Zorawar Kalra’s Novel Ode to Refashioning Indian Cuisine

Farzi Café has introduced a new stellar menu - one that is all set to beguile and charm gourmet diners. Showcasing some much-loved dishes from the Indian culinary atlas, the newly imagined delicacies are filled with a hearty dose of esculent art and presentation styles

By: Tejashee Kashyap

Posted on: May 20, 2020

LF Says: ★★★.5

Farzi Cafe New Delhi Connaught Place India

The names Zorawar Kalra and Farzi Café need no introduction in the culinary world. A restaurateur extraordinaire, who first opened the gateway to the illusory nature of food back in 2014, has a surprise-filled new menu introduced at Farzi Cafe. It’s almost astounding how even after nearly six years, their signature style of gimmicking original Indian flavours had stayed on as a staple and a favourite amongst the crowd. Farzi Cafe has continuously pushed its culinary and creative boundaries to put together a cohesive spread that makes Indian food preparation and presentation fun and quirky.
Mr. Kalra’s new menu theme at Farzi Café - ‘Science Meets Art' - immediately put me into a curious state of mind. And visiting the outlet at Connaught Place (before COVID-19 struck us all with surprise) introduced me to some flavoursome but mind-boggling dishes. Their practised elements of molecular gastronomy offering an honest and enriching gourmet escapade makes me confess of being ‘farzified’ just like their regular patrons.   

Farzi Cafe Connaught Place New Delhi

New Menu Edit

Farzi Café has always maintained its modern-Indian bistro concept offering stellar food, developed by robust components of molecular gastronomy and presentation styles. The new menu of Farzi Café is an insight into classical Indian food in a modern avatar. Dishes armoured with hidden flavours, secret techniques, flavourful molecular tastes and diversity offer an unusual satisfying dining experience. A whole new world of innovative introductions like the Dahi Puchka Chaat with angoor chutney and a flavourful Chicken Scotch egg with achari hollandaise calls for exquisite bar nibbles. Starters are packed with inviting ingredients crafted beautifully like mini raj kachori with crispy okra salad. In North India, not having a remix style in Biryani serving in a place like Farzi Café is an absolute no. Chutney chicken biryani with raita spheres, Kerala chicken biryani and black channa pachdi as additions should be on the lookout. The delicacies certainly sends a surprising invitation to one’s palate. 

Farzi Cafe Connaught Place New Delhi biryani

Within the Nucleus

Having a spacious area for a cafe in a busy locality is a blessing and the management at Farzi Café knew how to make the proper use of it. The vibrant lighting and lively music at the entrance makes you certain of a fun experience. Mr. Kalra has allowed guests to open their windows and look out to get their fill of the view. The flooring also represents some authentic rugged Indian tile galore. The restaurant is all long and wide accommodating a good number of tables (this might change in the near future in the times of social distancing) colonised by elated patrons under some cool lightings. A lot of attention has been paid to the decor and interiors surrounding the bar space that highlights its fun aesthetics.  

However, change is inevitable and it is necessary in order to incur a permanent spot. With the cafe’s location at Connaught Place - the original heart of Delhi - and the ever-increasing number of restaurants, the interiors and inner space call out for a major renaissance. Farzi Café has now laddered themselves up into a brand that resonates to having everything perfect. Hence, having even small attributes that tick them off from being a ‘perfect’ place can have one’s hopes down. The faded and little withered painted walls need to up their game. Being greeted by some vivid vibes upon entrance, the indoor space with the dull-toned interiors may put you off, but the brilliant lighting may make you overlook the faults. 

Farzi Cafe Connaught Place New Delhi seating

Humble Servings

Preparing my tastebuds for an absolute elevation by the new menu, my dining experience was started by the aromatic Murgh shorba cappuccino with a parmesan wafer which completely made me understand why Farzi Café might be the king of revamping Indian dishes. I was blown by how the chicken soup has been styled as a cappuccino. The foam was made by the malai tikka ground chicken accompanied by the shorba with wholesome minced chicken, accentuated with jeera mimicking coffee beans. It is definitely a must-have dish from their new menu. 

If one talks about Indian food, our street savouries remain a prime talk. Pearl Barley and Dahi Bada with Oriya namkeen, however, had just a good-to-go taste. The starters section was kicked off by shredded chicken dhokla served with chutney kachumber that left me intrigued. Only the skilled staff of Farzi can think of imagining a classic Chicken sandwich in dhokla bread. Owing to the large size of the bread, the chicken stuffing was done adequately and bought out a fresh distinctive flavour profile elevated by the chutney. The Murgh Banno Kebab, on the other hand, was just a regular familiar dish. 

Farzi Cafe Connaught Place New Delhi Dhokla bread chicken sandwich

The main course was started with Jaisalmeri Dal Pakwan with the classic homestyle dal revamped into a flirtatious spicy chaat accent, something that I could tackle and bait on a daily basis. Salli nu chicken is a reimagined Parsi dish. It had the traditional Indian curry flavour with some improved finesse, deliciously served with some fried egg and properly cooked and juicy chicken. Keeping in mind the rich diversity of flavours in dishes, they also served some in-between palate cleansers - mango-flavoured sorbet and strawberry flavoured amuse bouche which was served on a bed of Liquid Nitrogen. It elevated the presentation and experience. 

The lunch ended with some gracious desserts like malai mawa bun with a hard crust of a cookie and an apple mithai dipped in custard cream. The apple mithai again bought back the true essence of what Farzi Cafe stands for and kept me entangled by the theatrics of the server delicately pouring the custard onto the apple mithai. The closing of the dining experience was a sinful indulgence, doing it the perfect Farzi way. 

Farzi Cafe Connaught Place New Delhi dessert

Going to Farzi Cafe and not enjoying some twisted enchanting drinks from their bar place is not a good idea. A concoction of various ingredients and spirits goes on to serving some innovative cocktails. Going with the restaurant’s recommendation, I ordered their ‘farzi-styled’ Farzi apple foamtini - a vodka-based martini and green apple flavoured. It is topped with mint foam and served with some bamboozling table theatrics accompanied by liquid nitrogen. Served in a cutting glass with a kettle of tea, lemon, some well-infused spices mixed with vodka, Chai-Pani might just become your new option for ‘tea’.

The Finale

Some lip-smacking culinary illusions, exciting table theatrics, innovative creativity, delightful plating and thrilling presentation accompanied by much required vibe infusions and interior revivals would sum my experience. For me, the standout dish would be the Murgh shorba cappuccino with a parmesan wafer and Chai-Pani cocktail that resonated with the theme and meaning of what Farzi Cafe stands out - reimagining classic Indian cuisines in a-la-mode, best described as an epicurean experience. Maintaining modernist presentations and molecular gastronomy at its peak, the new menu of Farzi Café is a portal to experiencing quirky and rich dining traditions. And we so hope that the restaurant is able to ensure the same, or better, experience, once Delhi is back on its feet.

Farzi Cafe Connaught Place New Delhi shrimps

LF Says: ★★★.5

Coordinates: E-38/39, Rajiv Chowk, Inner Circle, Block E, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Phone: 095998 89701

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