Food festival opens at Frere Hall

KARACHI: Against the backdrop of the magnificent Frere Hall building, a line of food stalls, around 50 in number, buzzed with activity as the Karachi Eat 2015 food festival kicked off on Friday.

The almost dizzying assortment of food left the throngs of visitors drifting from stall to stall in a state of indecision.

The live grill at the Melting Pot served steaming hot dogs; croissants were freshly baked at Hazel House while slow roast tenderloin sandwiches were cooked to order. From Chapli kebab to Vietnamese beef salad to submarine sandwiches; it was heaven for food fans, and a welcome platform for aspiring chefs and food chains.

The festival’s entrance was a long line of dessert stalls which boasted Oreo Nutella cheesecake, Macarons, chocolate croissants, cake pops, Cronuts and cupcakes — to name a few baked goodies on hand.

“I want the red cake, no the yellow one, no actually the blue one,” said a child at the Cakelets stall, while picking out cupcake after cupcake.

Some of the food stalls featured live cooking in front of the customers. The Deli and Chatterbox stalls in particular were focused on freshly cooked food.

Other than the focus on food, T2F’s stall stood out with its creatively designed space attracting a number of customers.

The most sought-after dish, seen on most tables, was Khao suey from Simple Dimple.

“I had it first then suggested my friends to buy it, I guess we are familiar with the taste and it is guaranteed to be good flavour wise,” said Fatema Ishtiaq, one of the visitors. “China Kitchen was really good last time in Karachi Eat 2014; I will be trying that next.”

Apart from the renowned food chains, many home-based chefs also put up stalls for the first time.

Ice Dreams introduced liquid nitrogen ice cream in a variety of flavours made on the spot. “It is surprisingly very creamy, I was expecting it to be icy but it’s not,” said Shivam Jaisinghai, a visitor at the festival.Karachi Eat festival was organised for the first time last year. However, a few visitors felt that this time the festival was on a smaller scale. “It is quite small this time around. Previously, the entire park had been filled with stalls,” said Mazuin Zulfiqar.

“I am extremely satisfied with the food here, I just wish there was a jumping castle for the children. There is a face painting stall but I think that would attract girls more, there could have been more activities for kids,” said a mother, Salayha Jawed.

The festival provided a perfect go-to place for families and friends alike, and the festival planners are hopeful of a bigger turnout on Saturday and Sunday.

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