Holding true to its legacy, Karachi Eat Food Festival opened its gates to the foodies of Karachi, for the 5th time in a row on January 12th, 2018. The most awaited event of the year, KEFF was even bigger and better this time around.
Relocated from its previous venue of Frere Hall to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park, the three day long food festival welcomed hordes of people from all age groups. The entry passes were for Rs. 300 each. However, unpredictable delays, long queues and complaints about poor management, made many people change their minds to visit on Day 2. We rolled up our sleeves and finally leaped into Karachi Eat 2018 on Day 3, and it was totally worth it! The event saw possibly the largest turnout of people, all eager to try out the whopping 125 stalls set up this year.
From hosting famous eateries such as Chatterbox, Roaster’s, Butler’s Chocolate, the Waffle Cart to the relatively newer food ventures such as Naan Sahab, Fry Guys, Meat the Cheese, Hot Bombz, Poffertjes, 2 Guys 1 Grll etc, the festival showcased a diverse variety of eateries.
With rumbling tummies, we entered the event ready to drive away those hunger pangs with something filling yet easy on the pocket. We hit the Hot Bombz stall and were intrigued by the colorful, fluffy, mashed potato balls. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, the BBQ Bombz were flavorsome, but nothing out of the ordinary for Rs. 250. The drizzled siracha mayo was a definite hit, adding flavor to the otherwise bland batter.
Offering a unique way to serve their famous raclette cheese, we then ordered Insanely Cheesy Burgers and Smoked Beefed Panini from Meat the Cheese for Rs. 300 each, and the cheese just melted in our mouths. Their cheesy chick on a stick is also a must try on the menu. For Rs. 300, the Chicken Cheddar Melt Naan from Naan Sahab was to die for; filled with a scrumptious chicken and cheese filling, it was totally satisfying in terms of flavor and quantity. Their Paneer Reshmi Naan was one of the hit items of the festival too!
One of the major highlights of the event was the Fry Guys! For Rs. 250, their deep fried chicken in a waffle cone was a hit! The line was the longest at this stall but after 20 minutes of waiting in a queue, the result was worth it. Perfectly deep-fried delectable chicken pieces, served in a waffle cone, poured with tangy, sweet and sour sauces - it was a snack sent from heaven! Another option, the two freshly cooked chicken balls dipped in succulent cheese for Rs. 100 at the Nurpur stall, were also lip-smacking and so easy on the pocket. Serving the cheapest dishes at the event was Dalda with Fish and Chips & Chai for only Rs. 40!
Moving onto the sweets, serving ice pops for Rs. 150, the pomegranate and chocolate brownie combo was a hit at Ice Pop Co.! The chilled ice-lolly was the perfect answer to the blistering noon sun. However, while talking about desserts, the Minikins from Poffertjes stole the show - 6 mini pancakes for Rs. 200, topped with nutella and strawberries, and sprinkled with sugar. They were heavenly, I must say!
Wrapping it up, the ‘nays’ from the event were the Cheesy Nachos from Nacho Khan. Drowning in sauce, the soggy nachos instantly made me regret the Rs. 300 I spent on them! The Pizza Fries from CheezSheez for Rs. 250 was totally disappointing too.
Since the event was ‘families only,’ a cordial environment was maintained throughout. There were volunteers picking up the trash while a play area for kids was also set up. Tables and chairs were arranged near different stalls along with stand-alone tables for visitors, but since it was a Sunday, these got occupied pretty fast. As early birds, we happened to be quite lucky, since post 3 pm the venue got considerably congested.
Several stalls offered live cooking and free tastings, along with games and other exciting activities that kept the customer engaged. Unfortunately, some other popular items I couldn’t try out were - Chaat Shots from Kuiya, Donut Burgers at 2 Guys 1 Grll, and the Chimney Cakes at Café Praha. The musical gig by Atif Aslam on Day 2 and the breathtaking fireworks on Day 3 were truly the cherry on top!
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