THT FOOD FEST: Fun, food, fiesta and lots more...
Yes, folks the event that you’ve been looking forward for the last 12 months is finally around the corner. Have no doubts (and no fears) and mark the dates on all the available calendars — ‘December 2: The Himalayan Times International Food Fest’.
Annually being held since the year 2002, this is the fifth THT fest and it is one of the most looked forward to events in any Kathmanduite’s diary. Last year the fest attracted close to 20,000 guests with stalls from over 15 nations. This year the expectations are of course higher with the organising team looking at 25,000-plus guests and food stalls from 18 countries.
Part of the proceeds generated from the fest will go towards the construction of the Annapurna park at Anamnagar.
Keeping the accessibility and the convenience of guests in mind, THT International Food Fest will be held at the Birendra International Convention Centre, Baneshwor. The Centre is centrally located making it easy for all to just drop in to experience the culinary delights from the world over.
Pet puja is our main goal, but it is not the only one. For the sporty kinds we have around 16 games stalls, with two exclusively for our lively children. So you can try your hand at fishing, or hoopla or matka or bingo... and the list goes on with very attractive prizes to be won.
Apart from these there’s the all-time children’s favourite — bouncy, car rides, cotton candy and face painting.
And if you think you are up to it, then there is the momo-eating competition or the paani puri eating and even juice drinking competition.
And what’s a day of fun in the sun without some good music, no?
Take no stress for the line-up of musicians is great. Rose Moktan (of Kalkatte kangyo fame), Nepsyders, Mad Zone, Dibya Subba, the melodious Ciney Gurung, XMantra, THT food fest veterans Gypsy Child and the very new and upcoming Jwala — they will all be performing at fest under the banner of Seagram’s Royal Mega Music.
Here’s a chance for you to steal a day in the sun before the winds of the winter really start blowing in the cold. Tickets, priced at Rs 100, and Rs 50 for children below four feet in height, are available at THT office (reception), some select outlets and the venue.
Mark your calendars, and don’t blame us later saying we didn’t inform you.
See you at BICC on December 2. The fun begins at 10:00 am.
Just the mention of the name Rum Doodle’s sparks off one’s senses to dizzying heights. Not because of the fictitious mountain that it’s named after, but also the eclectic range of cocktails that are veritably named 40,000-1/2ft Blues et al. Not to mention the Mexican cuisine, that’s just another name for culinary loftiness and lavishness.
The Mexican cuisine is more than a set of recipes, and is popular around the world for the exquisiteness of its techniques, characteristics and ingredients, which are exclusive to Mexico. And when we speak about Mexican cuisine, it is incomplete without the inevitable ‘salsas’.
Mexican cuisine is also known for its intense and varied flavours, colourful decoration and the variety of spices that adds to its culinary lavishness. It is also arguably the richest cuisine in terms of diversity of tempting tastes and textures, and is characterised by the spices used in it. The rich variety of vegetables (chili peppers, green peppers, chilies, broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes) and meats in Mexican food make it a connoisseurs heavenly choice.
Rum Doodle’s, which has been a regular participant at THT food fest, will show case its prized Mexican Cuisine that even Jimmy Carter found irresistible.
• Mexican chicken with Mexican rice and salsa: Rs200
• Corn chips with salsa: Rs 70
• French fries: Rs 70
• Tequila: Rs 100
• Margarita: Rs 200
• 40,000-1/2 ft Blues: Rs 175
She’s really been making waves in the circle that has tasted the ‘real’ biryani, and her clients cannot help but rave about her cooking. Our own columnist Dubby Bhagat is her fan.
This year Tasneem Shahani brings her Bori Muslim flavours to THT food fest at the Indian stall.
Describing her biryanis, Tasneem says, “They are not drippy or oily, and not really hot.”
As she scoops the biryani on to the plate, she says, “One should know how to serve the biryani. Each person should get the meat pieces and the potato and the masala.”
So to ensure that all the guests get a good helping, Tasneem will be serving the biryani herself, and of course helped by her better half.
The delicacies on her menu include mutton or chicken biryani, or a combo meal that would include mutton or chicken biryani with a helping of kasuri methi chicken.
The mutton in the biryani is tender just so that it breaks with just a little pressure of one’s fork. No dry, not drippy, not soggy, the biryani goes well with the kachumber (salad made up of onions, tomatoes, coriander with a hint of lemon).
The kasuri methi chicken is a surprise — a little sweet, a little salty... just tangy enough to complement the biryani.
The Indian stall also have ‘snacks on the go’ prepared by the members of the Indian Women’s Club. So you can munch on samosas as you go and try your luck at bingo, or just gorge on paani puris that is always an all time favourite.
The women of IWC along with the club’s Cultural Secretary Sarita Kishore are busy preparing all these and they have not forgotten the ones with the sweet tooth. Sandesh and til ka laddoo are on the IWC menu.
• Mutton biryani: Rs 120 per plate
• Chicken biryani: Rs 100 per plate
• Combo meal (Mutton or chicken biryani with kasuri methi chicken): Rs 150
• Samosa with chutney
• Paani puri (5 pieces a plate)
• Til ka laddoo (2 pieces a plate)
It will be an all American stall that KC’s Restaurant will flaunt at THT food fest. And it’s not without genuine reasons. Having catered to foodies for almost three decades, the management knows its maverick tricks please a gourmand. Still proud to be the highest seller at last year’s food fest, it buckles down to the basics once more.
“This time we’re going to be more organised, and try to overcome the obstacles that we had to face last year,” says Mukesh, Managing Director of KC’s restaurant.
But, over everything, Mukesh is sure that this time around too his stall with American yummies will be the biggest crowd puller.
“American cuisine over the years has become the most popular one among the Nepali crowd. They have developed that taste over time. And it shouldn’t surprise you that 35-40 per cent of the sales in our restaurant is because of Nepali customers,” he boasts.
American cuisine is extremely diverse owing to its immigrant culture. Some even go to the extent of defining American cuisine as a synthesis of cuisines from around the world, a style of cooking that takes something from each immigrant community. And many dishes considered quintessentially American (burger, hotdogs, steaks et cetera) have borrowed from the recipes of other countries.
• Buff or chicken steak served with potato, vegetables and gravy: Rs 110
• American burger (served in a bun with grated cheese and relish): Rs70
• Veg burger (served in a bun with grated cheese and relish): Rs 60
• Hot dog (served in a hot dog bun with fried onion ketchup and mustard): Rs 60
• Chicken nuggets: Rs 70
• French fries: Rs 50
• Ice Cream (two scoops of any variety): Rs 60
• Chocolate cheese cake: Rs 40
• Banana split: Rs 80