This food festival has been the talk of the town since the past two weeks; a feat that hadn’t been achieved in its past 3 years of establishment. At first the hue and cry was about their ‘no stags’ policy. A much appreciated and needed move which tickled the privileged gender in all the wrong areas. Then it rained on the very first day of its opening. There were no backup plans and electricity was switched off in the midst of the festival; the stall owners and the patrons both faced a lot of hindrance because of it. The irresponsibility on the management’s part wasn’t even amusing this time. I regularly check AccuWeather for updates and it had actually mentioned rainfall from Friday to Saturday. The fact that the management chose to ignore this and later didn’t even bother to compensate (at least this is what i heard) the visitors for tickets they had bought says mountains about it.
Anyways, fast forward to this week.
Since the venue was again Frere Hall, parking was bound to be an issue. However CKO was providing shuttle services and Careem was giving rides from all over Karachi in Rs 250. This effort to take responsibility for the traffic was appreciated.
Apart from that, the tickets were priced again at Rs. 250. I honestly would’ve skipped the event because of this and also because of my horrible experience last year. However, EasyTickets and SIM SIM mobile partnered with CKO events, and for their publicity, gave tickets on discounted prices. All one had to do was to download apps of both aforementioned companies, sign up, and book tickets from there.
So yeah, my fam and I, comprising of four people got tickets for Rs. 99 each which was awesome.
We reached Frere Hall at 12 pm, no parking issues, and entered the event with a nasty shock. 75% of stalls weren’t fully opened. At 12 pm. What are these stall managers. I understand that y’all have been working hard for the past two weeks but this wasn’t an excuse to not open at the right time. Why do you guys do this?
Khair. We grabbed a table and then wandered around to check what’s ready and what should be left for later. (There were good seating arrangements this time, btw. No umbrellas to escape from the sun but a lot of tables were set up.)
My first stop was to Nora’s Got Sweet Tooth. I met Bisma, the lone CEO of this venture, who was very energetic and trying to make everyone comfortable. After some speculation, I bought their granola bar for Rs. 150; haven’t tried it yet, but let’s hope its worth the hype on SWOT’s.
Then I went for Naan Sahab. Everyone who went on the first and second days had been raving about its stuffed naans so had to try those. Chicken Cheddar Naan was my pick; looking similar to calzone, hot and puffy, it was delicious. It costed me Rs. 250.
A lot of my friends had tried chicken strips from Cosmos so I bought those too. Was first a little apprehensive since i didn’t like the way they looked but oh my god. They were so light despite being deep fried. I had had chapli kebab from The Chapli Kebab House before chicken strips, it was quite heavy and made me feel nauseous, totally not the quality they have been producing in the past 2 years. So anyways, I forced myself to eat a chicken strip after the chapli kebab, and it was quite refreshing. Will definitely try them when i next go to Cosmos.
Chapli Kebab was priced at Rs. 200 and Chicken Strips from Cosmos left me Rs. 250 poorer.
Sitting and walking an hour in the bright sun, and only warm water to quench our thirst, compelled us to get some drinks. Miftah’s mojitos were a life saver! They charged us Rs. 200 per drink and we bought 3. Definitely a bit pricey but they managed to revive our sinking spirits.
Then we headed to Desi Gali. Now, i’m the ‘jitna ghaleez, utna lazeez’ type of person. In normal circumstances I wouldn’t even think of having chana chaat from some fancy place but their products looked tempting enough for me to make the jump. I bought chana papri chaat for Rs. 180. Loved every bite of it. Returned back to the stall and bought their peri bites for home. Haven’t tried them yet but mum said that they are good too. Now i’m regretting for not buying more stuff from there.
I was planning to skip Lady Marmalade. Earlier this month I hoarded on a lot of desserts so wanted to avoid anything sweet in KarachiEat. But I couldn’t stop myself (since when i have gotten this sweet tooth, what the hell?!) and bought Lady Marmalade’s famous funnel cake which was topped with a nutella dressing. Opted out for the icecream scoop so it cost me Rs. 200. Extremely light and yummy, finished in minutes and now I want some more.
A visit to PeakFreans’ stall was a must. Beautiful decor and innovative use of PeakFreans’ products. Definitely a trip to the memory lane. I wanted to try their icecream sanwich which they were sadly out of stalk, so bought their Chocolate S’mores and Panna Cotta for Rs. 50 each.
Dad even got haleem from some stall. We couldn’t fine the much loved Shaan’s stall so the haleem from random place was to do in its place. It was being charged at Rs. 80 and then when the crowd increased, the prices were raised to Rs. 100. Wasn’t yummy either, just your average daily haleem.
We even bought Peshawar’s namkeen boti. No idea how much it costed and haven’t tried it yet. I hope its good because there were mixed reviews about this stall.
So this was it. I hope whoever attended the event had a good time; if you know the places where delicious stuff actually is, then pretty sure you won’t have any regrets about paying those 250 rupees as an entrance fee.