“It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about – enjoying things.” – Julia Child
Farzi meaning ‘fake’ in Urdu, is yet another modern diner where culinary excellence meets modern gastronomic illusions resulting in modernized presentations of traditional Indian cuisine. While we had already been to Farzi Cafe here in Mumbai, we, the Epicureans, were overjoyed thinking of a possible road trip to Pune, when we were invited to the same restaurant that recently opened it’s doors for public in Kalyani Nagar, Pune.
The decor seems slightly outlandish yet is classy and chic, thereby striking a good balance between casual and fine dining. The restaurant is divided into two sections, namely, the lower air conditioned dining area and the rooftop open dining space. The lower air conditioned dining area with unfinished walls, dimly lit interiors, comfortable red couches, well cushioned swings and chairs and upbeat music was spacious enough with large bar counters standing tall on one of the sides. The rooftop dining area again had a bar in the centre of the hall with garden chairs and well cushioned swings as seating arrangements around tables and plenty of plantations all around.
This was a mildly spicy and tangy concoction with faint sweetness of chocolate and a tad bit smoky notes of bourbon. The sweet-spicy flavoured cinnamon smoke paired well with chocolate and imparted a characteristic hot aroma to the cocktail.
This was a vodka based cocktail with slightly sweet notes, a strong coffee flavour with hints of vanilla imparted by Kalhua that well complemented the tangy notes imparted by the orange juice and the citrusy, lemony, malty and mild floral notes of earl grey tea. The cinnamon and star anise smoke gave it a subtle smoky and faint bitter undertones.
This was an extremely potent cocktail comprising of 120ml of different varieties of alcohol; a preparation similar to LIIT that was served in a barrel.
Bottle Ka Gin
Comprising of smoked gin, vanilla syrup, lime juice and ginger beer, this one had a citrusy and faint gingery flavour with sweet, smooth and floral notes and rich warmth of vanilla.
Snow White And 7 Dwarfs
This was probably a rum based cocktail containing egg whites, lime juice and pineapple juice having faint tangy notes with a well balanced sweet and tart flavours.
This was a coffee based cocktail letting out subtle smoky, bitter and strong licorice flavours with faint floral notes imparted by the star-anise flavoured Sambuca.
Farzi Apple Foamintini
This was a vodka based cocktail with the tartness of the green apple, citrusy and tangy notes of lime juice and faint floral notes of the elder flower syrup topped with a homemade refreshing and cool mint foam with fruity overtones that were further accentuated by the mint mist.
This was a tangy, cool and refreshing tequila based concoction also containing raw mango reduction and lime juice, served in a salt rimmed glass that added some more zesty kick to every sip.
This was a milder and less potent, tangy and fizzy vodka based cocktail having a fragrant citrus flavour, also containing grape fruits, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice and homemade soda.
Litchi Panna Desire
This was a tangy, citrusy and mildly sweet mocktail comprising fresh kaffir lime, lime juice, aam panna and litchi juice. The fragrant citrus flavour of the Kaffir lime took the taste to yet another level of awesomeness.
Mishti Doi Spheres
These soft and melting in the mouth spheres of sweetened yoghurt which were solidified using sodium alginate and by letting it react with the calcium in the yoghurt, were served to us right before we began with our appetizers. Each of the spheres were topped with some strawberry syrup. The sweetness of the yoghurt followed by the sharpness of the strawberry syrup was a mind boggling combination.
Guava Sorbet With Saunt Chutney
The palate cleanser served right before the mains comprised of guava sorbet served in the form of spherical lollipops which were topped with a droplet of saunt chutney on top. The sharp and sweet tones of the sorbet coupled with the sweet and sour kick imparted by the saunt chutney was yet another hit!
Tempura Fried Prawns
Succulent and juicy prawns with a crispy tempura fried exterior tossed in a homemade spicy sriracha mayo were served with citrusy and mildly spicy lemon and chilli foam created using soya lecithin by emulsification.
Chilli Confit Duck Samosa
Slow cooking the duck resulted in a melting-in-the-mouth, tender, moist and extremely flavourful meat stuffing flavoured with a thick, pungent, fragrant, sweet, salty, spicy and heavy hoisin sauce having a tart after taste and a moderately spicy and sweet chilli sauce dressing all over the crispy, crunchy and flaky mini samosas that enclosed the meat filling.
Appam Bheja Fry
The appam was a large and soft pancake with a relatively thick and spongy centre getting crispier towards the periphery having a faint yet vivid flavour of coconut milk. The moderately spicy yet flavourful scrambled preparation of lamb brain cooked with basic Indian spices resting in the centre of the appam instantly melted in the mouth. This was served with some gunpowder drizzled all over the platter and some fresh green chutney and onion chutney with characteristic pungent tones smeared on the side.
