There is a nip in Delhi’s air, heralding the season of food festivals. The Grub Fest is the first of many. Described as India’s biggest food festival, it is currently on at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium grounds (Gate No. 14) till tomorrow, i.e. 29th October.
I visited at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday when the place was mostly empty. Despite the start time being 12:00 p.m., a lot of stalls were just setting up. I’d recommend an early afternoon visit if you don’t like crowds. By the time I left at 3:10 p.m., it was significantly full, on its way to being jam-packed. However, do keep in mind that the area is mostly uncovered, so it’s quite hot in the afternoons.
The fest was much smaller when I visited last year. Its success has obviously contributed to its exponential growth. A lot of thought has been put in its organization, evident from the site maps handed out at entry; and ID proof checking for sale of alcohol. You’re given a tag if you’re older than 25, allowing you to buy drinks for anyone you’re with. This practice is inherently flawed as drinks can be bought for underage people accompanying you.
The grounds are divided into separate sections. There are multiple vendors of food products; numerous food stalls; a recreation area for children, a stage for performances; and two large screens for movie shows. There was even one clothing stall. Madame Tussauds is launching in Delhi, and the unveiling took place here.
The stage is set
The restaurants are a mix of established eateries and newer entrants in the market, ensuring all cuisines and taste preferences are covered. Alcohol is sold in stands sponsored by alcohol companies directly, as well as the likes of Social and Imperfecto. We had drinks at the Social stall and ate an average pepperoni pizza from the All American Uncle Jack’s Creamery, a Chandigarh based joint. Our dessert from Bake Burry was nice but not outstanding. Other promising places included Pandan, Enoki and Koyla Kebab.
Pizza from All American Uncle Jack’s Creamery
The performances promise to be electric, with a fantastic line-up on both days. The movie screening and Bull Ride area are innovative, but seem unnecessary with so much else on offer. I spoke to a couple of vendors, who voiced their disappointment at yesterday’s paltry footfall. This could be because it was a Friday, or that people are tired of the numerous fairs and fests.
The musical performance line-up (Picture courtesy The Grub Fest Facebook page)
The Movie Line-Up
I question this fest happening so soon after the Diwali Mela’s (read more about that here and here), but I’m aware that some people enjoy weekly entertainment. The Grub Fest certainly ticks all boxes when it comes to keeping you entertained.
Price for single entry: INR 400 (tickets can be bought online here)
Days: 27th – 29th October
Timings: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m
Event rating: 4/5