Farzi or Illusion is an art in itself and the very popular Farzi Cafe has surely mastered the art of Farzifying cuisines and presentations. For a gourmet diner, such an experience is sheer bliss. Indian cuisines, Contemporary presentation go hand in hand at Farzi Cafe. The Indian cafe inspired modern and chic cafe serves the best of Indian dishes in contemporary styling. We are sure there must be many Farzi Cafe fans out here on the Foodies of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack community.
This week on Bloggers Zone we feature The Kukkad Diaries. The Kukkad Diaries is a blog which was started in Pune by two IT professionals. They started this blog because of their common love of Chicken, good food, great cafes and fondness for writing. Sudipti and Yatin explore the food scene in Pune and places they travel. Check out their blog The Kukkad Diary if you wish to check out the best restaurants in Pune.
We feature today their restaurant review of Farzi Cafe, Pune.
A new restaurant opening up is like a regular day in Pune. With its plethora of eateries and concept-cafes Pune has been a gastronomic haven for food lovers. However, the new-yet-not-so new Farzi Cafe has already set roots in many cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Dubai. So when it finally landed in Pune, it caused quite a stir.
Since it’s launch it has been running booked to the brim and social media has been farzified with pictures and reviews of the incredible looking dishes and drinks that only Farzi could churn out.
Farzi aims to redefine Indian cuisine by not only playing to its strength but also adding modern elements and techniques that make it appealing to old as well as young.
We were received an invitation for a tasting that was received with much excitement as we would have been dropping by for a taste anyway. The swanky place is located in Kalyani Nagar and is hard to miss. Once inside, you can’t help but catch the infectious atmosphere. The place is buzzing with steady stream of people, the music is great ranging from classic rock to electronic and the servers bringing up futuristic looking concoctions to the tables.
Though we had a dinner meet up and the place was dimly lit, yet it was easy to spot the details that had been so meticulously thought out. The interior is plush but not stuffy with an eclectic mix of chairs, couches and even swings for the patrons to park themselves on. Also the entire seating area has been designed in such a way that the entire area can be neatly pulled out to the corners to create a dancing area if need arises. Now that’s some clever designing!
There is also an open air seating on the terrace that has a beautiful island bar and classy decor. It screams date-night to me (I hope all boys are listening) 😉
As we were hosted by Farzi Cafe itself along with the most interesting and lovely ladies from Carpe Diem, we were plied on with food and drinks, and we were constantly having our mind blown with all the awesomeness.
We started off these amazing amuse bouche that I could probably feast on just as it is! These were tiny bowls of globular MISHTI DOI with STRAWBERRY COULIS. The bowls came in a foaming black tray making it look like alien eggs from a sci-fi thriller. We probably downed a couple of these.
The drinks had us bowling over. With Farzi experimenting with a mix of molecular mixology and clever presentations, the concoctions were a sight to behold. And they tasted just as good.
We started off with FARZI APPLE FOAMINTINI which was a delicious cocktail of green apples, vodka, mint and elder flower topped with minty foam. It was served on a conical bowl resting on top of another round bowl. The lower bowl had dry ice creating aromatic fumes of cinnamon, orange and mint. Quite a presentation that!
We also tried CHUSKI MARGARITA which was tequila based, aampanna flavored margarita and it came with a chuski or shaved ice cone. It was so much fun dipping our ice golas into the cocktail and slurp it up!
The other drink that impressed us out of the lot was CHAI PANI. The cocktail was served in smoking (do we see a pattern here?) kettles with earl grey flavored fumes that gave the illusion of piping hot beverage. But once it was served in the tiny chai glasses you’d know they were chilled cocktail of vodka, coffee liquer and apple juice. Savage!
Then as food arrived we sat there eating until we had to beg for mercy, because we couldn’t eat anymore. But we’d do it again if given a chance and we are planning a trip down to Farzi again. So here are our favorite picks out of the menu that we loved-loved-loved and would be glad if you tried!
MINI RAJ KACHORI: We can’t recommend this enough. These deceptive looking buggers came in blobs of odd threes. If you saw them as it is, you wouldn’t be that impressed. In fact our first instinct was to sniff it. It was a smallish globe of crispy looking pastry, topped with a chutney foam sitting on a bed of crispy okra. Everything in the sentence made us suspicious until they told us to take our spoons and crack the buggers open. We did and oh boy, what wizardry. The kachoris cracked open to reveal yogurt and spices and minty flavors, while the chutney foam was phenomenal. The revelation for us was the crunchy okra that came in the sides. That is our new favorite way to eat the good ol’ bhindi.
CHILLI DUCK SAMOSA was another stunner. It was shaped like a samosa but it was more of a pastry with spiced duck filling. The samosa was coated with sweet and sour asian sauces and was stellar.
