If you thought, you wouldn’t pay to eat dal chawal in a chic and modern bistro set in the heart of one of the world’s most glamorous cities, that might just be about to change. Zorawar Kalra, is well recognized in India as the face that redefines Indian cuisine. Marking Farzi Cafés first international outpost in glitzy Dubai, Zorawar is well on his way to introducing the international diaspora with food that is global in nature but with a unique progressive Indian twist. I walked in there last week, where my tryst with the menu began with a Cold Fruit Flavoured Tea poured over a bed of ice with a garnish of strawberry and mint. Touched with liquid nitrogen and spewing cold air, the presentation was as refreshing as the drink itself.
The snow –white amuse bouche that followed was the bold testament to Farzi’s, concept of marrying molecular gastronomy to culinary art. Topped with, a red, berry coulis this teeny jelly blob came in a stone bowl, filled with by chemically crafted airy clouds. This stunning dessert compote exploded in the mouth and certainly raised the bar for the courses to follow!
Then came Arancini – not in the way we know the Sicilian classic. It was the glamourized (or should I say farzified?), version of the modest Indian’s dal, chawal, achaar and papad! The flavours rang true every bit to the Indian staple, and in this inventive avatar, I would gladly order it all over again!
The Raj Kachori with Crispy Okra Salad and the Tempura Dynamite Prawns that came next were both embellished with a crown of light foam. Though the foam itself, missed the mark on flavour on both counts, it certainly amped up the allure of the dishes. It is the crackling okra that I’d go back for on the kachori!
With the next dish of Mutton Pepper Fry with Layered Flaky Paratha, I found myself carried in a bite to the beautiful back-waters of God’s own country. The flavours on the dish were delicately balanced. Every morsel carried the essence of pepper without burning the mouth.
The real surprise for me as I discovered, were the sliders on the menu. The Handcrafted Wagyu and The Chunky Shitake Sliders, both hero (as they should!), the meat and the mushroom. Sandwiched between one of the most pillowy buns I have eaten and accompanied with truffle wedges that cleverly echoed the mushroom in the bun, this course, was the perfect example of how simple is always timeless!
If food is indeed eaten with all five sense, then the Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie, assembled on a crescent shaped ceramic platter, certainly ranked high on visual appeal to begin with. The Wagyu, seared in in a smooth blend of Indian spices added a clever and unanticipated dimension to the flavours. If I did miss anything at all, it was probably some suggestion to ‘crustiness’ that I normally associate with a pie.
As someone who’s not a fan of Indian desserts on most counts and invariably always finds them too rich, too sweet or both, I was swept off my feet with the Rasmalai Tres Leches, carrot cream and rose petal net. A modernized take on the classic gajar halwa, the carrot cream layered between spongy rasmalai, magically is the element that adds the lightness to the dessert instead of making it dense and heavy.
One of the much talked about highlights of the very extensive Dubai menu, is the inclusion of Arabic influenced cuisine in the signature farzified format. The Warm Semolina and Banana Syrup Cake inspired from the Arabic classic Bosbousa and matched with the cool Pistachio Ice Cream was the perfect tribute to local flavours to mark the end of my evening.
While ‘Farzi’ can have numerous connotations, at Farzi Café, it has just one, ‘creating an illusion’ with its food and it certainly lives up to that promise. The quirkily illustrated tapas style menu is both – extensive and very reasonably priced. With a mix of both indoor and outdoor seating, the space is perfect for an evening of unwinding with food that fun and progressive, yet not so esoteric that it will intimidate.
All in all, a must visit and a sure to repeat!
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4 | Ambiance: 4 | Service: 4.5 | Overall: 4
Meal for Two without Alcohol: Dhs 200 Inclusive of taxes | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes|
Timing Lunch 12-3.30 pm; Dinner: 06.30 – 10.45 pm | Wheelchair Access: Yes
Address: City Walk Phase 2, Al Safa & Al Wasl Road Intersection, Al Safa, Dubai, UAE
Telephone: 0526892036 and 04 3942556
DISCLAIMER: This review was originally published for Indian Food Freak at http://www.indianfoodfreak.com/2016/04/09/farzi-cafe-dubai-not-deception-its-magic-on-your-plate/