Located on the 3rd floor, MOCCA Packages mall is a safe haven for shoppers amidst all the hustle and bustle of the new mall in town. Overlooking the huge parking lot with huge windows and the typical off white, calm café-like setting, MOCCA is the best place to relax with a cup of their coffee especially after a hectic shopping spree. The mall is HUGE so trust us when we talk about the coffee. We know you need it.
What sets it apart from the other MOCCA’s around Lahore? Not so much. Infact one drawback they have is that there is no place for casual smokers, looking to chill (smoke) in the air conditioned café as most of the crowd does in other MOCCA outlets. Honestly, it probably makes up more than half of their regular customers so for them this would be a drawback. Another thing different from the other outlets is that it is right next to Butlers with no wall in between. A row of plants is the only thing that separates them both especially if you sit where the huge windows are. Some might find the setting to be odd but to us it felt more airy and spacious as the warm colors of Butlers next door compliment MOCCA. However, we’ve been told that the will be installed soon to separate the two.
MOCCA’s staff is something that we have never had problem with which is quite rare these days. Some of their servers have been working for years who have memorized their regular customer’s orders. So much so, they don’t even need to order themselves as the servers make sure they are taken care of. So that is one thing you don’t have to worry about.
When we asked for a recommendation from their beef dishes, Mocca staff suggested their Pulled Barbecued Beef and Grilled Chicken with tarragon sauce. The shredded meat was cooked in their signature sauce and served nicely cushioned in soft flat bread. The presentation of the dish was quite average which is acceptable, as Mocca is a café, not a fine dining restaurant. The dark reddish glazed meat shreds looked very tempting. The anticipation of a tasteful bite was met with slight disappointment, as the experience in my mouth was not as pleasant as I had expected. The texture of the bite was quite sloppy rather than voluminous. If you talk about the flavor, it was perfect but the downside was the texture.
About the grilled chicken with Tarragon sauce, it was a treat to look at. Not something out of this world but the bright orange sauce on top definitely looked inviting. With potato wedges , greens and mayo on the side, the quantity looked promising. As amazing as they looked, the charred potato wedges were undercooked and no one likes to eat a hard, undone potato. We have had a bad experience with Mocca’s grilled chicken in the past however, this time it was grilled to perfection with the juices still intact. The tangy sauce complimented the chicken really well while the mayo on the side was quite useless. The dish is good to go on its own without it.
Mocca is one of the top places for coffee, but their food at times is not at par with customers’ expectations, despite continued effort on Mocca’s part to improve their cuisine. While discussing the same concern, Mocca has taken onboard a 3rd party for menu engineering. For any other business matters, retaining the core team makes a lot of sense but if you retain the initial team in your kitchen, innovation stales with every passing month. I, myself am a regular at Mocca and the reason is their service staff, apart from the god damn amazing coffee. The service staff is well versed with KYC, they know what I want or what my regular order is. The mocktails and coffee based menu is the best in Lahore. The only thing Mocca needs to work on is food and that too not to a large extent but rather fix the edgy corners and voila, a perfect café.