back in Malaysia. If I could, I would voluntarily choose to eat at Xander’s weekly just to fulfil my urges. That’s how much I love it.
To end the meal, I ordered the Xander’s Club (RM22), which is a classic sandwich with grilled chicken, turkey bacon, and omelette.
Remember how I said the service is just lovely?
The thing about Xanders is that the dishes can be tailored to your preferences.
I personally prefer brown bread but they provide a variety of other types of bread for you to enjoy your sandwich. You can also choose from a variety of fries like potato, sweet potato, waffle or spicy.
With just 1 minute of walking (literally), you will spot the entrance of Colette. While Xander’s is more laid-back and affordable, Colette would be perfect if you’re feeling more ‘posh’.
Colette is an upscale cafe owned by the Rizvi opened in 2020 which brands itself as a French creperie and bakery. The dining area is fully instagram-worthy (you will see what I mean) with open indoor and outdoor seating and themes of blues and reds nested in greenery that create an intimate dining experience.
The food here is more ‘fancy’, and that of course, comes with a higher price tag.
In less than a year, Colette is packed with the upper echelons of Karachi society; it’s the place to see and to be seen at.
I tried the Seasonal Mango Crepe made with fresh mangos, whipped cream and a custard filling. Trust me when I say the crepes at Colette are to DIE for. Soft to the touch, slightly sweet and the perfect end to any meal.
Safe to say I was in a mango coma afterwards.
Overall we Karachites LOVE Xander’s and Colette and can never get enough of them. It has truly become a staple part of every Karachi-ites day out.
- Food: 9/10
- Atmosphere: 10/10
- Price: 7/10
- Service: 8/10 *The wait can be sometimes too much
And with that, I announce Xander’s and Colette are… MONCH Approved!
Address: E-Street Block 4, Clifton, Karachi 75600 Pakistan
Article by Zara Abbas, edited by Shannon Ho
Pictures by Zara Abbas