Karachi Eat 2015

food festival karachi eat
Karachi Eat 2015 – A foodie’s paradise
Karachi Eat came back with a bang this year. The second year of the food festival saw roughly 30,000 visitors over the course of the weekend. Many of Karachi’s favourite eateries took part in the festival, including Okra, Lals and The Deli. Desi food was also popular, especially the Chapli Kebab stall and the Khyber Koyla Karahi stall. The festival also featured many home bakers and bakeries and was a great opportunity to try less well-known establishments.
strawberry desserts by the deli
Desserts from The Deli
desserts cupcakes chocolates
Yummy cupcakes everywhere
With an event of this size, there were many inconveniences and Karachi-ites weren’t shy about taking to the social media to complain. Although there was a valet service, parking was a nightmare and traffic was bad – particularly on Saturday when Karachi police closed off half the road for another event.
frere hall background to the karachi eat goers
There was more rush in the night than in the day
crowded karachi eat
Yet people thronged for their favourite foods at Karachi Eat
At peak times people were complaining that it took up to an hour to get into the venue and there were long waits for food, especially at popular stalls. The most sought-after stalls such as Beefeater tended to sell out fast, there wasn’t enough seating and there was insufficient provision for toilets.
beefeater sandwiches
Food lovers stay committed through long lines..
beefeater sandwiches
Slow roasted beef tenderloin sandwiches available at Beefeater
Apart from the toilet issue, with was particularly a problem for the very old and very young, the complaints were symptomatic of Karachi’s culture of entitlement. Whether upper or middle class, we are used to being waited on which is why many complained about the inconveniences of a huge festival by Karachi Eat.
chaat food yummy karachi eat
Karachi Eat – An enjoyable family day out with food all around!
picnic karachi eat
Food lovers getting comfortable sitting in the grass
carnival lunch family outing
There were plenty of table sitting areas
The fact is that a festival that caters to such huge numbers of people is going to involve queues and discomfort and long waits. Whether you are at a music festival like Glastonbury or a food festival like Smorgabord in New York, you have to expect inconvenience and queues. Of course, there were issues that needed addressing – by both the management and participating stall holders. For example, some stalls needed to revamp their menus to improve turnaround. Organisers needed to review the seating space give to sponsors – corporate sponsorship is vital but shouldn’t be to the detriment of the event as a whole.

lifebuoy corporate sponsorship at khi eat
A Lifebuoy hand washing booth – One of the better corporate sponsorships
There should have been more local food and fewer home bakers – people craved haleem and paya and there were too many cookies and cupcakes. In general though, the event was what it should be – a celebration of food.
family day our karachi eat
Karachi Eat 2015

 

Arriving at around 3 on Saturday, I found plenty to try. The Okra stand was doing great business, as was Spoonful’s dessert stand. Their strawberry samosas were one of the hits of the festival.
strawberry samosas spoonful
Strawberry samosas in the making
strawberry samosas spoonful
Spoonful’s strawberry samosas were the talk of the festival
okra pasta station
A little piece of Okra’s fine dining at the festival

 

There were so many delicious things on offer that I wish I had thrice the stomach space. I enjoyed jalapeno poppers from Cosmopolitan, some delicious mini bun kebabs from Nano’s kitchen and porcupine prawns from China Kitchen.

mini bun kebabs nano's kitchen
Mini bun-kebabs from Nano’s Kitchen

 

I was tempted by chaat from Red Rabbit, Tikkas from Spice, Dosas from Food Choice. In the end, I plumped for Arbi Parathas from Spice – deep fried pockets of deliciousness that probably made my arteries whimper!

dossa red rabbit
Street food: Dossa from Food Choice
dahi bharay chaana chat pakistani food
Street food: Dahi bharay and chaana chat from Red Rabbit
healthy food salad evergreen
There were plenty of healthy food options too- A nuts salad from Evergreen
There were so many yummy options for dessert that I had to pack some to take home. I ended up sampling Ice Dream’s icecream made with Liquid Nitrogen – it was fascinating to watch but nothing to write home about taste-wise. It’s worth mentioning here that, as a physicist, I was horrified by how close children were allowed to get to the Liquid Nitrogen – this stuff burns and should have been kept at more of a distance. Here’s a video of the icecream being made:

nitrogen icecream karachista
Ice Dream’s ice cream made with liquid Nitrogen

 

I returned around 1:30 on Sunday with my family, which was even busier than Saturday. Okra wasn’t around on Sunday but most of the other stalls were there. My hubby and I started with Chapli kebabs and moved on to Karahi by Khyber Koyla Karahi.
chapli kabab food desi
Chapali Kababs were a must have at the festival
khyber koyla karachi
Preparation underway!
The Chapli kebab was very popular – I believe they served over 7000 people over the two days. The Karahi was a bit of disappointment – the taste was good but the meat was gristly and poor quality.
Saniya’s Khowsay was another of the hits of the festival and one of my boys did try Khowsay – though I’m not sure which stall he tried it from. He wasn’t impressed and was insistent I say so in this blog. As someone who doesn’t have a huge appetite he was very disappointed that the one thing he chose wasn’t up to scratch.
There were other highlights though – slushies, churros, fresh sugar cane juice and the truly sensational strawberry cheesecake from Royal Bakeries who bake Dutch goodies. Apart from the fact that the cheesecake was so good, I must mention that Royal Bakeries actually works with disadvantaged transgender people to give them a safe environment to work in.
This wasn’t the only charity at work at Karachi Eat. Radio FM had set up a rickshaw where people could take pictures to donate to 141 schools – a charity that aims to build a school for every child killed in the APS Peshawar attack.
141 schools for peace charity
141 Schools for Peace
rickshaw desi food carnival
Proceeds from this Radio FM 91 Rickshaw went to the 141 schools org
As well as too many different types of food to enumerate, there were a couple of stalls selling great baking supplies and handmade soaps. Although the latter was especially incongruous, it was enjoyable to browse through these stalls.

baking supplies
Baking supplies – Edible accents
baking supplies
Baking supplies available
All in all, Karachi Eat was lots of fun – if a little tough on the waistline. It was far from perfect but certainly worth all the minor inconveniences – I hope to see it back again next year.

frere hall
Karachi Eat 2015- successful in bringing the citizens of Karachi together in the name of delicious food.
finger food stall sausage rolls
Sausage rolls
freshly baked bread
Freshly baked bread
churros chocolate food chinese food
Copyright 2015 Karachista. All rights reserved
Karachista Staff
Karachista Staffhttps://karachista.com
Team Karachista - keeping you up-to-date with the best of Pakistani Fashion & Lifestyle

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