I recently spent a sticky pesky Karachi morning at the cool, green Xanders, a local hangout that serves upscale café style food. It was packed with beautiful ladies, energetic youngsters and waiters buzzing around the place. I had coffee with two of the most important people running the show. And no, one of them was not the owner Sikander aka Alexander Rizvi.
The two faces that you often call to make reservations, see accommodating guests, creating space on tables, taking orders, suggesting food options, ensuring that quality eatables are being served and finally bidding goodbye to satisfied and happy customers. Two most important comrades of the owner, who only talk and walk exceptional customer service Tanveer Nazir and Zubair Khan.
Tanveer Nazir, 37 years old, has work experience from Sheraton (Now Movenpick) and Espresso (joined as superviser and left as a Shift Manager) and was then hired as the bartender at Xanders, and within a span of three years he has moved up to the restaurant manager. Tanveer is the sole earning member of his family and strongly believes that Xander’s has given him the due training, respect and support and boost that he needed in life. Apart from attending the restaurant on a daily basis he is also learning to speak better English, which he feels is essential for his job.
Zubair Sanam, 31 years old, has been in this industry since the last 14 years and has worked for various restaurants before joining Xanders. He feels extremely obliged when people call him and ask for him whilst dining at the café. Being the head server he takes great pride in the fact that he knows the dining options of most of his customers.
Both took pride in the fact that loyal customers trust their reliable suggestions and often try new things simply because their persuasion power is very strong.
When asked if they had eaten anything out of the Xanders menu they jubilantly nodded and voted for the Mediterranean Omellete as the best breakfast item on the house. I also asked what all the weight conscious ladies ordered from the menu and they voted for the Granola with Raspberry Coulis and seasonal fruit.
I am assuming, that if asked, Sikander would have gladly shared the recipe but here I am showing you my own homemade granola recipe, which is nutritious, loaded with good carbs, and proteins derived from nuts and seeds finally sweetened by dried fruits and maple syrup.
As the food scene in Pakistan continues to grow by leaps and no bounds, it is people like Tanvir and Zubair, committed and honest to their profession who actually run the show. Cheers with a steaming cuppa to them!
However, for my next visit I am thinking perhaps I should have coffee with the commander, Sikander, just to take recipe of the Med omelet for you all. Can?