For the love of food : Karachi, it’s nearly time to eat

Annual food festival to kick off this weekend

Annual food festival to kick off this weekend. DESIGN: TALHA KHAN

KARACHI: Residents of Karachi must prepare their stomachs and their wallets as it is almost time for the annual food festival, Karachi Eat 2017.

Promising a wide variety of both sweet and savoury delights, the festival is offering 95 food stalls over three days, starting Friday. “We try to replicate [the festival] as much as the one we did before and be as consistent as we can be,” shared Omar Omari, co-founder of CKO Events Architecture, the company behind this venture for the last four years.

“There will be 95 stalls and the expected number of visitors to be anywhere between 70,000 and 100,000,” he said, adding that the organisers are adding two new features to manage the festival better. “First there will be a free shuttle service,” he said. One shuttle will run back and forth between the Musical Fountain and Marriott hotel, and the other will run between Avari Towers and Cantt Station.

Besides this, they are introducing a new app to pay for food during the festival. SimSimWallet works like EasyPaisa so people don’t have to carry cash on them, Omari explained. “Those who pay via the app will get a 30% to 40% discount on their food,” he said, adding that this feature is not a mandatory payment method this year.

To enter the food festival, all visitors will have to pay Rs250, except for children under two and senior citizens who are older than 60 years. The organisers ensured that the price of a dish does not exceed Rs300 a plate.

“This event is strictly meant for families,” he stressed. “Keeping security in mind, single boys or even a group of them will not be allowed inside the venue. Women accompanying men, or in groups will be allowed. Families are most warmly welcomed.”

One of the city’s favourite restaurants, Xanders, will be a no-show this year. Xanders’ Sikander Rizvi admitted he is extremely busy this season. “I am busy with two new projects and just didn’t have any time for this year’s Karachi Eat,” he told The Express Tribune. “That’s the sole reason. Otherwise, I would have loved to be a part of it.”

Nevertheless, Omari hoped the festival will continue to be a launch pad for upcoming eateries. “The festival is mostly meant for upcoming restaurants or eateries,” he said, adding that the well-established restaurants are already marketed quite well. “Chop Chop Wok and WingIt first kick started from our own platform,” he added.

The festival kicks off at 4pm on Friday and will continue till 10:30pm on Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday, the festival will open its doors at 12 noon.

Watch out for the following items at Karachi Eat 2017:

Lal’s Gelato Puff shoe pastry with a variety of sauces

Mastani Biryani’s five different kinds of biryani evolved over the past couple of decades

Panwaari’s blueberry-flavoured pan

PepperLime & SugarPlum’s famous chicken and beef Khousuey

Karamel Milk Chocolate Cookie

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2017.


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