Thursday, 3 November 2016

Farzi Cafe - A food purist happily ‘farzified’!

Farzi, translated, means ‘fake or, loosely translated, can also be interpreted as ‘unreal’. 

As a foodie I do my best to keep an open mind about new concepts that crop up on the food scene. I have to admit, though, at heart, I’m a food purist! I prefer food cooked without new age twists because, most times those twists make my stomach turn. When I heard of Farzi Cafe, I simply could not comprehend the hype their menu generated. Usually, I have known such hype to die a fairly swift, quiet death. Thus when Farzi extended an invite to me though my fellow foodie, Aniruddha, I was slightly skeptical but decided to go in for the tasting with a very open mind as it would be very unfair not to. 

Farzi is located on the 1st floor for a building. There is seating on the terrace level as well. The 1st floor can be construed as part restaurant and part lounge. The inner walls and partitions of the restaurant are movable and this allows for varied seating arrangements. Until 2200 hours the restaurant is brightly lit but as the clock tolls two hours to midnight, the lights are muted down to ‘lounge ambience’. I loved the low light environment but I preferred the bright lights. Better lighting equals better photographs! When the lights went dim, our man, Aniruddha, came to our rescue. He was kind enough to hold a cell phone torch for us while we all went ‘click-click’ at the food. That was such a sweet gesture! I have no clue what the terrace section looks like because I did not venture there.

At the beginning of the meal they served us an Amuse Bouche: a delicious blob of Mishti Doi with a smear of berry coulis. This was a very refreshing start to the meal. 

Two people on our table were teetotallers hence our choice for drinks were Farzi Okay and Italian Smooch. I had requested citrus based mocktails and both these were just that. Not too sweet and perfect on the tang factor. 

The others opted for a couple of cocktails which were all every well made, but I could tell from their first sip reactions, the cocktail ‘Chai-Paani’ was a clear winner. I had two people at the table swooning (in delight - not in a drunk tizzy) over it.


We, of course, began with starters: Karela Calamari with sweet and sour Mango Chutney - Ghee Roast Mutton Boti - Black Pepper and Golden Garlic Prawns with braised Pok Choy - Chicken Tikka Khurchan with Parmesan and Fenugreek Tart - Mini Raj Kachori with Crispy Okra Salad and Chutney Foam - Tandoori Margarita Kulcha - Tempura Fried Prawns with Nimboo Mirch Foam and Green Caviar.

I was particularly interested in the Karela (Bitter Gourd) as, lately, I have fallen in love with this vegetable. The Karela had been cut into rings and batter fried to a decent crisp. A very pleasant surprise!

The Mini Raj Kachori with Crisp Okra Salad and Chutney Foam was another vegetarian dish that blew me away. The Kachoris were flaky yet crisp and broke into bits when we tapped a spoon over them to break them. I’ll pen it in one sentence. ‘Chatt Dreams are made of these; who am I to disagree’. :D I’d go back for these beauties time and time again! The Crispy Okra Salad that accompanied the Kachoris was also so delicious that I just couldn’t stop eating it. 

The Tandoori Margarita Kulcha was a three inch dough disc fattened with ample filling of molten cheese that oozed out at the first cut. How could anything with so much cheese not be a super-duper hit!? 

The Tempura Fried Prawns with Nimboo Mirch Foam and Green Caviar was also very nicely done. In spite of it being covered in foam the tempura batter had retained its crispness and the prawns, too, were fried to a ‘spot on’ texture. The only complaint I can make about this dish is that the quantity of green caviar just wasn’t enough to make any impact on the palate. My suggestion is to increase the amount for it to be a significant addition to the dish.

The Chicken Tikka Khurchan with Parmesan and Fenugreek Tart - Ghee Roast Mutton Boti and the Black Pepper Golden Garlic Prawns with braised Pok Choy were also very nicely made but given a choice I would opt for the starters that I have written about in detail. 

We also ordered for a Braised Prawns with Desi Coriander Tom Yum Soup. The prawns and fried prawn crackers were laid out in the soup bowl and the soup/broth was served separately. We had to pour the piping hot soup over the prawns and crackers and dig in immediately before the crackers went squishy. The prawns were delicious and of very decent size but what, absolutely, stole my heart was that intensely flavoured soup. That boat of dark brown soup was rich with deep flavourful baritones, very similar to that of a robust ox tail soup and yet, partnered those delicate prawns beautifully. This hearty soup is a must try, more so, as ‘winter is coming’. :D 

They served us a ‘palate cleanser’ after the starters and soup. It was in the form of a lollipop. It was a mix of sweet, sour and salty. I thought that was a wonderful addition between courses. 

