Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cooco's Den: True Lahori food in a surreal setting

So guys, i just came back from a wonderful dinner at one of my all time favourite places "Cooco's Den" and thought of telling you people about this amazing place.

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.

The view from the rooftop at Cooco's Den is just amazing. Until about 11 pm every night, the historic monuments around the inner city stay lit, creating a dramatic and dazzling ambiance for Cuckoo's guests.

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 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!

Cooco's Den


  1. cooco's den my first visit was in 2005 since then coocs has come a long way in its ambiance i liked the crammed corner where one could get away to enjoy the great view of the Badshahi Mosque and have a splendid evening with your date, friends or family with finger linking food which left you wanting more. but now the expansion of the roof to accomodate more customers has just ruined the privacy for which i adored it but the food still tastes great and for anyone new in town i would definitly recomend it have a go but bewarned KEEP YOUR WALLETS HEAVY cuz the bill will lighten it up....your pocket not your Stomach

  2. i have been missing coocoos since da past few yrs but i finaly had it last week and i want to kick myself for nt trying it earlier...ladies and gents if u love desi with an attitude stop craving it and rush to coocoos for the mind blowing ambiance, the gentle breeze in ur face and food cooked to ultimate perfection..yea its expensive but cash is nothing compared to a great time wid friends and family!

  3. I havent actually gotten a chance to go inside coocoos and order a meal. The location is absoluetly perfect.Old Lahore and the historic majestic monuments attracted me to go there to take a few photographs. Unfortunately by the time I went there for my fotography the den was closed. Im sure it would be an overwhelming experience to dine at such a place. It would not only satisfy your hunger for desi food and please your taste buds, it would also charm your other five senses. The sumptuous aroma of the food, the harmony of the background music, the touch of the cool breeze on your skin and the very sight of the magnificent brick work on the ancient architecture of Mughal times would be an experience out of this world! So I suggest to all of you people out there to reach out for such an experience if you havent been there. And as for me, Mueed lets plan to go there next weekend. What say? ;)

  4. hahaha...definately atiya if you feed us ;-)

  5. i love lahori food.
    its one of the best food in the world.