Editor Reviews

Coke Fest Fever Hits Islamabad

Food festivals in Pakistan are on the rise, giving a chance to various restaurants and food outlets to promote their food items. Everyone from the twin-cities made their way to Gulberg Greens, an unlikely venue for the Coke Fest 2019, from 25th January to 27th January, 2019. The crowd entering the venue was so huge that we had to park our car 2 kilometers away from the venue.

Workers from Wasim Shinwari hard at work

Workers from Wasim Shinwari hard at work

As we approached the entrance, we realized that we needed an additional entrance pass, even though we had already bought our tickets online. This was a big nuisance, considering that we had to go all the way to the back of the venue to get the passes. Luckily though, it didn’t take us much time. However, people who had not purchased their tickets already had to wait for more than an hour standing in the long queues. Inside, we saw that the stalls were completely mismanaged, as they had concentrated all of the eateries and restaurants in one place, resulting in huge crowds trying to gain access to the food.

Although the Coke Festival is an event comprising of various activities, the event is generally about food. We started with the delicious and scrumptious ‘Beef Pasanday’ from Choti Roti Moti Boti. The flavorful spices were mixed perfectly with the yoghurt, giving the beef an exceptional flavor. The chutney served with the beef complimented it, and at a mere PKR 350, the dish was worth the money.

Beef Pasanday from Choti Roti Moti Boti

Beef Pasanday from Choti Roti Moti Boti

The winner of the barbecue items at the event was Rewayat, with their delicious variety of Reshmi Kabab, Green Boti, Malai Boti and Sikandri Tikka. The spices added to the barbecue were just the right quantity, staying true to the taste of Pakistani cuisine. Furthermore, the deals offered by Rewayat were ideal, and at a price of PKR 400, you could enjoy 2 meat items with Puri and Chutney.

Reshmi Kabab, Green Boti, Malai Boti and Sikandri Tikka from Rewayat

Reshmi Kabab, Green Boti, Malai Boti and Sikandri Tikka from Rewayat

The only restaurant that gave a tough time to Rewayat was Baranh Express, who had made themselves exclusive by serving just a Chicken Tawa piece. Although we had eaten all the food items from the previously mentioned restaurants, luckily we had some space left to try the Tawa piece, which totally lived up to expectations.

Chicken Tawa piece from Baranh Express

Chicken Tawa piece from Baranh Express

In order to explore a few snacks, we tried the Red Door’s Chicken and Plain Pathooray. The Pathooray, which were warm and soft, looked like a mini version of a mixture of Paratha and Puri. They went well with the main course items we had tried. Although we enjoyed the pathooray, the ‘sweet and sour’ imli chutney served with them was bland, and ruined their taste a little.

Chicken and plain pathooray from Red Door

Chicken and plain pathooray from Red Door

They say that no meal is complete without a dessert. However, the Coke Fest disappointed in terms of desserts, and the only items with both taste and value for money, were the Brussels Waffles and Belgian Pancakes from Petit Brugge. Although the waffles and the pancakes were being served in haste, credit must be given to the staff of Petit Brugge, who did not compromise on the quality of the food they were serving.

Brussels waffles by Petit Brugge

Brussels waffles by Petit Brugge

Naan Dhaba adopted the intelligent strategy of providing a one stop shop for all food items, which served well for someone who was in a rush. The deals they offered were well thought out and easy on the pocket, with a maximum price of PKR 400. Items included Pizza Naans, Samosas, Curly Fries, Nutella Naan, Garlic Mayo Fries and a complimentary drink. However, their doodh patti stole the show, since it was probably the best tea served in the entire venue.

Delicious deals from Naan Dhaba

Delicious deals from Naan Dhaba

Although the event was primarily focused on the food stalls, a concert was also arranged, with notable musicians performing including Jawad Ahmed, Asim Azhar and Gohar Mumtaz, which further ignited the interest of the people attending the event.

The event generally turned out to be a success; however, it could have been much better managed in terms of the venue arrangements and the stall placements. Furthermore, since this was a Jazz sponsored event, other mobile phone sims were jammed, which was a huge problem as it was impossible to locate anyone who got lost. Initially the organizers had arranged for lost and found announcements, but there was not enough time given to this since eventually they had to proceed with the event. Personally, we felt that the Islamabad Eat, which took place from November 23rd to November 25th 2018, was a much better organized event, in terms of venue selection and stall management.

Here’s to a more successful and a better managed Coke Fest in the future!

 

Courtesy: Shaheryar Ahmed; Youlin Magazine

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