Farzi Café Launches Its New Menu – Farzi Twist

Farzi Café Launches Its New Menu – Farzi Twist

Bringing together classic global cuisine with eternal Indian influences, contemporary presentations and a tasteful ambience, Farzi Café in Bangalore launches its new menu with a twist of delicacy and creativity – Review

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Fusing avant-garde culinary techniques like molecular gastronomy with a modicum of the regional food culture making way for an extraordinary food experience, Farzi Café Bangalore has recently curated a new menu that features a discerning list of dishes and a creative repertoire of drinks which are emboldened by the light-hearted yet astute #FarziTwist.

{*While Farzi Café has created an irreplaceable niche for itself when it comes to authenticity and taste; it is one of the very few restaurants in the country that practices Molecular Gastronomy which introduces a subtle element of surprise taking the dish beyond its pleasant aesthetics and inimitable flavours.}

Farzi derives its idiosyncratic concepts from its very name which in Persian means “creating an illusion with food”. With an endeavour to offer a whole new dimension to its dining experience, the ambitious range of dishes from its new menu turn to fresh ingredients that coalesce with the hearty cooking styles of India for their exemplary flavours and aromas. From the scrumptious Dhokla and Farsaan Salad to the spicy Guntur Chilli Chicken, from the piquant Bisi Bele Bhaat Risotto to the lip-smacking Dalmoth Matka Chat, there is the element of surprise they delight you with for an indulgent gastronomic experience.

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My Experience

There is a sense of anticipation about the food here; Farzi Café practices precision in its cooking and serving methodologies by paying close attention to the finer details like the intricate crockery, precision serving of food portions, and a whole lot more. You won’t be blamed for expecting something out of the ordinary with every dish served.

The softly lit environs evoke a desire to sit back and utterly enjoy the food ushering a sense of contentedness for the foodie in your soul. As for me, there is no better place than the lap of nature when it comes to enjoying good food, which is why I am particularly biased towards the external façade of Farzi which gives you the notion of being out in the open even when you enjoy the air-conditioned comfort.

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Tanya Dhar with Rekha Ghosh and Chef Sombir

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Tanya Dhar with Rekha Ghosh

 

With a huge bar spread along one wall, the café makes no concessions when it comes to its attention-grabbing cocktails whose names match their flamboyant looks as they make their appearance on your table. The grandiosity of the bar beckons me to sample their signature drinks; so I settle on the four catchiest ones on the menu.

Farzi Apple Foamintini

This Vodka based drink conjures exclusively cheerful images of Masterchef Australia where paradisiacal drinks make a frequent appearance. Melded with Green Apple Extract, Lime Juice, and Elder Flower Syrup topped with mint foam, the cocktail is served atop a glass pot filled with citrus slices and dry ice, to which water is poured. The theatrical representation of the drink along with the refreshing aroma of mint and citrus filling your senses make the Farzi Apple the epitome of a spirit-forward spring cocktail!

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Litchi Panna Desire

With temperatures rising, refreshing summer drinks easily pique my interest and since aam panna {raw mango juice reduction} is one of my irreplaceable favourites during the summer months, I was curious how this version was going to work out. True to its soul, Farzi created a beautiful rendition of the aam panna using fresh Thai Kaffir Lime, Lime Juice and Aam Panna together with the sweetness of Litchi Juice, where each sip was a wonderful play on sweet and sour flavours.

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Farzi OK

OK certainly has a new meaning in my dictionary now; it means splendid, remarkable, delicious… anything but just an insipid okay! After tasting this refreshing citrusy mocktail, I am sure you will agree with me.

Two key ingredients – Orange and Kaffir Lime are abbreviated as OK in this drink which is served in a trendy mason jar with chunks of Californian Oranges muddled in with Kaffir Lime Juice, Vanilla Syrup, fresh Orange Juice and Vanilla essence to create this delicious blend of contrasting flavours.

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Bottle Ka Gin

If you can’t go to Paris, then let Paris come to you in the form of the beautiful Eiffel Tower shaped glass bottle which was filled up with my next drink – a Gin cocktail. There was the refreshing piquancy of the Lemon Juice, the delightful flavour of Vanilla, a smidgen of Angostura Bitter and Cinnamon smoke with a topping of Ginger Ale. I loved the presentation and I definitely enjoyed the astute flavours of the cocktail.