The other Indian classic that seemed Farzified was the DAL CHAWAL ARACHINI. It was the staple Dal-Chawal but in an Italian Arachini form. Kind of reminded me of the time my mother used to force feed me food, she always made these balls, which I sort of loathed….but I digress. And I couldn’t be more wrong. This Dal-Chawal balls came with a garnishing of papad, chutney and veggies. Thumbs up!
Another vegetarian appetizer that piqued quite some interest in the table was the KARELA CALAMARI. When I heard the name, I almost snorted some of my foamintini, laughing at such cruel joke on the vegetarians. But when they brought it in, the dish looked so much like calamari taht you wouldn’t suspect otherwise. But it was really just karela (bitter-gourd). So maybe it was mostly as a trick dish for the non-vegetarians? Hmmmm.
Either ways, it was a good, innovative dish. The karela had been cut into calamari shapes and crisped and then coated with sweet and sour mango coating. Not bad at all.
The KEEMA KULCHA was a play on the – surprise! Keema and Kulcha. Yes, I’m not feeling very effusive today. But this dish was another one of our favorites. These were tiny pockets of warm kulchas filled with minced mutton prepared with spicy tinge. It came with a minty jalapeno raita… and it only made the dish perfect.
Now my personal favorite would be the TEMPURA FRIED PRAWNS WITH LEMON-CHILLY FOAM because I’m usually not that big on sea-food. I know that’s a weird reason to give but I am not the biggest fan a prawn can find, but this dish was so amazing. Probably because it didn’t have the fishy prawn smell. This might be offensive to some die-hard sea-food lovers, but I have realized I prefer prawns that way and this was just perfect. Crispy and saucy and the lemon-chilly foam tasted true to its name. Do try this!
For all the pork lovers, there is this DELHI BELLY PORK BELLY TIKKA which had a nice chunk of sizzling pork with the meat so tender it slid off the bones! It came with a slice of granny smith apple- classic pork and apple affair. It’s a good hearty appetizer and the anardana chutney just tipped it over to the ‘Favorites’ list.
As we transitioned to the mains we were served cool, interesting KHANDVI SORBET as a palate cleanser. It came in cute lollipop shape and had the unmistakable taste of the curd, spices, mustard and gramflour. We thought it was brilliant. We were quite warming up to the idea of palate cleansers.
The mains was the quickest maybe. Probably because we were all too stuffed on the starters and in my case, too eager for the deserts. Nevertheless, it was quite enjoyable. There was the BHEJA FRY which was deliciously prepared lamb brain served with an corriander and cumin flavored appam.
We also loved the ASPARAGUS AND WATER CHESTNUT KORMA that came with a appam too and served with a delicious curry of asparagus.
After all the theatrics in the beverages and the appetizer department, the mains seemed quite underwhelming though some made up for it with wonderful flavors. However, the CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA came in a largish, red telephone booth, which frankly we saw no point of. Our poor servers struggled to get the bowls of chicken tikka and naan out of the telephone box. It was over-the-top and honestly, unnecessary depositing a box the size of a small child on top of the table. And the dish never could make it up to all the commotion it created.
The commencement of the dessert started with the riveting BAILEY’S LOLLIPOP which was basically frozen Bailey’s coated with white chocolate. We wanted more of those but unfortunately others beat us to that.
The dessert makes or breaks a place, we think. Dessert is like starting from a fresh page. Knowing the sweeter side of a restaurant is always fun. And it was fun here too. We were served the classic Farzi bestsellers: RASMALAI TRES LECHES and PARLE G CHEESECAKE. The Rasmalai one looked like art on a plate. The Tres Leches cake actually went quite well with the Rasmalai which was so creamy and decadent!
The PARLE G CHEESECAKE looked like childhood in a plate. It had a big chunk of cheesecake wedged between two parle g biscuits and topped with Gems and sitting on a pool of creamy Rabdi. The cheesecake was as I prefer my cheesecake- heavy on the cheese and a bit sour. I loved that it wasn’t too sweet like they make it in so many places. The sweet balance came with the rabdi which was quite yummy just by itself. The parle g did not quite make up for the absence of the salty layer of graham cracker crust that I am partial too. But a thumbs up nonetheless.
We wound up with a box of FARZI PAAN which was cotton candy shaped into paan that you could pop into your mouth which revealed the paan masala as the candy outside melted easily. Brilliant!
The bloggers’ table was a happy place that night. Good company, good food and good drinks meant a successful night. Farzi Cafe really outdid itself that evening and we had a great time. A big shout to team Farzi for having us over and love to the beautiful girls at Carpe Diem!!
P.S: Do pop into Farzi Cafe to try out their new, jazzy roof-top dining. And have a look at their smoking area when you are there! Trippy! Also we WANT to know what you ordered and what you loved. You’ll keep us posted, won’t you?