Having dined at Masala library in Mumbai, it was natural for me to try Farzi Café, Gurgaon, on my visit to Delhi. Trying hard not to compare the two distinctly different brainchildren of Zorawar Kalra, here are the recommended must-haves two vegetarians loved at Farzi Café, Gurgaon:
Mishti doi spheres: An amuse bouche, gulp these mishit doi shots in one go as they come all flanked by smoke, setting the perfect tone for what's to follow.
Bombay bhel – version 2.0: This combines the Bhel and Sev Puri, as the tasty Bombay bhel comes on top of a papri.
Vada pav Farzified: Yes, the Bombay staple, which tastes street-like, but the pao is stuffed inside the vada! Why could no Mumbai street vendor think of this innovation?
Karela calamari with sweet and sour mango chutney: We were urged by Mr Kalra to try this, as we were both sincere karela haters, but for those who swear by their karela, nothing can get better than this tangy twist!
Sarson ki gilawat with a corn and cheese tostada: Punjab on a plate, there are miniature makai rotis and the saag is made in the form of gilawati kebab. Sprinkled with popcorn, you would want to celebrate Lohri, right after eating this.
Palak Paneer Quesadillas: Some delicious palak paneer is stuffed inside quesadillas, to make for the perfect Mexican Indian fusion.
Palate cleansers: Even these come with a twist, with the likes of Hajmola-flavored lollipops!
Parle G cheesecake with milk custard and chocolate gems: This is the most widely photographed dish, and tastes exactly how it looks. Cheesecake, stuffed inside Parle G and topped with some Gems.
Phirni oxide: The dish which attracts all the attention to your table, phirni oxide is a twist on the humble phirni laced with some liquid nitrogen.
It may seem impossible to get a reservation there, but Farzi café is worth the wait! Just like Masala library, Farzi café takes typically Indian dishes, which are never put on a fine dining menu and presents them in a swanky avatar! Each dish flaunts something farzi (fake), be it added dramatics in the form of smoke, or dishes served in London style telephone booths. “Food theatrics” is a phrase and Farzi Café defines it. Since every dish has a history and story to tell, this restaurant narrates the history behind typical Indian dishes and twists them with a contemporary spin, just like how Indians are!
Foodie tales from the modern Indian. Lettuce Review is a weekly capsule of food fables from the Indian subcontinent, our culture and hospitality. Join us as we give insights into our country, break myths about our cuisine, while welcoming you this colourful land of diversity! Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
A version of this review was originally published on Lettuce Review.