In the heart of Lahore, flanked by Badshahi Mosque on one side, and the Lahore Fort on the other, Cuckoo's Den is not just a restaurant with excellent food, but an experience of historic proportions regardless of how many times you go there.
Serving everything from traditional appetizers to a variety of delectable Lahori entrees, and topping it off with great tasting dessert, Cooco's Den is definitely a food connoisseur's delight.
Moreover, the history of the building itself, the surrounding architecture, and the drive up to the restaurant (going through the Mall Road, past NCA, Government College, Data Darbar, and everything in between), whets one's appetite for a complete cultural and gastronomic experience.
In Cooco's Den, you can find a table in pretty much every setting. Indoors, patio, terrace, and rooftop. The indoors are no less intriguing than the dazzling outdoors. Regardless of where you sit, you are bound to feel like you're living in a different era. Dinner-time stories will quite likely take a turn either towards your own past or that of the city you're in...you can't help it; it's all in the ambiance!
The rooftop tables seat anywhere from two to eight, ten, or twelve people. Although we got the feeling that smaller groups would not only be easier to accommodate, but would work better with the setting...who wants to hear someone yelling across the table when completely taken in by the mystical aura of inner Lahore?!?
A beautiful statue of Virgin Mary graces the main patio. The bell above it is not only a part of the sculpture but is also used to summon orders from the lower floors.
Ropes strung from the rooftop enable cooks at the street level to send food up without the staff having to physically carry it upstairs. This method is again an old inner city tradition, often used by housewives to purchase groceries, vegetables, or just get some food hauled up to the top floors of the house.
The staircase, though very interesting to see, is quite hard to climb. So wear comfortable shoes and if you have someone in the group with a condition that doesn't allow too much exercise, get a table on the first two floors!
But wait...who said climbing or descending those steps is boring?
The door on the left is one of many "make you stand and gape" features of the Cooco's building. Some day we would love to sit down with the owner and find out the history behind each of the features, but for now, let us just show them to you!
Undoubtedly, Cooco's Den is not just a place to sit and eat, but a very complete concept of what a restaurant ought to be. It has captured the essence of inner city living, creating a fantastic mix of good food, a historic ambiance, and the little architectural and interior decor touches that truly bring the inner city experience home for the visitor.
Definitely take an evening out for this place on your next visit. You will not be disappointed!