Amritsari Fish And Chips
Crispy batter fried fish bursting out with spicy and robust Indian flavours enclosing a tender, flavourful and moist meat within was served along with homemade crispy thin potato chips. The eggless, bright yellow, opaque, smooth, rich, buttery and glossy ‘desi ghee’ hollandaise had a wonderfully nutty, sweet, sharp and tangy flavour.
Bacon Pyaaz Ki Kachori
Khasta baked kachori with a thick, crunchy and flaky exterior enclosing a mildly spicy filling, rested over a pool of a tangy reduction made of potato, tomato and onions, also having a characteristic pungency of onions. While the filling in the kachori struck a perfect balance of spicy, sweet and tangy flavours, they were topped with bacon jam, crispy thin sev and pomegranate seeds. Though this dish didn’t disappoint me taste wise, I was EXPECTING that the filling of the kachoris also included bacon instead.
Patthar Ke Kebab
The dish probably gets it’s name from the fact that it’s served on a stone shaped platter. The thin slices of water buffalo meat were absolutely tender and were topped with dollops of uniquely spicy chutney made of wasabi and walnuts having faint nutty notes.
Delhi Belly Tikka
Succulent, juicy and lip smacking-ly spicy pork belly was marinated in plenty of Indian spices, honey and anardana powder that imparted the hot and spicy meat a little bit of sweetness followed by mild tanginess.
Lamb Rogan Josh Baos
This was an aromatic, robust and spicy preparation of hand pulled braised lamb chunks cooked with aromatic spices packing a wide array of flavours with a brilliant reddish brown colour, stuffed within cushiony soft steamed bao buns.
Chilli Chicken Baos
This was a moderately spicy yet mouth watering Indo-Chinese preparation of juicy boneless chicken chunks stuffed within cushiony soft steamed bao buns.
Butter Chicken Baos
This was a mildly spicy, creamy, rich, heavenly and buttery preparation of succulent and tender chunks of chicken with faint tangy notes, stuffed within cushiony soft steamed bao buns.
Rice Noodle Biryani
These thin, flat and broad rice noodles had a mildly spicy flavour and an appealing chewy texture and were tossed with succulent and tender chunks of boneless chicken. They were served with boiled eggs enclosed in a crispy thin battered crust placed on opposite ends of the platter and topped with crispy and spicy peanuts.
This was a fiery hot, spicy, mildly tangy and flavourful preparation of tender and juicy prawns that very well complemented the tangy lemon rice with a spicy tempering and was served with a crispy appalam placed on top.
Rasmalai Tres Leches
The alternating soft and melting-in-the-mouth layers of sugary-sweet and juicy rasmalai and milky-sweet carrot cream which was basically a creamy combination of shredded carrots and fresh cream, rested in a pool of thick, sweet, rich and flavourful saffron milk ornamented with plenty of almond and pistachio shavings that imparted some more nutty sweetness to the dessert. The artfully done solidified caramel meshwork standing tall on top of the dessert was garnished with some rose petals to finish it in style!
Warm Suzi Halwa
The warm, rich and savoury sooji halwa served with a soft and spongy twist had a mellow aromatic sweet taste. The sweet, nutty, smooth, creamy and crunchy pistachio ice cream thoroughly covered with crunchy and nutty pistachios, imparted the much needed moisture to the otherwise dry textured sponge cake.
These dark chocolate coated lollipops were filled in with a creamy and sweet mixture of baileys liqueur and thick and flavourful milk rabdi and were served to us in a tree like apparatus, just the way they were served at MasalaBar and Masala Library in Mumbai.
Candy Floss With Dehydrated Paan
Our meal here ended with this white, very light and fluffy confection shaped in the form of semi-circular Karanjis or Gujiya with decorative edges. The minutely thin strands of the spun sugar that went into the making of this one, had a revitalizing and well balanced paan flavour, releasing freshness and subtle sweet notes in every bite!
All the establishments by Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. that we have been to so far, haven’t disappointed us in terms of service and hospitality. The Kalras undoubtedly set a benchmark, not just in terms of F&B but also in terms of service. The service is fairly prompt, attentive and courteous. The entire hospitality team is warm, welcoming, well groomed, confident, knowledgeable and cheerful. The culinary magicians – Head Chef Durgesh and the head bartender, both humble souls as they were, deserve a special mention for ensuring time and again that we were having a good time!
Food Quality – 4.5/5
Food quantity – 4/5
Ambience – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
VFM – NA (Our meal here was courtesy an invitation by the restaurant to sample their menu.)