Like other fellow Karachiites, we were pretty excited about the Karachi Eat Festival 2018. The event was supposed to be bigger and better this year, with a venue shift from the Frere Hall to Benazir Bhutto Park. We almost decided not to go after the negative reviews we read on the first day of the event, which was Friday, 12th January 2018. However, we decided to be a good sport and finally and took a Careem to the Karachi Eat 2018 today.
Karachi Eat 2018
The event was jam-packed the first two days, so we decided to head out a little earlier to avoid the rush. Despite vowing to leave the house at 12 noon the day earlier, we left at 2 pm. When we reached the venue, there was a long queue outside the venue. Thankfully, it moved fast and we were inside in no time. Once inside, we had to queue once again to get our tickets. Only ladies were allowed to purchase the ticket so that a stag won’t be able to enter. Good move, Karachi Eat 2018. The price of a ticket was 300 PKR, which many believe is a bit too much and not justified. Once we entered the arena, we got a free Safeguard hand wash. Yay. Karachi is usually sunny unless it’s very cold or cloudy. So, I do not understand why the organizers did not plan the event earlier. It was pretty sunny and hot. The weather was surely a turn-off. Now, let’s talk about the food.
The first thing we tried was quiche from Cheese, Crust, & Co. We were told that we will get it in 5 minutes, but we had to wait a good 15 minutes. So, we felt kind of misguided. After the long wait, we got 4 really small quiches. The taste was pretty average. At 300 PKR, I kind of felt ripped off.
Moving on, I spotted Pani Puri. So, we got a plate of pani puri from the Punjabian Dhaba. I give them full marks for taste, but again 250 is a bit too much for pani puri.
We avoided some of the places we were tempted to order from because of the long queues. We ate chapli kebab and naan from the Chapli Kebab House the next. For 250 PKR, it was good value for money. This was the best meal of the day.
After that, I made the grave mistake of ordering a pizza from the Pantry. I had heard a lot about Pantry before but never had the misfortune of trying it. So, I jumped at the opportunity and ordered a cheese pizza. I amazed that the Pantry had the audacity to call a paper-thin dough with a slight hint of cheese, a pizza. Pantry, there are plenty of pizza recipes available online, please try one. I literally felt like my 300 PKR went down the drain as soon as I saw the pizza.
We also tried the Insanely Cheesy burger from Meat The Cheese. It was an average burger and anything but insanely cheesy. It did have a lot of mayonnaise in it though. Maybe the chef couldn’t differentiate the two. At 300 PKR, the almost bite-sized burger didn’t provide good value for money either.
I have been following YUM by Amna on my Instagram since forever. She makes insanely beautiful cakes. So, I did not think twice before getting a dessert from there. I got the brownie truffle fritters. At 250, they were reasonably priced but lacked the wow factor I was expecting from Amna.
Karachi Eat 2018- The Bad
- The venue is still too small for a mega city like Karachi. There is no place to sit, which can be a problem if you have elderly family members with you.
- Most eateries are providing bite-sized meals for the price of standard meals. For instance, we really wanted to try Oh My Grill, but their sliders (read burgers) were literally bite-sized and were prized at 200 PKR. For 250 – 300 PKR you can get much bigger burgers from the Burger King, KFC, and Mc Donalds. Similarly, eateries like Pantry and Cheese, Crust & Co are were selling bite-sized meals for the price of small meals.
- The eateries did not provide tissue papers which baffles me.
- The eateries did not stock cold drinks which is kind of senseless as most people buy their drinks with their meals.
- If you go at night, the place will be jam-packed. If you go in the morning, it’s kind of hot. The organizers should perhaps consider scheduling the event earlier the next year.
- The mobile signal was fine, but my Ufone internet was not working inside the venue. So, I had to ask Uber for their Wifi so I can order a Careem back home. Just kidding.
Karachi Eat 2018- The Good
- Big props to the organizers for organizing this event. We do not have a lot of events like this in Karachi.
- A welcome break from indoor activities such as shopping.
All in all, I enjoyed going to the festival. This is in part because I am a good sport and generally tend to let go of things. However, there are people who left the event as soon as they entered the venue. It was really overcrowded and may have even come across as a mismanaged event to some. I think the vendors are letting down the organizers. The prices are a total put off. I am not a big eater but I am not satiated. I feel kind of hungry even after eating so many things because the serving size was so small! So, if you were not able to make it to the Karachi Eat 2018, don’t worry, you did not miss anything.