Last week I was back at my all-time favorite Indian fusion café on CityWalk (phase 2); that would be Farzi Café ofcourse! We had a hearty lunch covering many of our favorites, and a few brand new quirky gems.
‘Farzi’ translates to ‘illusion’, and that is exactly what you get here… each and every item served on the table comes with an unexpected surprise of its own.
Eid weekend and a table at Farzi? Next to impossible! Clever me, I had us booked in well in advance. With its earthy woods and chic café artwork, Farzi Café is a beautiful nook to spend time with friends and family, and especially so with all that sunshine flooding in. All this natural lighting does wonders for my Instagram feeds as well!
For starters, we had their infamous Dal Chawal Arancini; a clever twist on plain, photo-detesting Indian rice and lentil that has been rolled into Italian-style arancini dumplings, deep-fried a golden brown and served on a bed of tangy-hot tomato puree.
We also had the Farzi Tempura Dynamite Prawns. Sure everybody is doing these nowadays, but the ones at Farzi come with a spiced foam, and are super pretty to boot.
My mushroom-loving family devoured Farzi’s Tandoori Wild Mushrooms; a pot of assorted mushroom tossed in tandoori spices that comes with all the jazz of molecular gastronomy.
Chaat lovers will surely opt to try the Bombay Bhel. I’ve had semi-frozen chaat before (the last time would be at Scoopi Café), but in all honesty I prefer it in original form. The chutneys taste so much better in room temperature form. Ofcourse, the Farzi chaat looks amazing. The presentation skills here are so topnotch.
Of all the starters we’ve had at Farzi Café, our all-time favorite is their deconstructed Shepard’s Pie. Served on a crescent moon and featuring moreishly soft, succulent cubes of prime Wagyu beef, dehydrated beetroot crisps and a bed of creamy-smooth potato mash, this ‘pie’ can easily be a maincourse, and is the ultimate form of comfort food.
Well into the appetizers round, and we were already pretty #Farzified . The portions here are generously large, and we were so stuffed that we had to ask for a mini break before our main-course.
For our mains, we had Farzi’s Shawarma Biryani and Chicken Tikka Masala. The Shawarma Biryani consists of a plain saffron pilaf that has a skewer of lamb dangling into it. The rice by itself can be pretty bland, but the well marinated meat makes up for it. This biryani is more like an Arabic Mandi than something out of a ‘dum’ preparation you’d find in Hyderabad.
The Chicken Tikka Masala was my daughter’s favorite. She is a huge fan of Butter Chicken, and this is a more flavorful twin. The curry is aptly served out of a London phone booth, reinstating the origins of this popular curry to the UK.
When dining at Farzi, you really can’t complete an order without one of their artsy drinks. I’ve had their pina colada inspired Ananas Orbit before (a tropically delicious mix of pineapple and coconut milk that is had in a cat’s tail glass where mini bubbles have been added in for the fun of it), but the Chai Soda was new to me. As the name suggests, this is a tea drink bubbled up with soda, and a generous hit of cinnamon. It’s refreshingly light yet big on flavor, the perfect companion for a gluttonous meal.
If you are into masala colas, you absolutely must try Farzi’s Half Mile Soda. Named after the classic ‘half mile’ tall glass bottles found on the streets of India, this is a special cola that has been bottled onsight at Farzi and spiced up with ‘chatpatta’ masala. The bottle looks deceivably cute as the spicy hit of the drink is such a stark contrast. A couple at a neighbouring table were eyeing my bottle, and ordered a couple for themselves too!
We ended our elaborate lunch at Farzi with elaborately fancy desserts. First off was the Dirt Pile, a chocaholic mess made to resemble dug earth, and complete with a spade for serving.
Then there was the traditional Indian Gulab Jamun, served with liquid nitrogen kulfi and shards of shattered fresh rose.
From its friendly laidback ambiance to its artsy take on modern Indian cuisine, Farzi never fails to impress. The service here is also topknotch, and Mark, our host for the afternoon, was so well-versed with the menu (even the tough Indian names, given this was not his mother tongue!). I’ve been a regular at Farzi, and have been dining here since the day they officially opened. I hear they are planning a few new surprises for Diwali, must book in a table soon!