Overall rating: 4.5/5
Extremely popular across NCR for its unusual offerings which create a perfect ‘illusion’, Farzi Café needs no introduction. After being a raging success at Cyber Hub, Farzi Café recently opened its second outlet at the heart of Delhi- Connaught Place. Currently open only during the evening, the place was packed when we went there on a Wednesday, which clearly demonstrates its popularity.
The CP outlet is much larger than the one at Cyber Hub, with plush wooden interiors, excellent music and a huge bar. The concept behind Farzi, was not just to make Indian food modern, but also to provide Delhiites with a place which serves excellent and unique food along with reasonably priced and innovative cocktails. The bar is clearly the focal point of the restaurant, and has been done up in a very interesting manner, with light bulbs which convert into glasses for drinks. The bar also has a banta machine, which they use to make six different flavours of alcoholic bantas.
We tried the vodka-based Shikanji Banta, which was excellent, and is a must-try! Another interesting cocktail we tried was the bubbling jaljeera, which is created in a large flask, with edible dry ice put at the bottom, and the liquids poured on top to create a bubbling effect- a great spectacle as well as a tasty drink. We also tried a couple of mocktails- Farzi OK (a combination of California oranges and kaffir lime leaves- extremely delicious) and an apple and mint mocktail, which was really refreshing with a slightly sour taste. This drink was topped with a lovely mint foam.
Before we started our meal, we were served Salted Caramel Spheres as an amuse bouche. They were laid out on a plate which had dry-ice, on top of which hot water had been poured to create a smoke-like effect. The spheres were meant to be had like shots and the combination of cool, slightly sweetened yogurt, with a light hit of salt really tantalized the taste buds.
For starters, we had:
Delhi Belly Tikka and Roasted Russet Apples with Murrabba Glaze: This was a spectacular dish- the pork belly had been cooked perfectly, it was juicy and moist and extremely flavourful. But what created magic on this dish was the incredible murabba glaze. It was slightly sweet, sour and sticky and had bits of anardana in it and all the flavours were perfectly balanced. Even the apples were coated in the same glaze and they tasted delicious as well. A must-have dish here!
Mini Raj Kachori with Crisp Okra Salad and Chutney Foam: The raj kachori was really crisp, but it could have been slightly thinner. It was stuffed with a pumpkin and yogurt filling and was topped with a tamarind foam, so the sweet and sour flavours were balanced well. The kachori was served with some crispy fried okra, which not only provided a nice crunch to the dish, but tasted brilliant as well.
Pine Nuts and Scallion ‘Paddu-Yaki’, Roasted Tomato Kut, Parmesan Appalam: A perfect fusion of South Indian and Japanese, this dish had a paddu (South Indian fried rice balls) but made use of some Japanese flavourings. The paddu was served with a roasted tomato chutney and some parmesan dust. Though the regular paddu is often slightly bland, this version had a lot of flavour.
Mac n Cheese Pakora Bites: We all love pakodas as well as macaroni and cheese, so when these two things are combined together, how can one go wrong. These little balls and oozing cheese in it, and a crunchy exterior.
Dal Chawal Arancini, Achaar-Papad-Chutney: What a brilliant innovation- converting the humble dal and chawal to Italian-style arancini balls, and rather than being coated with breadcrumbs, these were coated with papad pieces. They were served atop a fresh tomato salsa, and were topped with mini papads and green chutney, to make for the quintessential home-style meal of dal, rice, papad and chutney.
F.F.C- Farzi Fried Chicken with Smoked BBQ Cream: The fried chicken was served on a mini-truck. It was crunchy on the outside and juicy within, and had been marinated well. It was served with a smoked bbq cream, but we would have preferred a sauce which was slightly spicier to be served with these.
After the starters, we were served with a palate-cleanser of Khandvi Sorbet Lolly-pops. As weird as it may sound, they actually did taste exactly like khandvi and even had tiny bits of curry leaves inside. These not only refreshed out palates, but were extremely delicious as well.
For mains, we had:
Chicken Tikka Masala with naan: This is the national dish of Britain, and to pay homage to that, it was served in a red mini telephone booth. The chicken was quite nice- had subtle spices and was heavy on tomatoes.
Mutton Irrachi Pepper Fry with Malabari Parantha: Melt-in-the-mouth mutton, in a typical Kerala-style pepper fry curry, served with flaky paranths. The mutton had the typical south indian flavourings, but was not overpowered by coconut oil, which was great!
Bheja Fry, Fresh coriander and Cumin Appam: Our first time trying bheja fry, and we couldn’t have asked for a better rendition of this dish. The bheja was shredded very fine, so that you don’t feel the slimy and mushy texture while eating it, as a result of it, you are not repulsed by the thought of it, and are actually able to appreciate the flavour. Also, it went really well with the soft appam.
No meal is complete without desserts, and here as well, Farzi doesn’t disappoint. We tried:
Ras Malai Tres Leches, Carrot Cream, Rose Petal Net: The ras malai was stacked, with layers of carrot cream in between, topped with a sugar net, all swimming in the saffron and rose petal flavoured milk. The ras malai pieces were really soft and spongy, but the carrot cream was clearly the star on this plate.
Milky Way, Big Bang: This dessert is created live on the table by the chef who solidifies an ice-cream using liquid nitrogen and then breaks in into shards. The plate is covered with a myriad different items like chocolate pepper fudge, caramel fudge, edible flavours, nuts, cake pieces, crumbs, sauces, etc, so that with each bite, you get to taste different flavours and textures. This dessert is an experience in itself and should not be missed!
We ended our meal with a Candy Floss pan, which had a covering of candy floss in the shape of a gujya, and was filled with dry betel leaves. An excellent end to a wonderful meal!
When one dines at Farzi Café, not only does one get to taste unusual flavour combinations, wacky presentations and exceptional service, one gets an excellent dining experience. At very few restaurants in the city, barring the five-stars, do you get to see such courteous, personalized service. The servers are very well-versed with the menu, and are not only able to give excellent suggestions, but are also able to explain the concept behind each dish, which, at a concept-driven restaurant like Farzi, is extremely crucial.
Overall, Farzi Café is a must-visit place for a really delightful and unique gastronomical experience!
Location: E Block, Inner Circle, Connaught Place
Phone No.: +91 9599889700 ; 011 43551028