To celebrate the love for food and music, Coca-Cola Food and Music Festival is back for its three-day show in Karachi and that is probably all you will hear this weekend. But is it worth the hype?
Before we jump to the nitty gritty, we would like to applaud the management of the event which ensured that the process of buying tickets and the entry went smoothly. Tickets are available at the venue.
It is important to know that while you are likely to have fun, don’t walk in with the expectation to try something unique at every step. There are hardly any vendors who are bringing something new so, you will find eateries trying to tempt you with whatever they serve at their restaurants. There were some eateries that completely stood out for us:
Chips N Dips
Their ‘Rainbow fries’ which were topped with seven different dips were an instant hit with us and many others. It was worth PKR 300 and was wholesome.
The unique concept of serving apple pie, pizza and chocolate s’mores in a samosa immediately grabbed our attention and it lived up to the expectation. It was decently priced at PKR 250 which was a steal.
But then there were vendors who disappointed us:
Having tried authentic Afghani food at Al-Asif Square, this eatery certainly did not live up to our expectations. The namkeen boti (half worth PKR 350) went overboard with the salt and was not as tender as namkeen boti usually is.
If you have tried the famous Dhoraji limca, you’re in for some serious disappointment with this one. Owing to the nature of the event, not only was the small plastic glass worth PKR 100 it tasted nothing like limca and everything like a drink with lemon and salt in it.
Their cup of lassi is sheer disappointment because they served the bland drink with additional sugar which totally ruins the experience. We also tried their khausey and seeing nimco papadi and imli chutney on top, we were certainly puzzled. If you are someone who specializes in this dish, please tell us if we are the only ones confused.
The only vendor serving Pani Puri. It was a nice plate of crispy puri and the tangy water was the right amount of sweet and sour which made it an enjoyable experience. We wouldn’t say they were great, but they were good to try once.
Asli Kashmiri Chai
The weather is beautiful and it calls for Kashmiri Chai. We decided to try a cup from this vendor (PKR 100) and we were heartbroken when we took the very first sip. It was watery and tasted nothing like authentic, nutty pink tea *sniff sniff*.
Make sure to get there by 7:30 or later because that is when the concert begins. There is music, food and many fun activities for your little ones to enjoy while you eat and groove to the songs. Worthy of note is that the Beach Park is probably not the most looked after venue in the city. The grass is almost grown to the lengths of crop field so be sure to wear closed shoes to walk around comfortably.
In all honesty, four famous music artists or bands and the cost of attendance worth PKR 450 is not a bad deal to make at all. While the opening acts might work for some and disappoint many, (except Quadrum because they were insanely amazing!) the final act is worth the wait. UK Sahara certainly made up for the lack of entertainment by other artists. They were a power-packed duo with not a single dull moment. Today, the line-up is even better with artists like Shuja Haider, Sahir Ali Bagga and finally, Josh who will make sure you enjoy every moment.
4) What we missed
We certainly regret missing out on two extremely interesting vendors:
Yoshi’s which was serving authentic Japanese street food like Japanese cheese tea — popular globally — was on our list but we couldn’t make it to their stall. And PASTABILITES — which was serving a wide range of pasta — but by the time we reached their stall again at 9:30 pm, they were sold out.
Overall, compared to last year, the festival has less variety of unique or new vendors and more of restaurant stalls which are not offering something new. Our advice would be that you first have a look around to see what the festival has in store for you.
The Coke Music and Food Festival, which will continue till Sunday, 16th December 2018, starts at 3 pm and ends at 11 pm.