More a sit-down restaurant and bar than a cafe, the ambiguity starts in the name (Urdu word meaning 'fake') of the eatery itself. A modern Indian bistro, this is Jiggs Kalra's attempt at creating an illusion, amalgamating Indian flavors, international concepts, and contemporary plating. It is a place that evokes a mixed bag of feelings. Though the attempt seems to be good, yet I had a feeling that they got a little lost on the way!
This is one of the most popular places to eat out at the food hub of Cyber City in Gurgaon, NCR. There is another such outlet at Hauz Khas village.
The place looked quite spacious, yet I guess, not adequate, because even with a couple of vacant tables and empty space at the bar, they seem to insist on a customary wait for 15 minutes, which can even stretch to an hour. They are not too helpful with prior table reservations either! Could this be a ploy to appear overbusy and exclusive?
I was told to wait for at least half an hour. However, much to my amusement, I was able to move to a table within five minutes of taking a drink and settling at the bar.
It has a routine ambiance with a spacious bar and comfortable bar stools (not the uncomfortable high bar stools, thankfully).
It is definitely a high point of the place. Staff is nattily dressed with earphones for constant communication with front and kitchen. I found the staff well-spoken, well-informed about the menu, and efficient.
Much like many Bollywood movies where the actual movie does not match up to the trailer, the food failed to meet the expectation the place builds up.
I came back with mixed feelings. So, here goes the analysis:
The upside: The menu looks interesting and the attempt at fusion cuisine is laudable. There are a lot of freebie snacks and palate cleansers in between courses, which seem to be the USP of the place, starting with kachori potlis served with chutneys, yummy potato masala with the drinks, little grape-like mishti doi balls served on dry ice before starters, hajmola candy gelato sticks before the main course as a palate cleanser, and meetha dry paan in a candyfloss gujia shell at the end of the meal.
The downside: The food itself is almost disappointing despite all the theatrical buildup. The veg starter (Dal Chawal Arancini, Rs. 260), which was rice and dal balls deep fried in batter, was innovative but the non-veg starter (Chicken Tangri in Goat Cheese, Rs. 400) was extremely ordinary and lacked any flavor of goat cheese. The Chicken Tikka Khurchan Tart (Rs. 375) was a better bet, with butter chicken tikkas shredded and served in small pie tart shells, but that too, lacked the crispiness of khurchan (thick remains of milk roasted on a griddle) that I was expecting, and the butteriness of a good pie was missing, too.
The mains: The Ratatouille Bhaji & Maska Pav (Rs. 425) was very ordinary pao bhaji served innovatively with the buns in a little antique truck. The Prawn Biryani (Rs. 525) was chettinad prawns served with a melange of pad thai and other rice noodles. The flavors were peppery and acceptable but the juices did not penetrate into the rice. That left me asking for a little more from the dish.
My dish of the day was the mutton (Mutton Irachi Pepper Fry Rs. 525) served with malabari paranthas. It was perfectly cooked, succulent and the gravy tasted impeccable with a hint of barbecue flavor. The parantha was flaky, crisp, and perfect. This was one dish that lived up to its promise.
We ordered the Parle G Cheesecake (Rs. 295), which was delicious. It was not a cheesecake though, something like a shrikhand (sweet dish made of strained yogurt), thick sweetened curd placed between Parle G biscuits, with a little rabri like sauce in the plate. You must try this cheesecake as it is smooth and creamy and not too heavy either.
The experience at Farzi Cafe was different, but unfortunately, the food was a letdown. In all fairness, my expectations were higher than what was dished out to me. The cafe needs to make its food the mainstay of the customers' experience!Published On: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015