Pakistanis never miss a chance to celebrate every happy occasion — be it an engagement, or a mere announcement of it; the success of a project, good grades in school, weddings, aqiqas, you name it — with a generous dose of sweets (desis call these ‘mithai’). Lahoris are especially known for having privileged access to such mithai cults as Laal Khoo barfi and pateesa, which is a true-blue culinary cousin of Delhi’s Haldiram. Add to it the Gourmet offerings, most of whom are Haldiram replicas, and Nirala which remained a big brand for the longest time. The recently launched Chaashni is all set to claim the top spot, and how.
Sitting on one of the wooden chairs in the just opened café-cum-mithai shop, in the bustling Y-Block market in DHA, I make a concerted effort to fight the temptation of trying every single item there is on offer — oh, the very sight of the delightfully packaged sweets lined in rows inside the glass shelves. Not to forget the aroma of it all!
I can see that it is the quintessential combo of tea/qehwa and a mouthwatering assortment of sweets that is an instant favourite with most venturing in the outlet.
Holding on to the customary flavours, Chaashni offers a variety of sweets that are prepared in desi ghee, buffalo and cow milk.
The interior of the shop could best be defined as ‘casual-rustic’ but is clearly something to write home about. The kehwa corner, in the midst of the casually lined chairs and tables, is already a small place for get-togethers while people savour a range of sweets served in customised boxes.
The place is fast becoming the talk of the town, despite the prices being rather high (by common standards). But considering the taste and the quality, one is willing to cough up a bit extra.
The plan, according to Director Operations Nisar Chaudhry, is to “not only cultivate better tastes but also provide packaging and gift choices for all personal and corporate occasions.”
Some of the prized items remain Kaju Katli, Khajoor Pak, and Rustam Barfi. On the other hand, the standard menu includes over 40 delicacies that would be a Lahori’s eternal favourite.
What’s more, the place offers sugar-free mithai, aside from diet samosas, kulfis, kheer, and ras malai. But Chaashni’s biggest and strongest USP has got to be the fact that the items are produced under hygienic conditions in Gulberg. “The machines we have installed are state-of-the-art, and we aspire to get international quality certifications,” Chaudhry says.
He also claims to have got the clearance from the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) which has been actively raiding the eateries in and around the city.
“Stale items are instantly disposed off,” he adds.
What further distinguishes Chaashni from other mithai shops in the city is the fact that it is sourcing baseline raw materials like milk, sugar and ghee.
We have packaging available for all types of personal and corporate events and are already in works for tinned solutions for overseas and domestic travellers.
The DHA outlet is Chaashni’s second — the first, in Gulberg, was opened on July 3. Following the success of the two, the owners are working on yet another outlet on Jail road.