I've got blisters on my feet but the rush from Day 1 of what is possibly India's biggest food festival is nothing short of remarkable. 40 of the city's finest restaurants, bakeries and cafes have gathered in Nehru Park to showcase the most mind-numbing, jaw-dropping selection of food I've ever seen.
There are waffles, chicken sliders, pork chops, dumplings, tarts, truffles, kebabs, seafood platters, Lebanese snacks, appams with beef fry and everything under the sun. You can actually eat a shawarma, walk it off and then eat again because you've got 80 acres of area dedicated to just FOOD!
Besides the gorgeous November sun, there is a concert area with live music, a kids zone where you can drop off the little ones, wooden park benches where you can carry your food to, a market area where you can pick up cookbooks, baked goods, cold-pressed juices, organic food, home-made Parsi masalas, dips, chutneys, cakes, cupcakes and tarts. Featured Restaurants:
SodaBottleOpenerWala, The Hungry Monkey, La Bodega, Studio Fry, Royal China, Underdogs, Punjab Grill, The Hiatus, Olive Bar & Kitchen, Guppy, Le Bistro du Parc, The Leela, Lodi, Kylin, Choko La, Palate Lounge by Golden Dragon, Farzi Cafe, Made in Punjab, The Beer Cafe, Tres, The Park, The Taj Mahal Hotel, Nik Bakers, Fat Lulu's, The Great Kebab Factory, Habibi, TownHall, Amour.
And all of this isn't enough, these 6 surprising facts will show you what makes this food festival stand out.
1) There's Beer. And There's Wine.
There's all that food and there's also some great booze to go with it. Enjoy a delicate bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, jalapenos and capers with a chilled bottle of beer or a gorgeous glass of red wine sangria.
2) Market Area with 22 Stalls
From fig chutney to dhansak masala, from rum cake to organic juices, from muesli to flaxseeds; there's everything your kitchen cabinet could possibly need. And what's great is the fact that you're not dealing with pushy salespeople but just a bunch of food lovers who love what they do and will go great lengths to help you understand what you really need. Unlike your trip to your local grocery store, here you can taste everything before you buy it.
3) Too Tired to Walk? Take a Ride
This without doubt has to be one of the coolest things at the fest. If you're too tired then hire a Segway. For those of you who don't know, Segway is a two-wheeled, battery-powered electric vehicle that can easily be driven on grass by people of all age groups.
4) The theme of the Fest - International
There's no cuisine or ingredient you won't find at Palate Fest. Cantonese, Lebanese, Punjabi, Korean, Japanese, Indian (regional), American, Srilankan, Burmese and Thai are just a few of what's being served. There's a dearth of options when it comes to non-vegetarian food as well. Besides the usual chicken and mutton, there's pork, liver pattice, duck, beef, fish, prawns, lamb, crabs, oysters and even lobsters.
5) Trying to Be Healthy? They've got You Covered
If the endless walk through Nehru Park doesn't leave you feeling healthy enough, Palate Fest has an exciting range of food for you. From gluten free breads, biscuits and pastas to organic juices to cold pressed juices for weight-loss. There's also a really exciting stall right in the beginning (if you enter from gate 1) which has a 'healthy' waffles that are rich in fibre and low in calories. They've got both sweet and savoury options with a calorie count next to each. So you'll know exactly what you eat.
6) Art in the Park
There's a 20 feet installation of plates. No, seriously. It' s gorgeous, it's been created by a not-for-profit foundation 'Art for All' and is called 'Hungry Plates'.