THE REAL THING
Farzi Cafe at DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon, whips magic with flavours.
Illusions can be fun at times, especially when your mind plays tricks with your palate. Farzi Cafe, as the name suggests, thrives on making meal time whimsical, even magical.
Located in the crowded food zone that is the DLF Cyber Hub, the decor is uninspiring, the space cavernous, but you don't really care once the food starts coming.
The menu is quirky and innovative as one would expect from Zorawar Kalra, whose weighty lineage (he is the son of Jiggs Kalra) raises expectations. Take, for instance, the section titled soups and salads with dishes like mini raj kachori with crisp okra salad. Here, the modernised raj kachori with imli foam is the hero, the 'salad' component relegated to a quick bite of crispy bhindi.Boasting of modern Indian bistro-style cuisine with components of molecular gastronomy, every dish is thought out as painstakingly as it is prepared. The dal chawal arancini with papad and chutney comes in the form of a ball that's all Indian in taste, but Italian in look and presentation.
The chilli duck samosa with plum chutney was disappointing - too many competing flavours - and the chorizo pulao, probably one of their least innovative dishes, can also be skipped.
All the dishes at the cafe are served with drama, the platters heavy and dense yet brimming with novelty, challenging your notion of what passes as Indian. End your meal here with the phirni oxide, subdued in a cloud of liquid nitrogen, and pistachio batashas that look like meringues strewn over it to add texture. The ras malai tres leches with mango cream and a rose petal net also comes highly recommended.
The prices are affordable, and once they get their liquor licence and begin weekly live acts, Farzi Cafe is likely to draw a distinguished crowd as eager for a good meal as a spot of heady entertainment.
MUST EATS: Dal chawal arancini, Phirni oxide
MEAL FOR TWO: Rs 1,600 (taxes extra)
WHERE: 7-8, Ground Floor, Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon
THE PANDA'S DEN
Enjoy lip-smacking Asian fare as pandas gaze down upon you at The Fatty Bao in Indiranagar, Bangalore.
Walking into The Fatty Bao, the newest Asian gastro bar in Bangalore, you can't help but admire its chirpy décor. Giant pandas gaze down at you from walls painted in pastel shades of blue, green and red, while simple wooden tables - complete with pig-shaped salt and pepper shakers - hold the promise of a comfortable dining experience.
Since we arrived around dinner-time, we chose to sit on the rooftop, where the restaurant also extends into a chic bar space. A good place for a drink, I must say.
At The Fatty Bao, we highly recommend trying its signature cocktail menu - which includes one-of-a-kind alcohol-infused concoctions such as isfahaan (vodka, grape juice, rose syrup and lychee juice); fatty sour (fresh raspberries, whisky, lime and sugar); Mandalay bay (jasmine tea infused with vodka) and double jade (gin blended with kiwi, khus and kaffir lime) - each joyously headier than the next. The bar also offers a versatile wine, spirit and mocktail list.The food at the gastro pub relies heavily on Asian flavours, taking usual favourites such as oysters, tempuras, fried rice, curries and sushi to a completely different level. Our favourites included the Vietnamese sugarcane chicken skewers, oysters with soy butter, chorizo and ponzu sauce, twice cooked pork belly with mustard miso jam, seafood curry with ginger flowers and the lotus root red curry.
The menu also offers a variety of noodle soup preparations such as charred beef broth with mushrooms, grilled sausage soup with peas and coconut broth with lemongrass. We left The Fatty Bao with happy memories of an intelligently-crafted fusion menu, sprightly food presentations, ample portions and - most importantly - the amazingly quick service.
MUST EATS: Seafood curry, Oysters with soy butter
MEAL FOR TWO: Rs 2,500 (alcohol extra)
WHERE: The Fatty Bao, 610, 3rd floor, 12th Main, Indiranagar, Bangalore