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Amuse Bouche

Refreshing welcome shots. My meal began on a delightful note as I popped in the mango spheres which came with a strawberry coulis topping and were presented on a platter steaming with Liquid Nitrogen. The exaggerated presentation totally matched the impeccable taste of these shots which were made with “Reverse Spherification” and exploded with a firework of flavours in my mouth, leaving behind the refreshingly sweet flavour of mango.

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With the curtains rolled up, and the backdrop filled with images in my mind of the flavours and aromas I experienced, the show was ready to begin. My lunch commenced with an array of appetizers and my decadent journey continued to the main course and then the desserts, all of which were borrowed from the Indian and Continental cuisine but each of them had the element of “Farzi” which set them apart from their usual renditions.

 

Appetizers

Dhokla and Farsan Salad

{Farzi’s salad interpretation of the Gujarati snack Dhokla with farsaan, tadka chilli & crispy nuts served with traditional green & red chutney}

With world-wide popularity of the Dhokla {savoury steamed lentil cakes}, favoured by many Indians because of its soft and light texture, Farzi Café was able to recreate it in a way that meant the optimistic nod of every guest who orders it. This visually appealing deconstructed dish served on a stone slab, came with an accompaniment of fryums and fafda {a Gujarati besan snack}, and spicy green chutney for added colour and flavour. Delicious and authentic.

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Dal Moth Matka Chaat 

{An Indian chaat made with Bhalla, moong/green gram sprouts, green apple, pomegranate seeds layered with mint chutney, saunth/tamarind chutney & yogurt in a Clay-pot bowl}

Does anything satisfy the guilty pleasures of an Indian palate better than some spicy, tangy chaat? Laying the groundwork for an authentic Farzi meal, the Dal Moth Chaat is an elitist rendition of the classic street side salad, where chopped onions and tomatoes are mixed with sprouted Moong {green gram} and flavoured with red chilli powder, chaat masala, and lemon juice. The earthenware pot added a touch of “Indian” to the presentation while the bright red pomegranate toppings looked like pretty pieces of ruby set on a volcano of molten flavours.

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Mac and Cheese Pakora Bites

{Classic Macaroni & Cheese crumb fried served with hot Garlic sauce}

East meets West in this wonderful interpretation of the Indian fritters where the twist came from the fact that the fritters were made out of the popular English casserole dish Mac n’ Cheese. This culinary foray paid off very well since the crispy fritters gave way to a creamy and delicious interior which tasted amazing with the sweet chilli accompaniment.

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Sion Prawn Koliwada

{Batter fried prawns; Anardana dust served with Shrimp chips and tempered mayo}

Tracing its roots to Sion Koliwada {fisherman’s village} in Mumbai, Prawn Koliwada is a flavourful snack recognized by its signature red/orange colour. The crispy prawns that were coated generously in Sriracha, were tender on the inside, tasted delicious and were highly addictive. A perfect accompaniment with a mug of cold beer or a refreshing cocktail.

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Guntur Chilli Chicken

{Chicken cubes marinated with Andhra spices}

A deep wooden dish brought this spicy chicken appetizer which had flavours and aromas of earthen spices. The boneless chicken pieces were perfectly cooked to ensure succulence in the meat. The freshly ground Southern spices mingled beautifully with the meat and the Guntur red chillies brought a subtle yet delightful twist in the flavours.

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Kothimbir Vadi

{A Maharashtrian snack made with gram flour & coriander seeds served with raw papaya salad, Tadka mayo and gun powder dust}

Kothimbir is Marathi means coriander/cilantro leaves, and the quintessential Maharashtrian savory snack ‘Kothimbir Vadi’ {coriander fritters} uses chickpea flour batter and coriander leaves seasoned with a variety of spices which is steamed and then crisp fried in the shape of squares. I found the accompaniment of the raw papaya salad to be unusual at first but when I tried the fritters with the salad, I realized that it added a subtle flavour and freshness that balanced the taste of the gun-powder sprinkled vadis.

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Chilli Chicken Patti Samosa

{Andhra style chilli chicken stuffed into a samosa served with Sulaimani chai chutney}

Samosas are widely prevalent Indian snacks which come in a host of variations. These triangular shaped pastries are generally stuffed with veggies or meat. Farzi Café brought an interesting version of the classic samosa to my table which was stuffed with chilli chicken and tossed in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. There was crunchiness in the outer layer which generously gave way to the bolder and stronger flavours of the stuffing. The Sulaimani chai chutney served alongside the dish made for a tantalizing dip!

