We’re all Mad Here at ‘Once Upon a Time’

Step into the realm of Once upon a time, a café located in Defence, which takes its customers on a journey offering scrumptious street food from around the globe. The café’s owner and head chef Abee Malik, a die-hard foodie travelled to almost 40 countries and brought flavors and recipes from diverse 24 cities.

The concept café with colorful chairs, mad hatter hats, cushions, paintings and frames on the wall, books and décor looks no less than a page out of Alice in the Wonderland.

What we tried:

Pasta from Rome

Pasta is brought to you from one of the worlds’ most romantic cities offering historically rich experiences where art to vibrant street life is the norm – Rome, Italy. Prepared with pure ingredients, this authentic Italian pasta made in Parmesan oregano cheese is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich from Philadelphia

Affectionately known as Philly, the city renowned for rich history retains its small town charm – Philadelphia. Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich comes from there. This melt in your mouth sandwich will make you crave for it again and again.

Kung Pao Chicken from Sichuan

This highly addictive stir-fried chicken continues to be one of the most popular Chinese dishes around the world as the succulent, complex sauce of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavors is hard to pass up on.

OUAT Basement:

OUAT basement has been recently opened up with the aim to promote new upcoming talent. “We recently conducted an open mic night in which we had two upcoming standup comedians, a singer and two musicians”, shared Abee. The idea is to provide a platform to these aspiring talents for performing and showcasing their talent.

The concept comes from India where the comedy scene has already evolved so much. Comedians including Zakir Khan and Kenny Sebastian started from small town café’s. Eventually the public responded and they opened up their own comedy club – Canvas Laugh Club.

Abee always believed that there is a lot of talent in Pakistan and these entertainers need a platform only which a lot of people have started providing them with in Pakistan e.g. T2F, The Grid etc.

“I realized for us entertainment is dining out and going for a movie when I came back to Pakistan after 10 years. However, comedy shows and theater plays were the biggest source of entertainment for me while I was abroad”, says Abee.

It’s been two months since OUAT basement was started. Conducting trials and lining up talent is part of the first phase. Tweaking, building the performers’ confidence and polishing their talent follow next.

If this basement idea clicks, Abee plans on opening an auditorium for live entertainment including cultural events, stand-up comics and poetry reading which will accommodate 500 to 600 people. The concept is not measured on money but the number of people responding to the performers and enjoying it.

What we love:

Mad Discount Policy – You can try your luck at the dart board game after munching. You get three shots and the highest value you hit on the board will be your discount. So, at the end of the day you decide your own bill.

Amazing Service – The cordial owner Abee interacts with the customers himself and he has so much knowledge about authentic food. The staff is very co-operative and serves the customers in such a way that everyone leaves satisfied and happy.

All we have got to say is, this is a must visit café and we are all mad here at ‘Once Upon a Time’.