ZOMALAND FOOD FESTIVAL:
Organized by the team at Zomato India, a giant food related app, Zomaland is being described as the “grandest” food and entertainment carnival. It certainly stood out in comparison to other food fests.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE ZOMALAND FESTIVAL:
Zomaland offers over 100 eateries divided in 8 cuisine categories, such as Indian, Oriental, Italian, Mexican etc., as well as a couple of bars serving a variety of alcohol.
There’s a carnival section with games and a Ferris (giant) wheel. Two separate stages host singers and live bands, as well as theatre artists and comedians. A dedicated kids zone and multiple photo booths are added attractions. The website also promises ‘food parades’, though I didn’t see one in person.
Singer Raghav’s performance
WHAT I ATE AT ZOMALAND:
We took advantage of the food festival and tried many restaurants. We whet our appetites at ‘Namaste Asia’ (read my review here). Their chicken chili oil dimsum and beautifully designed sushi cakes, were easy on the eyes and the stomach! We then proceeded to the bar, and ordered Absoluts and Ballantine. Our next snack was the potato tornado stick from ‘Bombay Food Factory’, I liked the chatpata variant, but the Peri Peri and Dynamite were excessively spicy.
For main course, we shared chicken Biryani from ‘Biryani by Kilo’; and mutton and chicken kebabs served with roomali roti from ‘Lucknow Tunda Kebab’. The Biryani was too spicy to be eaten in large quantities, though flavorful. The mutton galouti kebabs were delicious but the roomali rotis were a tad too thick. My vegetarian friends enjoyed their appams and potato stew from ‘Ammas Haus’, but their veggie seekh kebabs from ‘Baba Rolls’ were forgettable. We then shared a yummy margherita pizza from ‘Fat Lulu’s’.
We ended the night with dessert. The chocolate fries from ‘World of Fries’ were disappointing, as was the chocolate ice-cream from ‘Moi’. The star of the night was the delicious Nutella and Kit Kat waffle from ‘Wafl’.
From L-R: Chicken chilli oil dimsum from Namaste Asia, Potato Tornado from Bombay Food Factory, Chicken Biryani from Biryani by Kilo
From L-R: Appams and potato stew from Ammas Haus; Galouti kebab and roomali roti from Lucknow Tunda Kebab; Margherita pizza from Fat Lulu’s
From L-R: Chocolate fries from World of Fries; Nutella and Kit-Kat waffle from Wafl
REVIEW OF ZOMALAND: SHOULD YOU VISIT IT?
Unlike other festivals, Zomaland is very well-organized. To streamline the crowds, a smooth process with multiple security checks, is in place. The decoration is beautiful and classy, with plenty photo ops, that’ll resonate with millennial sensibilities. A lot of thought went into the design and lay-out. The food stalls line the peripheries, with stages on either end. The Ferris wheel and photo booths are placed in the center. This allows free movement, and makes it easy for you to choose what to eat.
Unfortunately, very few people attended the first day. The grounds were almost empty compared to other food festivals I’ve attended on their first days. The food stall owners were dissatisfied with the footfall, though I enjoyed the freedom of movement I had! The low attendance could be attributed to the high price of the ticket (all details below), or the cold weather of January, or simply to people being bored of endless melas and food festivals.
Unfortunately, the Ferris wheel wasn’t functioning when we were there. The coupons for the bar shut at 9:30 p.m. and food stalls wrap up by 10:30 p.m. The music stages also shut at 10:00 p.m, so go in the evening rather than at night. We were there for Raghav’s show, but the overly-loud sound system brought his performance down.
Of everything we ate, Namaste Asia, Ammas Haus, Fat Lulu’s and Wafl stood out the most. Pay them a visit when you’re there. You can also stop by Koyla Kebab, which is an all-time favorite of mine. The drinks are very expensive, a small glass of wine will set you back INR 500, but the vodka and whisky with mixers are better priced.
Overall, I recommend a visit to Zomaland this weekend with your family and friends. The tickets are expensive, but that ensures quality control of the crowd. There’s plenty to do and loads to eat, and you’re sure to have a memorable visit.
INFORMATION ABOUT ZOMALAND:
Days: 18-19-20 January 2019
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
Ticket Price: INR 400 online; INR 500 on the spot
*All pictures have been clicked by my friend Harpriya Kaur.
** This is not a sponsored post