Skip to main content

You probably have no idea who he is, but Marcel is a young man who was born in Paris and who travelled the world in search of gastronomical wonders. A foodie at heart, he went through France picking up the best of breads, through Italy in search of the perfect pizza, through Belgium for the perfect chocolate and so on. Fate brought him to Karachi, where he settled down and started making big plans of opening a restaurant, bringing all his experiences to the table. This is the story of Marcel’s, opening on Boat Basin in Karachi tomorrow.

And this story is pure fiction.




Marcel’s is actually the brainchild of Umair Khalili, who brought his love for food and travel to the drawing board when he came up with the idea of Marcel’s, a restaurant that would bring authentic food to the table.

“The food will be Paul’s level,” he said when we sat down to discuss the genre and menu of the restaurant. “If not better.”

That’s a very tall claim but the vision and work that has gone into Marcel’s is quite impressive. Gary Martin, who heads Starbuck’s Asia, was roped in for R&D and Cordon Bleu chef Niha Akber, who has a degree in molecular gastronomy and was working as head pastry chef in at a high end restaurant in Dubai, was flown in to develop and create the menu. The proof is in the pie, or in this case the croissants, the breads, éclairs, macaroons and the delightful sticky date pudding with vanilla Gelato that we tasted when we met.



Marcel’s opens tomorrow and has much more on the menu.

The specialty will be 25 types of world-class breads, from flaky croissants to four types of baguettes, four types of loaves, ciabatta, focaccia, brioche and more. Every batch of bread in the boulangerie will be marked with an exact time to indicate exactly how fresh it is.

The piece de resistance, however, is the exquisite Valrhona Chocolate Cake cake that will feature fine ingredients including edible gold flakes and will retail for…PKR 25,000! That may seem like a king’s ransom, but Umair is confident that there’s a market for it. The cake will also be available per slice for those who don’t want to sell a kidney.



Jokes apart, the Marcel’s experience promises to be a unique and memorable one. It opens to a select list of guests tomorrow and for public on Saturday. Offering an all-day bistro menu, the restaurant will open at 3:30 every day, which will extend to breakfast after Ramzan. Those on the Keto diet are advised to look for alternate routes!

  • Haute promotion