CityWalk, a chic urban space where you can live, work and play, has no dearth of funky restaurants that can tantalize one’s senses. My recent visit here was to a quirky Indian restaurant, Farzi Café, that combines fine dining with molecular gastronomy for the entire family sans burning a hole in your pocket.
At the time of writing this review, Farzi Café is in Building No. 5 in City walk II, with free underground parking. Walking towards the restaurant, I realised City Walk is a different world in itself. Colourful lights all around, interesting graffiti on the walls, buildings that resemble those in the European countryside, there’s a different vibe altogether. The restaurant is creative and modern with funky interiors and a wall dedicated to farzified slogans.
We were welcomed with their characteristic welcome drink, Amuse Bouche. The surprise factor is that it is not actually a drink. It is like a big capsule served in a dramatic way that pops in the mouth to release a yummy mango flavour and this set the bar high for all the table theatrics and culinary art that was to follow!!!
The starters and drinks soon arrived creating a melody for my eyes and tongue.
We had Bootlegger, Lychee Blossom, and Ananas Orbits. The presentation of Bootlegger and Ananas Orbits was amazing. All the drinks tasted great, especially the Ananas Orbits which is like pinacolada.
Dal Chawal Arancini – These lentil risotto balls topped with chutney and poppadam rolls were packed with flavour and one of our favourites.
Madras Pepper Prawns – These were served with aerated curd rice, a staple in Tamil Nadu, and sprinkled with gunpowder. For those who don’t know, gunpowder is prepared by grinding various lentils, dry red chillies, peanuts and a few other ingredients, to a powder. It is added to dishes to enhance its flavour.
Tandoori Goat Shoulder with Jeera Khaari – Pieces of goat shoulder that’s slow cooked served with cumin puff and stock gravy. It was a good mix of flavours and the meat was very soft.
Chili Spiked Beef Kulcha Tower – The presentation was unique and this was another one of my favourites. The kulchas were stuffed with a spicy beef and cheese mixture and they were just delicious.
Lamb Shank Ishtu with Dhania Kulcha – The lamb melts in the mouth as its cooked for 8hrs, though I felt the gravy had a very strong flavour which I didn’t enjoy. The accompanying coriander Indian bread was really good.
Double Dairy Dal Makhani with Butter Naan – This is dal makhani personified. It is extremely buttery and rich with a layer of white foam on top, probably to enhance its presentation. Loved it but it’s not for the calorie conscious 😉
Asparagus Bok Choy Biriyani – This is the first time I tried bok choy and that too in a biriyani. It is a good dish, a little spicy and would go well with either chicken or paneer curries.
Chocolate Dirt Pile – Fancy name and the presentation was amazing too. It’s actually a deconstructed chocolate cake topped with fresh berries and chopped nuts and served in a wooden bowl along with vanilla ice-cream. At the table, this is mixed with hot chocolate using a trowel, after which the mixture indeed looks like a dirt pile. Mix this dirt pile with ice-cream and it is outrageously delicious.
We ended our meal with a cup of Karak Chai that was served in a cute bronze container with a tap. The chai was just average though.
There are many restaurants that have incorporated molecular gastronomy into their food but what sets Farzi Café apart from the others is their location at City Walk and at Mall of the Emirates and their pricing which makes it accessible for all those who want their senses to be tantalized without spending a fortune.