The present times are the times of turbulence, the times of disruption and while everyone out there are trying to reinvent themselves in the most unique way possible and try to bring their different concepts and cuisines from all around the world in order to define the very ‘in-vogue’ that the city’s food scenario has to offer; there are few like Zorawar Kalra, Founder & Managing Director, Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. who still sincerely believe in the robustness that Indian food has to offer. The passion and believe for Indian food was so strong that the team at Massive Restaurants Pvt Ltd came up with a new and unique line of modern day diner which is an amalgamation of futuristic Indian food along with global cuisine – Farzi Café ! At Farzi there is this vibe, this mood and energy that is into a constant state of flux. The use of different cooking and modern day presentation techniques is what redefines the traditional Indian cuisine to create a unique Indian bistro dining experience. You can experience the molecular gastronomy and some of the mixological innovations at the 45 feet bar that enchants the guests at the lower level of this two floored modern day Indian Bistro. Now Farzi café, with the immense admiration that it harnesses from its patrons have been catering contemporary fine Indian dining across New Delhi, Mumbai, Dubai and Bengaluru in less than five months and now in association with Ultra Hospitality LLP has setup its first ever Café in Pune at Kalyani Nagar.
The ambiance is equally striking specialty at Farzi as the dramatic food if not more. The ambiance comprises of u shaped floating sofas and screens that can be turned and twisted around to create a different look every time you step into this wonderland. On one side is the 45 feet long bar which is where all the alchemy takes place. Some of the most innovative concepts of molecular gastronomy come to live at this counter. The elevator to the open terrace gives you the classic feeling of vintage elevators from the old Mumbai flats. The terrace takes you to yet another realm altogether with its laid back sitting arrangement and a long open bar that stocks some of the finest spirits the city has to offer.
Moving onto our dining experience:
Farzi Apple Foamantini– vodka, lime, green apple, elderflower & mint foam on top of it. The drink came in a fish bowl with a mist that filled in the air and raising the oomph factor a few notches. The drink was the best served that night and certainly among their hot sellers. The foam that was floating atop the green potion below was actually quite heavy and creamy to have floated and it had freshness and flavour of mint to contrast to the drink below. #Musthave
Chuski Margarita – Tequila, lime, aam panna served along with chuski. A trip down the memory lane where we used to eat ice chuski by the roadside and could never have enough of the syrup to dip it in. This one was given a twist with the most unique of flavour being chosen – aam panna.
Bottle Ka Gin – gin, lime, vanilla, angustra bitter, cinnamon smoke top up with ginger ale. Another hot favourite of the place this one is even presented in an equally mesmerizing way. 3-4 bottles brought in a glass cloche that traps lots and lots of vapour. I was totally enthralled by the look and even made a quick wish ….;) #recommended
Chai Pani – Vodka, Coffee liqueur, Tea decoction, apple juice with earl grey fumes. Served in a glass kettle and cutting tea glasses this one matches its name perfectly. The vodka and Coffee liqueur were kinda lost if you ask me as against the use of tea decoction and apple juice as both being very dominating flavours.
Santa Banta – Vodka, California oranges, kaffir lime, vanilla, orange juice. Named after the goti soda bottle that uses the marble or ‘Banta’ as it is popularly known as; this was loved by quiet a lot on the table. #recommended
Three Musketeer – Bourbon whiskey, chocolate, chilly & orange with cinnamon smoke. A cocktail with minimal to no use of sour agent but using chilly and cinnamon instead to give a strong aftertaste. This drink got a mixed reaction from the public at large but you may try it for the out of the box thinking that is put to play here.
Mini Raj Kachori – Mini shells stuffed with sweet & sour pumpkin topped with chutney foam ,Crisp okra salad on side. Popular traditional raj kachori with the change being the dies served were pretty unique. The okra salad was one that was paired with lot of other dishes as well and was really delectable. Even the pumpkin foam was a pleasing experience. #Recommended
Chili Duck Samosa -Mini Samosa’s stuffed with chilli duck & tossed in homemade sweet and sour sauce. Totally different concept to serve a duck but this actually didn’t go as expected. The samosas were tad dry and the cooking of duck was not something that was very much appreciated. We gave our personalized feedback to Chef which was very graciously accepted.
Dal Chawal Arancini – Sicilian (Italian) arancini (aran-chini) balls made with dal and chawal served with aachar, papad and chutney. Another dish that is not very well known but none the less when served scored on combination aspects and giving the food being served, a more desi touch.
Karela Calamari – Tempura fried karela ring tossed in sweet and sour mango chutney. Vegetarian version of Calamari made using Karela or bitter gourd. Full marks for looks and you actually end up guessing what it could be made up of until you feel a dash of bitter taste at the very last which gives away the core ingredient. #HighlyRecommended
Keema Kulcha – Keema Kulcha served with mint jalapeno raita. The meat extravaganza being served for the night. Served in a thick crescent kulcha, the spicy finely minced kheema was sure to satisfy your all possible meat cravings. #Yum
Pinenuts & Scallion Puduyaki -Pinenuts & scallion stuffed rice balls, shallow fried & served with tomato coconut chutney, mint coconut chutney & parmesan crisp. Super lite, puffed rice balls served with assorted chutneys. So Farzi is not just about Northern cuisine you see. The parmesan crisp was a classic twist to the recipe.
