FARZI CAFÉ: GET READY TO BE FARZIFIED!

#DubaiGetsFarzified! That was the promise!

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When an invitation to a sneak-peak, sneak-taste pre-opening of Farzi Café popped in I was intrigued. First up, FoodeMag dxb is known to associate with food venues which they can truly vouch for and I trust the team’s judgement there completely. Secondly, Farzi Café promised not to be the typical run-of-the-mill Indian restaurant serving the same-old-same-old. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my butter chicken and garlic naan, but I have recently grown more interested in Indian restaurateurs taking Indian cuisine to the next level, baby steps toward global domination (if that is possible).

Farzi Café first opened its doors in January in Delhi by restaurateur Zorawar Kalra, the man behind Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra. The Farzi Café at City Walk Phase 2 (near first interchange) is the first Farzi Café outside India (and not the last one I am sure) and will officially open to Dubai-ites on March 30, 2016.

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Zorawar Kalra and the Farzi Cafe Team

So what can you expect to eat and experience at Farzi Café? If I had to describe it in the simplest way possible – this is what I would say – expect traditional Indian dishes (perhaps I should rephrase it to say ALL dishes have Indian influences) using original recipes, with a hint of foreign flavours, all rustled up by molecular gastronomy! The Farzi Café in Dubai is said to be the first restaurant which will introduce Arabic influenced global cuisine (25% of the menu will have Arabic influenced dishes) using progressive cooking techniques and styles – I think Dubai is ready.

In terms of the ambiance – it is clean and contemporary. I loved how they have utilized the high ceilings – the environment does not overwhelm. It’s a place that will welcome everyone – whether you are dressed in your jeans or to the nine’s – you will always feel welcomed here – that was the vibe I got as I walked in.

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The team at Farzi Café have tried to keep the prices affordable – expect to pay approximately between AED 80 – 120 including a drink per person – NOTE: there is no alcohol but it does some really cool mocktails.

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You bill will arrive in this – quirky or quirky!

DRINKS

Belande – Bela (never knew that ‘bela’ was a flesh cucumber – well you learn something new everyday), with ground cumin, rosemary, sugar syrup, lime and mango power (amchur) and Sprite.

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Ananas (Pineapple) Orbits – if you like coconut – this one’s for you. Blend of coconut milk, freshly ponded pineapple and cream with pineapple caviar that burst in the mouth (these are the blue balls you see at the bottom of the spout).

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BIIT – Berry Island Ice Tea – with strawberry, cranberry, mint, cranberry juice, soda and dry ice that gives it that smoky effect (sorry no photo here – too busy tasting the berries)

Irish Haze – hazelnut, Irish cream and espresso – STOOD OUT

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Farzi Sangria – infused fruits with apple juice, grape jice and ginger ale

Caribbean Shaker – Passion fruit puree and pounded strawberries and coconut syrup with cocnut dust served in a French Press

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STARTERS

(these were presented to us in bite-size portions so might not be representative of the final look of the dish)

Chilli Beef Toasties – Kulcha stuffed with beef mince and cooked in a clay oven. – STOOD OUT

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Dal Chawal Arancini – who would have ever thought to turn the staple dal and rice into an arancini (stuffed rice balls, coated with breadcrumbs, which are fried). Here it is served on a bed of tomato salsa topped with a mini papad and mint sauce and achari mayonnaise. – STOOD OUT

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Masala Cottage Cheese Scramble – with black pepper and parmesan tart

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Mini Raj Kachori – tangy chaat puffs filled with tangy pumpkin, sweetened yogurt and mint sauce accompanied with chutney foam and crispy okra salad – STOOD OUT

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Panko Quesadilla – flaky bread enchilada stuffed with coconut, cheese, vegetables served with malagi kodi

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Labneh Spheres – an amuse bouche with labneh and blueberry

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MAINS

Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie – with seared Wagyu beef and tawa aloo chaat – STOOD OUT

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Tempura Fried Dynamite Prawns – with kumquat (type of lemon) and chili foam and tovanjan (bean sauce) and tobiko – STOOD OUT

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Galuti Burger – tawa fried buns suffed with galouti kabab, caramelized onions, ghee roasted mutton chunks served with potato wedges

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Devilled Quail Eggs with labneh infused zataar and minced chicken ragout

Mushy Shitake Slider – Mushroom pattie with mayonnaise, aragula leaf and truffle oil

Pan seared Scallops – with peanut butter glase and nutcracker kachmber

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Khow Suey – Pumpkin and coconut curry with rice and Indian crispies

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Mutton Irachi – mutton made with coconut milk, curry leaves in an onion based curry and served with parotha STOOD OUT

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DESSERTS

Rasmalai Tres Leches STOOD OUT

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Warm Semolina and Banana Syrup Cake with pistachio icecream and almond biscotti

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Farzi Café makes it difficult to review – most of what we tried was absolutely super (My Stood Out rating is just a necessary ‘review’ superlative for something I will go back and have in a heartbeat) – we were coaxed and surprised by the tastes and textures right down to the unusual presentation of the dishes. I did not get to try too many of the Arabic influenced dishes, but that has piped my interest enough to go back and give it a try.

Progressive Indian cuisine may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but when every dish tells a story using science while creating an Indian-ized version of molecular gastronomy, I believe that it’s something everyone should experience. The food at Farzi Café is edgy and tasty, experimental yet familiar and that is where I believe the next phase of global Indian gastronomy needs to be .

All I can say is – I am #Farzified!

DISCLOSURE: To be honest and fair I must inform you that I was invited to review Farzi Cafe in exchange for a complimentary meal. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my own.

Location: Farzi Café, City Walk 2, Al Safa, Dubai. Open everyday from 12 noon – 11 pm

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