Venue: PSOI Club, Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri
Date: 1 November, 2015
Street food festivals are not new to this city. Every winters Delhi NCR witness many street food festivals organised by Delhi Tourism Department as well as private organisations. Delhi has a rich culture of street food and anybody who is a Delhite at heart would stamp it that the best food in Delhi is available on the streets. From Kuremal ki kulfi to parathas at Gali Parathey wali, from fried burger cart outside a government school to matar kulcha cart outside your office to the quintessential gol gappe wala almost everywhere, Delhi is full of surprises that start from smell, travel through tastebuds and reach the soul.
Continuing the tradition of street food festivals, Thelewala has recently organised Zaika-e-Dilli where they invited various famous street food wizards from Old Delhi to put up their stalls at the venue – PSOI club, Chanakyapuri. The festival was on for just one day and we managed to visit it in the evening. From the first look it looked like the chaat and snacks area from a North Indian wedding. In fact we have seen better decor, arrangement and bigger crowd in some of upper middle class weddings. This dampened our spirits a bit and we also felt sorry for the organisers. We always believed that food festivals never have dearth of foodie crowd in Delhi, but this one looked like an exception.
Our low spirits got a boost up as soon as we started having food from the available counters. The food stalls had a lot of stuff that is not available in some parts of Delhi.
This was one of the hidden gems from old Delhi and is not available anywhere else in Delhi. (Do let us know if it is… we’re all ears and tongue). We liked it so much that we had to buy another plate to satiate our craving.
They also had fun competitions like rasgulla eating etc.
Though Zaika-e-Dilli might not be a big crowd puller as The Grub Fest, we liked the concept of Zaika -E -Dilli better. They brought some fine street food from old Delhi to plush and sophisticated South Delhi while The Grub Fest as a way of concept failed to do so. What’s the point of having a stall of Fork You Too in Gurgaon when the actual restaurant is also in Gurgaon? If the Grub Fest was organised somewhere in old Delhi, people from that part of Delhi would actually be more excited as they get to experience and taste the fine dining that is mostly confined to South & Central Delhi and NCR.
Having said that, in totality we liked both the festivals.
We were a little disappointed though that the event did not have any chaiwala. The classy tea stalls are no substitute to the cup of heaven that the roadside chaiwalas pour on a nippy autumn evening.
Long live the variety of food, the food festivals and the foodie community.