Tempura Fried Prawns – Tempura fried prawns tossed in homemade dressing & served with lemon, chilli foam & tobiko (fish eggs). The tempura fried prawns is one of the most sought after dish at Farzi and for the right reason. The use of lemon chilli foam is absolute heavenly and pairs perfectly with the glazed fried prawns. The sharp flavour like that of pepper is very well contrasted with the flavoured foam and the use of lemon in foam adds the extra sour zing to the dish. #Musthave
Delhi Belly Tikka – Pork belly marinated with anardana chutney. Decent preparation but pork ribs always kinda steal the show and with some really amazing pork ribs available out there I couldn’t really enjoy the dish to its full extent. #CouldImprove
Sorbet (Khandvi Gelatos) – Nice concept, very well presented (as fruits to a ceramic tree spreading its branches all around) but on a taste front couldn’t really woo me over.
CTM (chicken tikka masala) – Chicken tikka masala served with Cornish cruncher (UK cheese) naan. Now this dish is a combo sort of where in the desi chicken tikka masala is paired with a new avatar of nan which uses UK cheese as a garnish. Now since it’s a UK – India fusion dish, it is served in a very appealing way – inside a telephone booth. #SuperYummy #MustTry
Farzi is all about eye candy as you must have realised by now. The central theme of Farzi that is reflected in its ambience, drinks and food alike is that it’s a mirage, a delusion, a play with your senses where in you look at something, are made to expect something and what you experience is what will leave you astonished and mystified or should I say – Farzified!!
Mutton Erachi pepper fry – Mutton chunks cooked with onion, pepper & coconut gravy & served with Malabari paratha. Yet another glimpse of how south Indian cuisine can be Farzified. As the name itself testifies the dish was a marriage of freshly ground spices and some melt in mouth small mutton chunks marinated overnight. Malabari paratha was not very authentic style and what you would expect but honestly that is one constant that you can expect at Farzi – ‘Expect the unexpected’. The team Farzi has ensured that anything that leaves the counter doesn’t do it so without itself draping a Farzi avatar. #Shouldtry
Asparagus & water chestnut appam – Asparagus & waterchestnut (singhada) cooked in south Indian flavours & coconut appam. Another unique combination on the plate this time using a water chestnut. There was a striking contrast of flavours when you try this out. While the appam gives you the texture and visual appeal it is the water chestnut drenched in salty-creamy turmeric based gravy. To give you a reference it can be called to be inspired from the better known Malaysian fish curry but only to use water chestnut and paired with a super soft appam.
Bheja fry appam – “Melt in mouth” lamb brain, served with coriander & cumin flavoured appam. I somehow missed this being served and so I will skip this part.
Parle G Cheesecake -Cheesecake sandwiched between Parle G biscuits dipped in rabri & topped with chocolate gems & grated pistachio. One of their well known desserts, which actually happens to use Parle G biscuit to sandwich a cheesecake. Now, honestly I wasn’t quiet impressed by this one as are others. Reasons? Well, the rabdi was textured totally different (I would rather not mess with my rabdi) and the Parle G was so over powering the taste that cheese cake was totally lost somewhere. But that’s just me; you are encouraged to try it out yourself and see if it can appeal to your palate tips. #ShouldTry
Rasmalai tres leches – Ras malai made up of 3 types of milk & garnished with Rose petal net, this was what I liked about desserts. The rasmalai was super soft and you could barely pick it up with your spoon without causing it to break first. The essence and flavour from the rose petals (and probably a little rose water that went in) created a delectable dessert.
Farzi Pan Gujia – Definitely a star attraction at Farzi which they take pride in serving. I am uploading a small video below for you to check how they play the trick with this one. The texture is like that of a foam sheet used to wrap gift articles and what happens once you eat is similar to eating candy floss. The way floss just shrinks and coagulates leaving flavour is what you can expect with this one, and then finally comes the fresh moist morsel of crushed pan. This is just a testimony to the efforts that they put in to ensure you are totally mesmerized from the experience that Farzi is.
So whether we were Farzified? Hell yeah!! And to think that this is just the tip of the iceberg excites me even more coz there are still lot of surprises that the recipes hold, mysteries waiting to unfold and mystic stories to be told.
A special thanks to GM- Gaurav Sahai, our mixologist Manish (the shy guy), Ishwari, Chef Durgesh and the lovely team Carpe Diem for hosting us that night and making us loose our senses to some of the most mystical recipes we have had.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed are my own and from the single or multiple experiences that I have had with the food joint. While you are free to disagree with the opinion below; please respect the originality and fairness of the content. The taste and experience might differ from the one portrayed for varied reasons like the Chef and staff that serves you, Ingredients used and other factors that change from time to time. The opinion/ review is purely based on my experience and there is no biased, favoured or commercial angle to it. At times, I might have used a few references from the freely available information on the internet to draw a correct more accurate picture but the sole intent of the is review is to give back a piece of my experience to the foodie community.)