For the mains we were served, Mutton Irachi Pepper Fry with Malabar Parotha - Asparagus and Water Chestnut Kurma with Fresh Coconut Appam - Baked Egg Curry with Masala Poha, Kaffir Lime and Cashew Nuts - Delhi Belly Tikka with Roasted Russet Apples and Murabba Glaze - Galouti Burger with Roast Tawa Boti - Slow Cooked Baby Lamb Shanks with Desi Ghee Nihari and Golden Onion - Prawn Chettinad with Curry Leaf Rice.

Each and every dish was delicious but once again my favourites were, Delhi Belly Tikka - Galouti Burger and Prawn Chettinad. 

The Delhi Belly Tikka accompanied by Roasted Russet Apples and Murabba Glaze was one of the most succulent and delicious pork dishes I have ever had. Every pore of my being sent out a heartfelt thanks to the curator of the menu and the chef for this one. Pork lovers do NOT miss this one! You will not know what ‘trupt atma – soul satisfying’ truly means until you have taken a bite of this deliciousness. 

The Galouti Burger with Roast Tawa Boti was another dish that the chef hit straight out of the stadium for a massive six. The deliciously flavourful, melt-in-the-mouth Galouti kebab gently snuggled between the burger bun while the Roast Tawa Boti got a bit bold and flashed a bit of heat to the palate. I must say, though, the Roast Tawa Boti in no way overpowered the gentle Galouti. It was absolutely superb! 

I, very apprehensively, took a couple of spoonfuls of the Prawn Chettinad onto my plate because I’m not a big fan of ‘Chettinad’ flavours. At the first morsel it had my taste buds doing gleeful somersaults in my mouth. The Curry Leaf rice was perfectly balanced in curry leaf flavour and the semi-spicy ‘Chettinad’ prawns complemented the rice as gracefully as dancers do when they dance together in an exquisitely performed Mohiniyattam. What an exemplary dish this was!

While we sat there, stuffed and satiated, our ever attentive server, Ashish, brought us our desserts: Baileys Lollipop - Parle G Cheesecake with Milk Custard and Cookie Dough Essence and Rasmalai Tres Leches with Carrot Cream and Rose Petal Net. He also brought us a Farzi Paan to end the meal.

I love Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur. It’s one of my all time favourite liqueurs (I’m a weird teetotaller; I abstain from all alcohol except for liqueurs). We all enjoyed lollipops as kids and it’s such a joy when a dessert takes us back in time to one’s childhood. What better metamorphosis could there be than something as delicious as Bailey’s Irish Cream transforming into a lollipop? The Baileys Lollipop was just yum! 

The Parle G Cheesecake with its accompaniment of Milk Custard and Cookie Dough Essence was okay-ish. The Parle G add-on, for me, failed to work. 

The Rasmalai Tres Leches though, was in an entirely different league. It was the Michael Jordon of desserts! Every bite was like a ball going clean through the hoop. Total, ‘slam-dunk’! 

I have to admit, I hate Paan. Reason: One has to chew on a bitter raw leaf. I just don’t see the fun in that. It makes my skin crawl. When our server brought us the Farzi Paan, I had a goose-flesh experience because I simply was not ready to touch the leafy thing. Lo & behold! It was not leafy at all. It was candy floss in the shape of a Karanji (half moon shape); filled with delicate fragrant bits of whatever goes into a regular Paan. The candy floss melted in the mouth in a flash and the mouth was flooded with aromatic and cool menthol-like ingredients. What a super finale that was to a 'fantabulous' meal! 

The service, the meal and the presentation was impeccable. I, specially, loved the uniquely shaped platters in which the food was served (except one). I do suggest Farzi changes the dish in which the Slow Cooked Baby Lamb Shanks and the Parle G Cheesecake are served. The platter looks like a cross between a basin and a toilet bowl. Apologies, Team Farzi but I say it as I see it. As for the rest, I loved the bowls, trays and platters chosen by you.

At the end, the food purist in me has to say, the food served at Farzi Cafe has modern ‘Farzi’ twists to it but it does not end there. There are dishes and cocktails that begin with tons of drama and end with sips and bites of satisfied sighs. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! Farzi Cafe does not simply serve food and drinks; they serve you an entire dining experience that, in the most wonderful kind of way, massively boggles your mind and teases your taste buds!!

P.S: Forgive me; I do not have a good photograph of the Delhi Belly Tikka as the lights dimmed the moment it was placed on the table, messing up my photograph. :( The one taken with the flash sucks big time hence, have chosen not to post that photograph. Having cleared that bit, at the cost of sounding repetitive, pork lovers do not miss out on this dish.

Food: 4/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Service: 5/5

Address: Level 1 & 2, Fortaleza Complex, East Avenue, Kalyani Nagar, Pune
Tel: +91 8805843333 / +91 8805853333

A few more photographs...


  1. Finally got to read it end to end n I agree with every word, my meal there yesterday was equally spectacular... Will be going back for more very soon

    1. I'm so glad you gave Farzi a try and it thrills me even more to know you loved the food. They truly know what they are putting out to their patrons and that is such a good thing.