“Feast on Fests”

The Palate Fest, Mini Palate, The GIG Carnival, The Grub Fest, The Asian Hawkers Market-if you are from Delhi NCR, chances are you have been to at least one of these in the recent past and if you haven’t been you would have most certainly heard these names float up during conversations with your foodie friends or with people who just went there to be seen;). Either way by now you know what I am talking about.

So picture this-30 to 40 of the best  restaurants serving their signature dishes, a fully stacked bar, live performances by some better known bands, all done in one place which logistically takes care of all of the above mentioned ingredients. Seems like a great combination- a place that you must visit, a place where you would have a great evening-I mean it has it all right-good food, alcohol, music and at times a great outdoor setting.

Well I wish that my above statement was a 100 % true. Now there is no doubt that these fests(if I may call them that) have changed things up for the people of Delhi NCR- it has given us a new form of recreation(weren’t we all bored of the same thing to do every weekend), some great food all in one place(the ability to have some Sushi and then hop on the next stall and have the Pork Bao and end it with a sinful plate of waffles  is every foodie’s delight), you could sip on a drink while walking around the place scoping the next thing you would devour  and  you can sprawl yourself on the grass and enjoy the band that’s performing on stage.

However I personally feel that this experience can be enhanced many folds.

Food: Now I don’t think anyone can question the variety on offer, from stand alone restaurants to signature restaurants at five star hotels to the small café that belts out the most amazing cheesecake-they are all there, but here is my problem-why in god’s name are you giving me gigantic/regular portions of whatever you have. The entire purpose of an event like this is for me as an individual to enjoy multiple places for their food offerings. I haven’t gone all the way to eat at one place and then be like, “You know what I am stuffed”, I mean if I wanted to do that wouldn’t I have just visited the restaurant. Mini portions, sliders, bite sized meals would do much much better. Secondly, chances are I have visited your restaurant before and I have had or seen what you have to offer on a regular basis. Now I am visiting you in a different setting so why not offer something new to me, something different, something that I haven’t seen on your menu before.

Alcohol: Just one problem-don’t charge me 400 bucks for a pint of beer. I get it that you want to make some money but hey, don’t make me start counting my money after just two pints of beer and without getting into the back end of it, I am pretty sure it is something that can be done without many people losing money;).

The Music: At the Mini Palate Fest recently the entire group of us were holding our ears shut because the guy was belting out songs, out of tune and at the GIG Carnival when the guy was singing on stage it was more like ambient music (more or less insignificant). Now we don’t expect all the acts to be mind-blowing but maybe have one of two acts that make you go-“That was great”, it does not necessarily have to be something that is commercially popular but just something that catches your ear, maybe something you have never heard before-new sounds, different sounds. Unfortunately I haven’t heard anything like that at any of the fests till now.

The Setting: The first Palate fest happened on the side of Nehru Park that is really beautiful and pretty, the old trees, the wide spread area enhanced the entire experience of the event. The recent Mini Palate happened on the opposite side of Nehru Park-which looked more like the park outside my house where I grew up 🙂 .The GIG Carnival happened at the area outside the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium and looked more like a mela. All I am getting at here is that if you are doing an event like this- do it in a place that actually adds to the experience and does not bring down from the experience.

All in all these festivals/fests/fests are most certainly here to stay and they are also a step in the right direction, not only for the people who attend these but also for the multiple outlets that put up their stalls-it’s a great opportunity for them to express themselves as a brand. Let’s just hope that with the passage of time they manage to get these things right as well 🙂

And if you haven’t been to one yet…Get your lazy ass up and make sure you go to the next one 🙂

Kanav Mata

Foodie, Tippler, Hotelier, Restauranter and Hospitality Trainer


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