KARACHI: They say less is more and this year’s Karachi Eat proves that.
The much-awaited food festival is back on this weekend and we’ve been binging on some scrumptious food items since Friday. Almost all of Karachi has been at buzzing around Beach View Park these last two days and with just one more day left, we’re expecting even more people to attend.
This time, the organisers of Karachi Eat have cut down the number of eateries from 125 to 90 stalls and quite honestly, that was a brilliant idea. One might have thought it would compromise on the quality and variety of the food options available but the truth couldn’t be far from it.
Out of the 90 eateries, 52 of these are home-based – giving an opportunity for the newcomers to get a taste of the business world. Stalls such as Hot Bombz, Mac N Spud, Pizza L’Oven and others have been all the rage this year, even before the festival started and we couldn’t wait to try them. So, we did what we had to and were at Beach Park at dot 4:30 on Friday.
Surprisingly, the event had already started by the time we got there. And since we had gotten in so early, we didn’t even have to park very far or wait in line. One other good thing the organisers have done this time is increasing the number of ticket booths at the entrance, meaning it’s less chaotic outside.
By around 5 pm, most eateries were open to business and we got down to our task for the day: eating everything! But of course, that’s not possible so we’ve jotted down how we liked the 10 items we did manage to get our hands on. Here’s what we thought!
1. Hot Stix from Hot Bombz:
We tried their Mac and Cheese balls last year and loved them. Hence, we had to try the Hot Bombz’s latest addition: Hot Stix. This is a chicken skewer coated with Flaming Hot Cheetos and served with two kinds of sauce. I guess we expected too much. While the Stix could have been seasoned a bit more generously, for only Rs 350, we’d take it.
2. Chilli Lime Prawns from Saniya’s Kitchen:
Fried, grilled, curried or in biryani, prawns are love! So, when we came to know about the Chilli Lime Prawns at Saniya’s Kitchen’s, we could barely hold back. And boy, were we right. While the eatery is known for their chatt patta Khao Suay, the prawn dish was the star. Grilled to perfection and smothered in a spicey chutney with a lemon wedge, it couldn’t get any better.
3. Gol Gappa Shots:
The Social Hub serves these tiny Gol Gappa Shots and the hype is REAL. Served with a spicy pani or a meethi chutney, we couldn’t stop with just one. The pani would hit you right in the throat and the flavourful meethi chutney will give you the right kick few moments later you’ve devoured it.
4. Pizza L’Oven:
This was actually the first stall we searched for when we walked in. Sadly, they were still setting up at the time so we had to come back an hour later. Fortunately, they were up and running by then with three flavours on offer: smoke chicken, beef pepperoni and a five-cheese margarita. The last one was a clear winner!
5. Burger Bros:
The Burger Bros stall had the longest queue and for good reason. After quite a wait, we ordered The Boss Burger which, for Rs 600, was rather tiny. It tasted great but would we wait another half an hour for that small a serving? We’re not entirely sure.
6. Fam’s Patisserie:
The sugar cane juice from Fam’s Patisserie was exactly what we needed as a break from all the spicy food.
7. Mac N Stud:
Now, this one was a bit new to us. Once we reached the stall, the staff graciously helped us understand how to order. You get to choose a base (they were offering Mac and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes or Korean Corn), a flavour and multiple toppings.
We got the Mac and Cheese base (just could not get over the cheesy goodness, especially in the chilly beach wind), chipotle as our flavour and chicken for the protein with even more cheese, picked jalapenos, cucumber and cream as our toppings. Priced at Rs 300, this was definitely a steal!
8. Le Saint Honoré Pâtisserie:
You simply cannot ignore this stall, we kid you not! The impressive macaroon tower right at the beginning is beautiful to say the least and it’s only the beginning. Once we got to the stall, the items on offer blew us away. Le Saint Honoré Pâtisserie had a number of delicacies set up for the customers. The matcha, cranberry and white chocolate cookies and Mandarin Tarts were just few items of the extensive menu. This is the place for your sweet tooth!
Calling all Potterheads! You can now taste the famous Butter Beer from the Harry Potter books at Karachi Eat. SOL’s butter beer was very rich but different we’d surely go back for more.
10. Steaks by CFU:
No, you don’t have to book a table weeks in advance to enjoy their finger-licking steaks here. Steak By CFU was the last stall we tried it was like saving the best for last! The eatery was serving beef, chicken and prawn subs as well as meat strips on their menu. And trust us when we say this: YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!
We will keep updating this list over the next two days.
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