The Caffeine Fix; Fresh Food and The Chicken Salad Of My Dreams

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Ushah Kazi

Married to books, in a relationship with food, playing dress up since 1993. An unabashed pop-culture junkie. Come talk movies and lifestyle with me!

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So, as I navigate the waters of being an ‘influencer’ (cue cringe compilation) I’m beginning to wander into uncharted territories. Lest my absence from the blog convince you otherwise, I’m actually taking this rather seriously. I’ve been planning my posts, brainstorming, and even taking offers seriously. In fact, I’ve even started responding to some of the invitations that invariably find their way into my inbox. Which is why I waltzed in through the see-through doors of The Caffeine Fix.

Now, the promise that drew me into this hidden gem, was coffee. And, in case you don’t follow me on Instagram yet; I don’t like coffee.

Hence, while I was willing to sip on something; but it was the food that got me smiling. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was devouring the best salad I’ve ever paid money for.

 

Green With Envy

I know, I know; who goes to a coffee shop and proceeds to gush about the salad instead?  And you know the answer.

This girl.

On that note, this review is positive for the most part. So, excuse me while I kick things off with a complaint.

This place is fluorescent bastion of healthy and hearty. Half the menu boasts delicious guilty pleasures, all rich and decadent. Simultaneously, it is brimming with fresh, healthful meals. The salad, which we will be fawning over in a minute, is a perfect example of this. But, it is but one, delectable, nutritionally balanced piece in a vibrant, green puzzle.

the caffeine fix
Gorgeous Decor

 

The menu, the décor, their attitude, all exudes a contemporary move towards mindful, satisfying meals.

With all of this said; why  would they tie such a limiting name around their ankles? ‘The Caffeine Fix’; that doesn’t do a bit of justice to all that they have to offer.

And this is a huge assumption, but I’m guessing the confusing branding is why they were not busier on a weekend. This place is a gem; and you have to realise this in spite of first impressions.

 

Keeping It Fresh

Now that that’s out of the way; let the gushing commence.

As I mentioned, I ventured out to this place because they reached out to me. They have been inviting people to taste their coffees, and luckily for me, I too was approached.

In fact, very luckily for me. I knew as much right as I stepped into this charming little space. It was decked out like the best island getaway that never was, beach-wedding décor and foliage in tow.

I was also delighted to glance at the menus. That’s right; plural.

the caffeine fix
Not One, But Two!

 

Their regular menu is a cacophony of well-conceptualised bistro-type faire. And then there is the Keto menu.

People, I’m going to need you to hold my bone broth; because I was not ready.

In the past, I’ve been annoyed by the high-protein claptrap that is passed off as Keto across Karachi eateries. But, these guys are not playing. Their attempt at healthy and high-fat does what it says on the tin. Plus a bag of low-carb chips!

They have Keto sandwiches, Keto shakes, Keto Lassis; yep, yep, and oh yes!

Now, as one who genuinely believes in this diet, I was admittedly impressed. But, even if you are not a Keto aficionado, you do have to commend The Caffeine Fix for trying. They didn’t just pick up the latest fad diet circling the city’s posh cliques. Rather, they genuinely present an appetising take on a different way of eating.

Sensible, healthy and well though-out. Could I be dreaming?

 

On The Flip Side

One of my Insta-fam members he called The Caffeine Fix a ‘Keto paradise’. Which I must say, I co-sign.

And yet, their regular menu is also quite intriguing. In part, because that was what I ordered from.

I know, I know; how could I visit such a promising spot and not indulge in some low-carb yum? Well, I do have my reasons. The most important being that I have been struggling to stay in Ketosis recently. I didn’t want to eat high-fat, when the rest of the day had been the opposite.

Also, it’s pretty easy to eat healthily from their regular menu as well. Although, you could also just as easily opt for the more decadent options. Like I said; balanced.

Crispy Chicken…Decadence Itself!

 

My pick was their take on a Cesar salad. It comes with all the usual trappings, plus chicken and a boiled egg. I didn’t fancy that egg, so I opted out of it.

The rest of the salad was a thing of beauty.

 

The Coveted Salad

Okay, let’s get to the star of the show.

the caffeine fix
Cesar Salad Of Legendary Quality

 

Too many people relegate salads to lazily chopped roughage, tossed in store-bought dressing and plopped onto a plate. Hence, the salad bowls at The Caffeine Fix are a nutritious ray of sunshine. Fresh ice-berg leaves, succulent grilled chicken, a rich but zingy dressing, perfectly toasted croutons… I am salivating just thinking about it.

There is an art to doing simple food right. And when most of the dish isn’t even cooked, well then you’d better be Picasso!

I suppose most people fail at salads, because they don’t realise this. They see a salad, as the thing that boring gym-bunnies order. And in their mind, anyone who is even slightly health-conscious will not care about the palatability of their meal. So, why bother making it delicious?

But, as we’ve already established, The Caffeine Fix doesn’t follow this archaic notion of health. Both their menus prove, that they believe in making simple, healthful food, which also tastes delicious.

(That’s also why they deserve a better name. I’m not saying anything; I’m just saying).

 

That Coffee Though  

They did coax me into their little spot because of the coffee. So, I felt that I had to order some form of caffeine laden stimulant. But, even in this regard, these guys managed to win me over. Now, disclaimer, part of the reason for this is that I opted for their cold coffees.

Yes plural; I was with someone, so I can have more than one. It’s fine. Don’t judge me.

You see, as far as I’m concerned, coffee is a flavour, not a way of life. Hence, should I need to drink coffee, I insist on having the dessert-like varieties.

Frozen Cappuccino

 

Based on staff recommendations, I ordered a frozen cappuccino, and an affogato. And in the name of all that is indulgent, you could have stuck a fork in me right there.

These beauties were…beautiful!

Rich, creamy, with the perfect hint of coffee bitterness to offset the sweet. They were so good in fact, that I almost regret ordering dessert.

Almost.

Albeit, both the chocolate and espresso mousse paled in comparison to the drinks. But, they were decadently delicious, so can I really complain?

Just Desserts…

 

The Caffeine Fix; Worth It?

Confusing branding aside, this place should be on your radar. The most important parameter to measure an eatery by, is definitely taste. And they hit that nail squarely on the head.

Everything, literally everything was delicious. I even sneaked in a bit of my sister’s crispy chicken. And yet again, they got that right.

They offered us good food, the service was quick, efficient and friendly, and the place looked lovely. Also, the bill just crossed Rs. 2000, for a salad, a main, drinks and desserts (coffees not included). Which, while not cheap by any measure, is also not too bad.

Karachi is known to have some promising cafes. But, more often than not, the usual also lacks originality. So, if you’re in the mood for something mindful, and memorable, The Caffeine Fix is it.

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Emma Hayes

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