Enjoy outdoor dining, friendly environment and live kitchen along with delicious, freshly cooked cuisines
With plentiful food choices and restaurants in Islamabad, it is rare to claim the place you visited for the first time has instantly become your favorite in the city.
Epice, however, is one such place. The new open-air restaurant, nestled away in the suburbs near NUST (off Kashmir Highway), will keep you coming back for more because of its scrumptious menu, charming atmosphere, live kitchen and music.
“All you need is taste with a little touch of friendly environment and live kitchen!” is the motto of the restaurant and it is indeed what it offers.
This restaurant offers perfect outdoor dining experience with seating arrangement that ensures privacy and maximum comfort. You may choose to sit in canopy-style huts to enjoy the food in natural surroundings; however there are few indoor cozy rooms as well, where customers can have family time outside home. Wooden furniture with sparkling white curtains and hanging lamps add style to the diner.
Spread out over 1700 square metres, the restaurant’s gorgeous garden and wide open spaces make it a great place for a party and allow as many as 200+ people to join in. During our visit, we witnessed a small birthday celebration and kids seemed to love the open space. We were informed that on festivities like Eid and birthdays the restaurant also arranges jumping castles which makes it more fun experience for kids.
The traditional Pashtun music played by a local musician added beauty to the environment. Guests can easily see and enjoy open kitchen, visible straight from the entrance and appreciate the freshly cooked cuisine and be enticed by the pleasant food aroma.
One glimpse at the menu and you will know that Epice is really a meat place. Described as an authentic Shinwari food diner, it offers flavorful varieties of meat. Here you can find variety of lamb, poultry and fish.
Signature dishes of Epice
BBQ shashlik, served with fried rice, has a unique and tantalizing feel that you will not find elsewhere. Chicken Hari Karahi, with its thick curry, succulent chicken and just the right tang of spices, could be easily anyone’s favourite. The best were dum sticks (not drumsticks), which looked as perfect on the plate as it tasted, and was flawlessly tender, juicy and fresh in flavor.
The taste of all the dishes was so remarkable and complete in itself that one will not at all feel the need mix sauce at all.
Some other signature dishes of Epice restaurant include grilled fish, BBQ fish, Lowadgi Raan, Khadda Dumba, Patta tikka, Isfahani fish.
It serves variety of bread, combining traditional naan with flavours as unique as nuttela and cheese. Different varieties of bread/roti available are: qeema naan, cheese naan, butter garlic naan, kandhari naar, roghni naan, nuttella naan among many.
We found the prices very reasonable for the amount and quality of food.
Desserts and Drinks
Just when you think you can’t eat any more, Epice offers some delectable traditional desserts, and if you are lucky the chef might surprise you something truly original which is not even on the menu.
There are wide variety of beverages including fresh juices, lassi, pina colada, blue colada, oreo shake and mint margarita.
Overall, the food was truly excellent: authentic flavors, yet innovative, charmingly presented and all at a price that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Eating quests aside, it was a wonderful experience thanks to the friendly managers and courteous waiters. The elegant décor complements the delicious food, resulting in a memorable evening of eating dinner under the starry sky.
The only downfall is that the restaurant is bit out of the way for people living in the main city. Secondly, those who do not enjoy outdoor seating may not appreciate the experience.
Chit-chat with restaurant management
Epice restaurant is a joint venture by Malik Rizwan and Raja Shahzad – both share the love of food with a mission to offer best quality, hygienic, fresh food in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
“I have always wanted to open an outdoor restaurant – the one where people can savor delightful food as well as natural beauty in a family-friendly environment” explains Malik Rizwan in an informal talk. His favourite cuisine is Shinwari food and “Epice is offering the best kind of Shinwari food in town” he boasts.
With rising concerns over food hygiene and quality in Islamabad, it was a relief to learn that Epice management claim not to compromise on food hygiene. “It is very important here that food should be fresh and well-prepared with high-quality ingredients” Shahzad asserts.
Restaurant’s executive chef is Sartaj Khan from KP who has an experience of 15 years working in kitchens of famous restaurants in Karachi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad and Lahore. “Sartaj’s passion and creativeness is what really inspires us all” Shahzad shared.
Epice means ‘spice’ in French, the manager apprised, adding that the restaurant takes its spices and flavours seriously.
Restaurant at a glimpse
Open air restaurant
Less than 30 minutes serving time
Highly professional with a family touch
4 out of 5 stars
Address: Epice Fish & Shinwari, opposite NUST Gate No. 1, Main Kashmir Highway, Sector H-13, Islamabad
Phone: 0340 0011113
Open: 12 pm to 12 am every day
Family friendly: Absolutely!