The organizers of NH7 Weekender - Only Much Louder - put in extra effort to make sure music lovers coming in for the 2-day fest were spoiled for choice at every level. Be it a line-up of 60 artists divided between 6 genres with a differently done up stage for each, bars near every stage with drinks in buckets at economical prices and most importantly (for me at least) popular cafes, restaurants and up and coming start-ups roped in for running food stalls. A happy miss was given to the usual suspects one expects at such events. There was no Dominos or Pizza Hut for pizzas and garlic bread, no Costa Coffee for coffee, ice teas and sandwiches and no 'mashhoor dilli chaatwala'.
Instead names like 'Smoke House Deli', 'Olive' and 'Ploof Deli' steered the greed of danced out bellies. So even the usual sandwich had a brie cheese twist thanks to Smoke House Deli, which unfortunately I didn't get to try because they ran out of veg. food on both the days. The stale-boxed pizzas were replaced by freshly crisped thin-crust pizzas by Olive. Olive also did some divine spinach quiches and a Wimpy like aloo-tikki burger amongst other things. Popular HKV Hangout - Flipside Cafe was serving steaming hot sweet crepes - I tried the classic Nutella crepes and they seldom disappoint. The pricing of dishes was good for the standard of food that was being served at most places, I think there was a maximum cap of Rs. 250 set for all stalls. The only time the prices pinched me were the 200 rupees (for each bagel) at Bagels Cafe. I tried the Hummus Bagel and the Gouda Cheese Bagel, they made the effort of keeping whole wheat bagels but had run out so we had it in white bread, it was all a waste because a dollop of cheese or of hummus in the centre with all other ingredients being the same didn't really do justice to my wallet or my taste!
Home baker, Wake and Bake, made their venture debut with savouries and comfort food like a Mac and Cheese, which was more Mac and Oregano, but was enjoyable as well as decent Red Velvet Cupcakes and Oreo Cupcakes. Their BBQ Chicken and Bacon Pasta had humongous servings and were well worth the price! Ploof Deli served yummy tenderloin burgers and Vietnamese chicken skewers. Amongst others were Vaango - South Indian Food Chain and HKV'S new Iron Curtain. The other disappointment was the soggy synthetic momos at Matchbox Grill. I wish I had saved space and tried the chaat at Olive's The Moving Kitchen (their catering branch) and the smoothies I love so much at Smoke House Deli, but there is only so much I could eat!
I think the point has been made - kudos to the NH7 team for serving gourmet food at a music fest. The service and the people behind the counters were good too. Now that we're well acquainted with the food scene, we're looking forward to the Pune NH7 Weekender even more!
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