Following the successes across India and in Dubai, Farzi Cafe has now come to London. The name “farzi” actually means fake in Urdu. But by that, it means attempting to bring a modern interpretation of Indian food onto the table, or what they describe as “with a vision of bringing Indian Cuisine back “in-Vogue”.
The restaurant is located at Haymarket, right by the theatre. A doorman stood in front and was ready to greet and open the door for you at the restaurant. As you step inside, it’s a buzzing atmosphere with a modern luxury interior. The premise spreads across two floors and we were seated on the downstairs level.
Here’s what we ordered:
Udupi Paneer Popcorn (£5)
To start with, we ordered these paneer popcorns. The dish was quite small to be honest – it seemed more a nibble dish for drinks rather than a starter dish. Anyway, in terms of flavours, I felt it was a bit underwhelming. The paneer itself didn’t taste of much. As a result, it seemed slightly bland – but the sauce on the side saved it. The coating was really crispy though!
Ground Beef Scotch Eggs (£10)
Seeing a halal option of scotch eggs, we’re keen as a bean to try this out – and it didn’t disappoint! The scotch egg was tremendously crispy on the outside and flavourful. A layer of ground beef enveloped this beautifully cooked egg, with the egg yolk still runny. It was simply superb.
Braised Lamb Chops (£15)
Next up is these Braised Lamb Chops, with a maple and fennel glaze. These lamb chops were as beautiful as they looked. They were really tender and saucy, with a tinge of addictive sweetness. I wished there were bigger and thicker, but we were really content with these ones.
Veal ‘osso bucco’ Ishtu (£16)
I love a good Osso Bucco and was really anticipating for this dish. A very rich gravy was poured into the dish upon serving. Flavour-wise it was really savoury – a little bit overwhelmingly savoury after a while and definitely needed some bread to pair with it. It came with naan but we ordered a bread basket as well. The meat was generally tender, and there was a good amount of bone marrow in there which was a delight.
Shawarma Biryani (£19)
This is no doubt a very well-presented plate of biryani. There’s like a “tower” of shawarma at the centre over a bed of rice. In overall, I thought the dish was rather mediocre. It was really savoury, and the meat was fully coated with a rich gravy. However, it seemed to lack a tease and punch.
Our meal at Farzi Cafe had been decent, though I wouldn’t call it particularly exceptional. It was slightly a hit-and-miss with the dishes. For instance, the Beef Scotch Egg was truly outstanding, but the other dishes were more on the mediocre scale. I liked the contemporary concept but I personally felt it was missing that robust touch from traditional Indian cuisine. If you’ve been as well, what are you guys’ thoughts?
All meats are halal at Farzi Cafe except pork dishes and are strictly handled separately in the kitchen.
Alcohol is present at the restaurant.
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus