City’s biggest food festival is hosting 120 eateries till January 14 at Beachview Park
The much-anticipated Karachi Eat 2024 has returned to the city, bringing with it a vibrant mix of culinary delights and a newly-launched BEAT festival, dedicated to showcasing the talents of young singers. This year’s edition kicked off with an undeniable energy, although the crowd’s enthusiasm seemed to fall short of expected levels.
As a first-time attendee of the Eat festival, I braced myself for potential challenges such as disastrous management, parking woes, and the absence of internet connectivity, based on the horror stories circulated from the previous year. The latter two continue to persist but overall the festival was notably better managed this time around, partially attributed to the relatively smaller number of attendees.
Engaging with various food businesses present at the event, ranging from seasoned participants to newcomers, a mixed response was evident. Some expressed concerns over the reduced engagement compared to the previous year, while others deemed it ordinary, considering the first day coincided with a Friday—a working day for many.
Despite the lukewarm initial turnout, the seating arrangement was inadequate. Throughout my visit, it was common to see families struggling to find chairs to sit their elderly and young. This dampened the overall experience for other attendees too who sought a comfortable space to savour their culinary discoveries.
These usual hurdles aside, the festival’s appeal is undeniable given the rare avenues of public entertainment available. As for foodies like myself, the food festival had a lot to offer from signature rabri gol gappas to an irresistible deal of chicken cheese momos. Without further ado, here is everything I tried at Karachi Eat 2024.
1. Signature Sandwich from Binge Bite
Opting for the regular serving at Rs.720, Binge Bite’s signature sandwich was the perfect segue into an evening filled with food experiments. The sandwich’s harmonious blend of flavours and textures justified the festival chaos. As for the price tag, the portion was generous but the experience was compromised by the bread having sat in the cold for too long.
2. Rabri Gol Gappa from Aysh De Cuisine
This stall was the first to join my wishlist. Ayesha Mughal, the wonder woman behind Aysh De Cuisine, was declared the second-time winner of “Beginnings With Us,” a contest where home chefs compete for a spot at Karachi Eat. Priced at Rs.350 for a set of five, this unconventional twist on a classic snack piqued my interest. Surprisingly, the fusion of the crisp gol gappas and creamy rabri proved to be a delightful revelation, showcasing an innovative take on traditional flavours that left a delicious aftertaste.
3. Chicken Tikka Biryani from Bhabi Jee Restaurant
As much as I love biryani, the dish is too common for me to try at an ambitious food festival like Karachi Eat. What drew me to Bhabi Jee Restaurant, aside from its name, was the long queue of customers and the price. Going with their classic Chicken Tikka Biryani, there was no denying the quality; the aroma was tantalising and the chicken was well-saturated with spice. However, there was nothing unique about the experience or the presentation of the dish to justify a Rs.400 price tag for a single plate.
4. Nutella Churro from Fairy’s Dessert Churo
Having tried the delectable treat for the first time last year, I am a dedicated churro fan now and constantly on the lookout for an eatery that is both affordable and loyal to the art of churro-making. Fairy’s dessert offered both, with their fusion of crispy churros and the rich, chocolatey goodness of Nutella for only Rs.300. For those craving a perfect blend of crunch and sweetness in every bite, this is a snack right up your lane!
5. Chicken Cheese Momos from Momos on the Go
Between two momo stalls, Momos on the Go won my vote with one tantalising deal of five Chicken Cheese Momos for just Rs.400. The perfect fusion of succulent chicken and gooey cheese was a taste sensation. Complementing this delightful treat is the zesty Chilli Dip, adding an extra kick to elevate the overall culinary experience.
6. Classic Dosa from Khao Dosa
Khao Dosa and Karachi Eat go way back, seven years to be exact. As a big-time lover of South Indian cuisine, I had to drop by Khao Dosa for their irresistible Classic Dosa only for Rs.400. Featuring a thin, crispy crepe filled with a traditional blend of spiced potatoes, this item is a filling dinner for anyone wanting real food.
7. Hot Nashville from S’wich
While another sandwich was not on my agenda, I have to admit S’wich’s Hot Nashville looked irresistible, even if overpriced at Rs.690. As per the food business owners, their imported bread is the key to bringing out the spices. But does it justify the price tag? The sandwich features American fried chicken infused with an authentic Nashville spice kick, and crisp iceberg lettuce, all carefully enveloped between layers of butter-toasted bread. Conclusively, I must say the bread and S’wich’s special sauce might be a game changer.
8. Chicken Khaousay from Khaousay Bar by M&M
Adding to the culinary journey at Eat 2024, the Khaousay Bar by M&M introduced a Burmese delight with their Chicken Khaousay, priced at Rs.400 for a single serving. This addition to the festival’s diverse menu promises a flavourful exploration of authentic Burmese cuisine, enriching the overall experience for attendees seeking unique and international tastes. The tender chicken meat was perfectly complemented by an assortment of fresh and colourful vegetables, making it one hearty and filling meal.
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