Fuchsia is one of the handful restaurants in Karachi offering Thai cuisine. Baan Thai was probably the first one who brought this cuisine to this coastal city and as such still retains the first mover advantage.
Fuchsia has been around for quite some time now and thus can safely be deemed as one of the success stories since surviving on the cutthroat Zamzama street is no child’s play, restaurants have been known to crash and burn on this upscale food hubbub many times before.
We decided to check out Fuchsia’s Iftar deal 2010. Priced at a steep R.995+tax which comes out to be Rs.1164 +soft drink+ tip, it comprises of an Iftar platter, a single main entrée of your choice, a single-choice dessert, and a hot beverage (tea or coffee or green tea). In addition you get a mineral water bottle, a single glass of either lemonade or rooh afza, and a pinch of aab-e-zam zam.
The proceedings kick off with the Iftar platter which comprises of two pieces of chicken on toast, two chicken rolls, two ‘aaloo ke pakoray’, two tiny shrimps, sweet n chili chutney and a palak ka pakora.
Indeed a very sparse platter. On top of that the chicken on toast had so much salt it promised to give a high-blood pressure patient a kill-blow right there on the spot. Although the menu promised a Thai-based platter, it was a pretty much desi platter. We just couldn’t find the Thai angle in it, apart from the two tiny shrimps.
Prayer area was way too insufficient. They had designated their small private dining room for this purpose and there was no segregation of the sexes. Maybe most of the clientele who come for their Iftar deal do not pray hence this miniscule arrangement.
The main entrée menu was heavily edited compared to their original menu. We felt that Fuchsia could have added a whole lot more items from their main menu considering they’re charging a 1000 bucks for a non-buffet dinner.
And this is always going to be a major problem for all those restaurants that offer a limited dinner set menu instead of the full-fledged buffet at a price that is pretty much the same as that of the buffet. Heavyweights like Copper Kettle, Arizona Grill and Roasters are offering an iftar buffet dinner at Rs.1000. So when you have to compete against this sort of offering from the giants that are literally across the street from you, you better come up with something special.
In this regard, we feel Fuchsia really lets its customers down.
So, coming back to their main entrée menu which was heavily curtailed, we picked three items from the 10 items on offer:
- Green Curry Chicken with Baby Eggplant & Sweet Basil Leaf
- Wok fried prawns with sweet basil and oyster sauce
- Crispy fried fish with tangy Thai tamarind sauce
Here’s their original menu.
Along with these dishes, plain white rice were served as many times as you want. Not that you want them much, because they were over-cooked, more like a rice-paste or halwa. Maybe it’s Thai style.
The fried prawns were good, the big succulent type that people relish. The quantity can definitely be improved upon considering the price of the deal.
The fish was alright, cooked in a sauce which lacked a distinct taste.
The green curry chicken was the biggest sore point of the evening. Maybe Thais love this kind of stuff, none of our party took to it. The curry was way too strong, reeking of coconut essence, the sort of curry you get along with Masala Dossa.
The dessert, again Fuchsia offers 8 choices of desserts but in the Iftar deal they have confined themselves to just one: chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. Although both the cake slice and ice cream (homemade) were delectable, the quantity issue reared its ugly head again. See it for yourself.
The tea was your usual tea-bag stuff. Nothing Thai or anything special about it.
Service was prompt and up to the mark. No shortcomings there. The family at the table next to us, however, were not satisfied with something. The only thing we overheard of their complaint was something about freshness.
Although Fuchsia had quite a few customers coming in, if it is to scale the height of success its neighbors have done, it will have to reposition its offerings.
One thing it could do is instead of offering just one main entrée, offer them the choice of three or four different items which would arrive in a big thal with small bowls loaded with these dishes. That way, the customers will have the satisfaction of having had a sort of mini-buffet. The second equally important benefit this would have is that a customer won’t get stuck with a single entrée that he doesn’t enjoy, which is more likely to happen in the current deal.
Fuchsia’s forte at the moment is its ambiance which is smashing even by Zamzama standards. Head over to Karachi Snob where you can find snapshots of the place as well as the menu items in detail.
We recommend this place only for those who already have an affinity for Thai cuisine.