The hunger games


Express News Service

I didn’t know about Chonak (Giant Sea Perch) when I came across it , ” recalls Vikrant Batra of Café Delhi Heights, “And then I tasted it. What a vehicle for flavour.” It was this discovery that nudged Batra to introduce the Fish Trap festival to the variegated outlets of his brand across Delhi-NCR, and beyond. After a year of being locked in, people were happy to have a reason t o celebrate. “Even with your favourite restaurants, you know what to order every time.

Chaat-O-logy at Pirates of Grill

Food festivals give people the opportunity to try something new,” notes Chef Sumit Choudhary of Monkey Bar, adding, “At a time like this, when you can always get your favourites delivered at home, which we still do, food festivals give you a reason to step out.” This is something that all of Delhi-NCR’s F&B scene, across hotels and restaurants, is rediscovering, as they coax customers to return.

“Delhi’s original Machan was recently launched in its all-new contemporary avatar. We recently curated a specially crafted Baileys Dessert menu at the Emperor Lounge and Machan, for our Baileys Dessert Festival,” says Vinod Pandey of Taj Mahal, Delhi. Chefs are excellent at giving people what they want, as are restaurateurs.

Avantika Singh, of Kampai notes, “We, being a critically acclaimed contemporary Japanese restaurant, are running a Korean food festival as Japanese and Korean cuisine have a great influence on each other. The biggest influence that Korean cuisine has had on Japanese is kim chi which is now fairly mainstream in Japan and is so showcased in our menu along with other famous Korean dishes like Bibimbap.

These food festivals are a great way to bridge the gap between consumers and social media. Also, keeping up with the latest trends and curating such festivals brings newness and becomes essential for any restaurant to thrive in this competitive market.” Jasmeet Banga, owner of Pirates of Grill chimes in, saying, “Food Festivals are a great way to connect with your audience.

Festivals, if done in the proper way, by doing decor, adding special dishes in the menu adds to the culinary experience of the guests. We at Pirates of Grill plan food festivals in proper way. Food plus festival feel for us makes it a complete food festival. We are gearing up for the Chaat-o-logy festival which will bring different chaat across India.

The simple, comfort food also develops an immediate connection with an audience. Décor certainly adds to the entire feel and we at Pirates of Grill make sure to do specific decor that relates with the concept.” Shivam Sehgal from The Marketplace, which is now hosting a kebab fest, says “Food festivals add a lot of enthusiasm among customers.

It’s a festive way to celebrate food. I feel customers today resonate with the food which has emotional connect with the audience in terms of their understanding and acceptance of the cuisine. Food which can be enjoyed amongst the families and all the age groups resonates with the audience.

At The Marketplace, we are doing a special Lucknowi Festival which is bringing the best of nostalgic kebabs, curries and biryanis from Nawabon Ka Shahar.” “I am always thinking of how we can improve things for our diners. Food festivals are a great way to gauge what people want, and the best way we can deliver it to them. We have already incorporated four dishes from our fish trap menu to our regular menu at CDH,” signs off Batra with a flourish.

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