Apna Cafe: Authentic Food But is it Worth the Wait?

This might easily be the fastest write-up I have ever written.  Based on a few rave reviews we made our way down to Apna Café. Even though my approach was apprehensive, to say the least for various reasons; I had certainly not prepared for what was yet to come.

The staff was extremely polite however, lacked in one main quality – lack of service. Even though there were only 3 tables been waited on, it took the kitchen close to 1.5 hours to prepare our dishes which in turn came literally one by one. The first dish to arrive on our table after an hour’s wait was the rice and Naan. The food followed nearly after a gap of 10 minutes between each dish. This is Pakistani/Indian food we are eating, right? So for the life of me I couldn’t understand why it was taking so long to get served?

The food per se was extremely flavorful and adequately spiced as to be expected from Mughlai food from Pakistani kitchens. We ordered the Tandoori mixed grill, Goat Korma, Chicken Biryani, Bhuna Ghost, Takda dal, and Paneer Tikka Masala.

The Tandoori Mixed grill was bone dry and few pieces were even burned.

The Goat Korma was aromatic and the meat tender. One could easily taste Kewra and Saffron in the dish.


The Bhuna Ghost was not much to speak about with a little on the under-done side.The Takda dal and Paneer were spiced well. The Biryani was made well too however the quality of basmati rice used was questionable.  The Naans were burned and tough.

To sum up – it turned out to be one of the most frustrating dining experiences we have had in a long time. Perhaps the owner of Apna Café should consider working as a takeout place where there would be no pressure of hosting and running a full restaurant.  I shudder to think what the weekend traffic might bring at this restaurant.

On comparing it to the other ethnic restaurants in Lake Mary/Altamonte/Longwood area, Apna Café without a doubt serves more appetizing dishes, especially for meat lovers. If you wish to try this place, I highly recommend ordering out or plan on spending most of your evening stuck starved, watching the staff’s each movement hoping to get served sooner than later.


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