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The mid-meal Palate Cleanser came through as a showstopper. A very carefully crafted tree-like structure worked as a frame for the frozen popsicles made from Kala Khatta Sorbet. The sharp tangy flavours of the Sorbet wipe the palate clean of all lingering tastes preparing it for the main course.

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Main Course

Shawarma Biryani

{Mutton Raan shawarma with traditional Dum Biryani}

Fusion cuisine is one that combines elements of different culinary traditions. Know this, that it doesn’t always come as clean as the delicious Biryani I had at Farzi Café. Prudence in choosing the right combination of ingredients may be one reason why this Biryani was a total hit. An amalgamation of South Indian and Turkish cuisine, it scores a perfect ten for its brilliant taste and presentation. Perfectly seasoned with spices the meat was luscious and the fragrant rice only tasted better with the fried papad/poppadom served alongside.

{*Biryani is a popular Indian dish made with highly seasoned rice and meat, while Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish made from meat or poultry served on pitas.}

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Charred Grilled Artichoke, Bisi Bele Bhaat Risotto

{A traditional Karnataka delicacy made of lentils and south Indian spices & ghee blended with Arborio rice and topped with grilled artichoke and cherry tomato}

It was amazing how a rustic dish had adorned such a refined form with such visual appeal. While the original Bisi Bele Bath is a distinctive delicacy of Karnataka which is prepared using rice, lentils and assorted vegetables, at Farzi Café I found a new perspective to this dish which made it that much more delightful. The version here was scrumptious with all the flavours well blended and the careful use of rustic spices providing a savoury aftertaste. I could visit Farzi Café again *just* for this dish!

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Dessert

Smoked Fresh Cheena, Flavoured Shrikhand, Almond Chikki

{Tandoori Rasmalai with flavored yogurt & Almond nougat}

If a provocateur was served on a plate, then this is exactly how he would look – tempting, sinful, and inexorably delicious. A specialty of Bengal, the Rasmalai is prepared using soft cheese patties drenched in a rich blend of condensed milk and cream, served beautifully with a garnishing of saffron and cardamom pounded syrup with a sprinkling of almonds and pistachios.

Served chilled, this dessert had a tandem of flavours and textures that were meant to delight the food-inclined soul and was the perfect antidote for the heat. The flavoured shrikhand and almond nougat gave the dish an artistic appearance while the delicate flavours of the cardamom and saffron complimented this velvety dessert.

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Textures of Indian Desserts

{Farzi Interpretation of different types of Indian dessert with 7 Different textures which include orange Kalakand espuma, Blueberry pedha, Mango pedha, Chenna payas, Carrot Cream, Besan laddoo crumb, Apple custard rabdi}

I am a big fan of traditional Indian sweets that bring out the best in some of our local ingredients depending on where the dessert has originated. This platter brought together some of the most delightful parts of India in an exciting collection of desserts. I was treated to kalakhand and pedha {an unparalleled representation of milk-based sweets made from concentrated milk commonly known as Khoya or Mawa}. Then there was rabri {sweetened milk cooked until it condenses into a delicious layer of cream, more popularly known as malai; that is flavoured with cardamoms, saffron and dried fruits}, and chenna payas {soft cottage cheese balls which are cooked in thickened sweet milk}. A common favourite Gajar Ka Halwa {made with grated carrots, whole milk, cardamom and dried fruit, & nuts}, and Besan Laddoo {prepared using chickpea flour, sugar, ghee and nuts} to mix things up, which made for a brilliant close to a playful meal.

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End note: The Kalra’s have certainly set a benchmark for restaurants in our city. Farzi Café serves up oodles of style what with table theatrics and culinary illusion but backs it up with flawless cooking {Chef Sombir’s culinary forte shone brightly through each dish} and unparalleled guest services. This modern Indian café is a place you wouldn’t want to miss, be it for the décor, the food itself, or the experience as a whole!

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Getting there: 202, Level 2, UB City, Lavelle Road, Bangalore
Phone: +91 7259400900

 

*Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the café, and is a narrative of the author’s experience at the event. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

Photography and Videos: Arun Rajendran

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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