The Critics: Café Clique

By Moeed Tarique

“Amidst the many options that are available to people when it comes to dining in Islamabad, Clique is a restaurant with a difference. Not only does it promise authentic continental cuisine, it’s a fun place to hang out with friends and family alike.”—Rimmel Afghani & Madeeha Masood.

One of the first noticeable things on entering Clique Café is its ambience. Tea-light candles and dimly lit chandeliers set the mood for every meal in this cozy little eatery.  The Borsch pleasantly surprises and their Nicioise Salad is unlike any other currently being offered in the city. The genius behind the delectable continental menu is Ms Marina Afghani, who’s had the experience of working as a head chef in three countries. For those with more sugary tastes, the dessert selections have something for everyone—from cupcakes to Double Chocolate Fudge Cake chunky slices—the options are diverse and easy on the stomach.

But it isn’t all about the food for this classy eatery; it also serves as a nurturing place for the arts. The artwork on display is rotated on a regular basis, bringing out the work of local artists which can be purchased on the spot, making Clique one of the more enjoyable mini art galleries in Islamabad. They are also home to Project A’s Book Club. The group—a coterie of painters, writers and other artists—gathers here once every month and set up camp in their smoking lounge discussing the month’s book selection.

The establishment’s brains, Madeeha Masood and Rimmel Afghani, are another reason for the café’s success. They present a friendly (and attractive) face to the café and more importantly, are open to suggestions and new ideas. Evolution may be slow in Café Clique but it is consistent and steady and with additions and improvements a part of the everyday routine at Clique, there’s always something new to discover on each visit.

Café Clique unfolds itself in stages and is an establishment we’re keeping our eye on.