Bringing Lahore’s flavours and famed hospitality to Dubai
Saira Ahmed, Founder of Little Lahore is a powerhouse of many talents.
Perfecting a dish calls for the right balance of flavours and textures which sets it apart from the rest.
For Saira Ahmed, Managing Director of Little Lahore, a dish is much more than just measuring spices and ingredients to hit the sweet spot of flawlessness. Saira explains that the most important ingredient for any dish is love, without which the flavours fail to appeal the senses and rank low on emotional satiety.
Saira’s love affair with flavours flourished from her need to prove her baking prowess. She credits her baking skills to fond childhood days spent in the kitchen peering over recipe books, religiously mixing ingredients to improve her baking skills. Armed with a “can do” attitude mixed, she moved on to trying different cuisines, with Chinese appealing the most to her tastebuds.
While she seldom got chances to display her culinary talents at her parents’, her husband, sharing her love for Chinese cuisine, was extremely encouraging and supportive of her passion to cook. With the zeal to conquer challenges and hone her culinary skills, she mastered dishes from cuisines ranging from Traditional Pakistani fare, Thai curries, to an assortment of Chinese and Continental dishes. Saira’s unique culinary style is born out of the sheer passion to create dishes and exhibits a deep understanding to balance flavours and textures across different cuisines.
Adored for her exceptional culinary skills and warm hospitality, family and friends, urged Saira to commercialize her interests into a business venture at every get-together hosted by her. Thus was born Little Lahore, bringing Lahore’s revered specialties and famed hospitality to a charming corner at Jumeirah Lakes Towers in 2017. The culinary philosophy at Little Lahore highlights the uniqueness of Pakistani cuisine, delivered with great attention to quality amid a delightful, casual ambience.
To ensure that every dish at Little Lahore evokes a sense of nostalgic comfort and authentic flavours, Saira has travelled to Lahore, to master the balance of spices for dishes like Lahori Chana, Halwa Poori, meat specialties like of the region like Chicken Karahi, among others and trained her culinary team. The menu at Little Lahore is created with great attention to detail as it features some of Saira’s favourites whilst showcasing the diversity of flavours and preparations that Lahore is renowned for.
Offering an extensive selection of barbecues, curries and vegetarian dishes, Saira has trained her culinary team to ensure that every dish is a labour of love, with a precise mix of spices, flavours and texture. Little Lahore is renowned for Mutton Seekh Kebabs and rendering them succulent Mutton Ribs that are barbecued to absolute perfection with a delicate balance of spices that melt in the mouth. A special mention must be reserved for popular main course dishes like Chicken Karahi, Nihari and Chicken Biryani that delight the senses with their authentic Lahori flavours. Vegetarians can relish Mirchon Ka Salan, a unique version of the original Hyderabadi dish complete with Saira’s creative twist. With desserts being close to Saira’s heart, the menu at Little Lahore offers revered desi treats, including the likes of Matka Kulfi and Shahi Kheer. For patrons with a preference for continental treats, desserts like Pecan Pie, Sticky Toffee Date Pudding, Chocolate Malt Cake, among others has them polish off their plates in minutes!
Besides managing Little Lahore, Saira also has a special catering menu featuring her private collection of recipes, aptly titled Saira’s Kitchen, offering guests the convenience of catering, on-site if they wish, to take the hassle away when entertaining a large number of guests on special occasions. The catering menu allows for ample customization, based on the special order menu with extensive options in Chinese, Thai and continental desserts, like White Chocolate Pana Cotta with Berry compote, Berry Pavlova, Lotus Pie, etc. in addition to Pakistani dishes and desserts.
An exceptional baker, a master at recreating flavours from Lahore and proficient in cuisines ranging from Chinese to Thai, Italian and Continental favourites, Saira dons many hats and executes her passion with great expertise, creating phenomenal dishes and culinary masterpieces that are truly a labour of love.