Nobody has said this so far so let me be the first to announce that life is so much better with tickles and giggles zigzagging their way through your mouth and into your gastro-intestinal tract to redefine happiness in an utterly original way… and the charm gets multiplied when you realise that spear-heading this joyous trail is something that goes by the name FARZI. Well, this is the sort of feeling that pervades your being the moment you step into this Café.
‘Café? A farzi café?’ asked Specky, my wife, ‘And they have a terrace as well? I think I’m going to love being a few metres above all the dense PM 10 stuff that Connaught Place is now famous for.’
My friend Tikku ji, who is known more as Mister Tikku on the social media, had invited us, adding, ‘You’ll love their beautiful terrace with perfect Lightning, Romantic Cabana’s, New Food and Cocktail menu and the same Hallmark of Farzi Awesomeness.’
This got us excited. Farzi awesomeness is not something to be missed… ever. So I did some browsing and discovered that even the TOI wrote: ‘The name – Urdu for ‘fake’ – is apropos to being flummoxed by food deconstruction rendered to regular Indian fare that we all have grown up eating, and produced with dollops of drama that fit a Mad Hatter’s tea party.’ Even the Farzi café website declares that ‘a gourmet experience amalgamating traditional global cuisine, with Indian influences, contemporary presentations, culinary styles and ambiance’ has all the ingredients to transform a mundane evening unbeatable. Our gastric juices were appropriately tickled even on reading all this.
The night of 26 November is now etched on our palate as impeccably as the nuance-filled responses of Jeeves, a creation of P G Wodehouse. How else does one describe an evening that begins with a Tikku-japphi and hops on to cocktails that are called gulab-jamun and party bike. And no, we were not served piping hot gulab-jamuns but a drink that brought together homemade rose shrub, Jamun puree, and egg white as a binding agent with vodka and honey liqueur served rose haze. If this floors you, let me just add that party bike was a drink made with vodka, dark rum, herb liqueur, Anise liqueur, fresh muddled pineapple cranberry juice and ginger beer over the top. Phew! This was farzylicious!
This place doesn’t seem to be putting a full-stop to original concoctions… because their spirited dive into the culinary arts seamlessly glides into the world of snacks as well. Imagine sipping the creative cocktails with magnanimous servings of tandoori margarita kulcha with bloody mary ketchup, coin parathas, curried mozzarella bites, farzi fried chicken with smoked barbeque cream, chilly duck samosa with plum chutney, keema kulcha with mint jalapeno raita, and chicken quesadillas with sweet pimento and yogurt salsa… and you’ll know why the word farzi ceases to be un-original. The truth is that the descriptions and the recipes were enough to make me hold the eat-bites in my hand and ponder on the philosophical tomes that have been written on food. Watching me eat, even Specky murmured, ‘I agree with Bernard Shaw when he wrote that there is possibly no sincerer love than the love of food.’ I smiled.
But in my euphoria I am probably forgetting some really critical observations. The terrace of this café in CP, Delhi has wide openings on the top and as you look up you can see the ink-black sky (though I guess Delhi will soon see better days and starry skies will soon be there) and feel the cool breeze gently wafting towards you through the organic filter of potted plants. No, you cannot hold up your banta-bottle of narangi or shikanji (both are creative cocktails, of course and wave to your friends walking on the inner circle because the café follows all rules and the sides are blocked by thin walls that display all farzi doodles and artworks.
This place follows a ‘quirky, yet chic, Indian café concept, where guests experience the finest of modern Indian food using elements of molecular gastronomy for showcasing some of the iconic dishes from around the world in a way that’s never been seen before, all at affordable price points’ says their website. And after spending more than a couple of hours there I would believe in these words. They no longer seem wild and whirling and intent upon creating an image for the sake of an image.
Allow me to reflect the thoughts of Erma Bombeck and say that this is one place where even ‘gravy is considered a beverage’ and combined with their heady presentation skills, the soul of anyone visiting this utterly affordable café is bound to be humoured. This is a light-hearted place heavy on styles and originality emerging from the kitchen as well as the bar… and at least I found Farzi to be farzylicious!
28 November 2016