The Oktoberfest is something I’ve always wanted to experience. For the uninitiated, neuropathologist the Oktoberfest is a sixteen-day festival held each year in Germany. Its a two week beer festival and theres nothing quite like it! The food is amazing too!
The Taj Krishna in Hyderabad, has tried to re-create the same thing here and has been promoting the thing all over town. After an exec from the hotel came to the office and talked it up, we decided to go. It was a team thing and we were a group of ten. The promise of unlimited lager beer sounded just like the thing for a Saturday night.
The prices were reasonable too.. considering it was the Taj. 1500 bucks for a couple and 900 for a stag. So anyway, we turned up all ready to get sloshed on Saturday night and got to it right away. We had the option of eating at Encounters (the coffee shop) or the Grand Ball Room. We chose the Ball Room because it had live music. Now I must tell you, the grand ball room brings back some pretty grand memories for me. This was the place I had one my first ever ODC’s (OutDoor Catering’s).
Allow me to explain. This is something that a hotel management college does to its students as a part of its curriculum. It is an evening of ‘on the job’ learning that they send you off on. They even pay you! Sounds pretty good huh? Yeah. I thought so too.
An ODC is in fact an evening of back breaking work, sweat and toil. There have been times when I’ve felt that I was nothing more than a rented mule with a nice haircut. But not all ODCs were bad.. We got used to them after a while and actually began to have fun. It also depended on the hotel we were assigned to. That made a big difference to the whole thing. The Taj was one of the better places to have an ODC. You got to learn a lot.
DISCLAIMER: Strong language ahead!
Places like The Manohar, Begumpet on the other hand, was a f*cked up place to work at. The staff was extremely rude and the management was difficult. There was really nothing to learn from that bunch of a** clowns. To top it all, the buggers never paid us.
Only one real expletive! Hmm.. I guess time is a pretty good healer after all.. Please ignore disclaimer above. I didn’t swear that much after all. F*ckin’ awesome!
Anyway, coming back to the Oktoberfest at Krishna. They’ve tried to re-create a village square inside the banquet hall, so there are no chairs.. only benches. I hate benches. I don’t mix benches and booze. The Noodle Bar in Hyd Central also has benches for seats and I once had a frightening moment there. A couple of drinks down, I forgot that the bench had no back rest and leaned back in leisurely fashion with a vegetable spring roll in hand. I almost plumetted to an untimely and embarrassing death that day. If it weren’t for my cat like lightning reflexes and the fingernails on my right hand …
Another story.. another time.. Man, I’m really wandering on this one! Coming back to the Oktoberfest..
Navin reached early so he grabbed a table. We walked in and sat down. Five minutes and the beer was brought to the table. Nice. I headed off towards the buffet counter to check out the hyped up German food. I found two kinds of Sauerkraut, some beans and a few potato dishes on the vegetarian side. The non veg stuff was interesting.. Grilled beef, pork and chicken and bunch of sausages with a variety of sauces.. Not great but too bad either.. The stuff was fine and we started having a pretty good time..
But then.. they ran out of beer! The taps started running painfully slow and the queues started getting longer and longer. 40 – 50 min later, they started handing out bottled beer but it was a little annoying to sit around for so long without a drink. The desserts were routine but the Strudel really took the cake.. (or should I say puff pastry) 😛
Damn! I almost forgot to mention the band! The German Geriatric Society was in concert that night! No offence to old folks, but seriously.. they were really old.. and really boring.. Actually, you know what.. I’m not gonna be harsh on them at all.. I guess thats how the music was supposed to sound. They promised German cultural music and they probably delivered it perfectly. So yeah.. they were okay.. They did play a couple of English numbers which went down really well with the people so.. they were definitely talented. Just not our kinda talent.. Can’t recall the name of the band .. Wheezer (sic).. was it? 😛
All in all, I wouldn’t say that the Taj failed with this idea. It definitely has potential and the capacity to bring in the crowd. They just need to work on a few things..