Much fanfare and updates on social media about the New Delhi Palate Fest 2015 had me curious enough to plan a day there. Though my last years experience was a disaster at the same fair, this year promised to be a bit different.
Well! The crowds seemed to be huge and food overpriced ( social media reports) – Undeterred, I headed out there on the second day. Prudence triumphed enough for me to take the metro till Racecourse and then auto it. (Last year the parking was more than three nightmares rolled into one).
I entered from the Market Zone (Red) and saw a neatly ringed formation of small kiosks and thelas, each with their vibrant banners and hoopla. Loved the large benches and tables in the middle with dustbins located conveniently all around. Neat and organised was my first impression, with plenty of seating capacity. (Plus 10 from last time’s haphazardness!)
All the vendors seemed to be selling home made food stuffs and were very open to free tasting and sampling! We made a pit stop at Just Pav and loved their simple dish for all the right flavours and textures. The boonda was soft (not mushy) and very fresh in taste. At 50/- we were happy with it!
Next came some home cooks who offered a taste and we simply loved the taste and their enthusiasm for us to try everything on their stall.
Sugarama had an awesome array of colorful Macaroons on display and in a platter for tasting as well. Our thumbs up to the Peanut butter one!
The SugarCube had some Teacakes on for tasting and our favourite was the vanilla chiffon with lemon! Their chocolate cake looked scrumptious too! Loved the lovely lady at the helm of things – wish her all the best for her venture!
Miss Chhotee’s homemade dips and crisps were damn good and had us buying them outright! Lavaash crisps in beetroot and spinach flavours were our favourite. A tad bit expensive at 150/- for each. They retail at Food hall!
The plum chutney and the white wine mustard at Nilufer’s kitchen are worth a mention too! Shall make some sandwiches and share pics to tease!
Our next halt was The Flip Pan which offered us their biryani for sampling- was delicious with great flavours! Kathal ke Galauti caught our fancy and we weren’t disappointed. Juicy, moist and soft but well cooked with a mild spice flavouring; tangy shredded beetroot and hummus made for great accompaniment with them! The entire plate cost us 200/- and was value for money in our opinion.
Sated, we checked out the next spot which was packed with crowds – Bombaykery! Neatly done stall with some great looking desserts! We tried the raspberry cheesecake (60/-) and were pleasantly happy with it. Their selection was impressive and we have made a note to check them out more as they are in DLF phase 4.
Elmas bakery and Fat lulu were the other two exciting looking stalls with good crowds. Rest of the stalls were so average in decor n fanfare that it was sad to see, especially the five star hotels. Another thing we noticed was that restaurants had combined in pairs to take up stalls- probably to share the high rentals and ensure proper footfall.
The art installations were too weird for me to understand and did nothing to liven up the atmosphere. The music bands were a dull affair as well- probably Euphoria was the only top billed performer there.
I detested the fact that everywhere water and beverages were being sold at double or more. This is really sad to see and should be discouraged, drinking water fountains should be put up at such fairs!
I had been longing to try out the Thai food at NeungRoi for ages and took this opportunity to dine there. Simply loved the delicious flavours and crunchy veggies in the green curry. If at a food fest the fare is so good, can’t wait to try it out at their restaurant. And guess what, they handed us a 15% discount voucher for our next visit there. yipeeee! (350/- for the plate)
To quench our thirst, we had stopped at great Indian kebab factory but were unimpressed by their offerings. Finally picked up lemonade with chia seeds from La Bodega which at 200/- a glass was really expensive. Then we came upon this stall with some really funky looking drinks but each priced at 200/- onwards for a glass! Yup drinks were expensive at the fest all around.
For me the plus points were, free entry, much more organised in layout and spacing than last year and loads of seating options being provided. The number of participating food outlets was also very impressive with tonnes of home bakers. Food sampling in the market zone was the biggest hit with me.
now moving onto the Gourmet HIghstreet which is on 4th-6th December in leisure valley park in Gurgaon. Let’s see how that turns out to be.