Most restaurants in Pakistan, especially Lahore, operate on one theory: the more you have on the menu, the better it will be.

Dock 27 sounds like a seafood joint and looks like one too… or does it? Nevermind, it’s complicated.

The base of any chef, any restaurant or any food, is the basics. Books for professional chefs, bibles of food pairings, all emphasise the utmost importance of the basic commandments, which when perfected, are what the finer, complex ideas should stand on.


Dock 27 is as confused as the “About Us” section they have posted on their Facebook page.

The words, that jump at you from their Facebook page, don’t mean anything when put together. “Deepwater expeditions,” “Drifts and Jolts under the dark eclipse,” “journeys with dancing dolphins” and ultimately a “nautical hub” bistro. What did it all mean? I couldn’t tell.

Dimly lit, the clashing interior of Dock 27

Dock 27, a “worldly” restaurant in Lahore Defence, simply put, focuses on seafood, but also on cuisine from around the world. From Thai green curries to NY Strips, Italian pasta to Chinese stir-fried beef, it’s as if the owner and chef sat down and decided to make everything: because excess is always good, isn’t it?

Not spoilt for choice, but feeling overwhelmed, my dinner partner and I asked the courteous waiter for his recommendations. In the dim lighting, I could barely see his face but appreciated the impeccable service. We ordered two mains on his recommendations.

Tampa Chicken with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables

It is incredible how something as basic as BBQ sauce can save a restaurant’s review.

What a BBQ sauce. The Tampa Chicken is grilled chicken slathered in shiny BBQ sauce, a bone dry potato mash (that I sent back) and decently grilled vegetables. The flavour was spot on, with the perfect balance of ketchup, Worchestershire and the tartness of what tasted like imli. Another bowl of the sauce was requested and dumped on everything else. Including the second main, the penne pasta with chicken and mushrooms in a creamy sauce. It elevated everything that touched it.

Penne pasta with mushrooms and grilled chicken

The al dente penne pasta had a solid flavour with and the right basics — decent white sauce, perfectly seasoned…but that was it. After a few luxurious bites, it became a little one-note — until I took a journey under the dark eclipse and mixed it with some BBQ sauce, licking the bowl clean.

Singing praises of the sauce, I left thinking that I will not return again. The dim interior, the confused setting, and the loud music left me feeling disoriented. But I would definitely send someone to pick up anything with extra BBQ sauce.