Looking for a casual dinner last weekend we landed at Farzi Cafe in City Walk, which I’ve wanted to try for ever and a day and just not got round too. The fact that I normally enjoy a glass of wine with dinner is partly to blame (the restaurant is dry but does serve delicious mocktails!) as is my reluctance to brave the over-crowded malls during summer. This was definitely worth the excursion however.
We visited on a Thursday evening and the place was full when we arrived at 7pm. To say this is an unusual sight in Dubai is an understatement and clearly a testament to how popular the restaurant is. The crowd was a varied mix of western ex-pats, local Emirati’s and Indian families out to enjoy good food in quirky cafe with buzzing vibes.
Our meal began with an amuse-bouche of fruity spheres of mango yogurt kept chilled in a bowl of liquid nitrogen (it is Dubai after all!). This definitely set the scene for what would be an exciting meal to follow.
The menu lends itself to a sharing concept with plenty of vegetarian options which was fantastic to see. For me tapas works well as I love tucking into a number of small dishes so I get to taste a bit of everything. The Dal Chawal Arancini with pickled mayo and topped with mini poppadum rolls was a surprise dish for me as I’m not normally a fan of arancini, they can be a bit bland but these were packed full of delicate spices and tender lentils. I loved the additional texture the poppadum’s added. The Tempura Dynamite Prawns were another winner for me. The batter was thin and crispy with just enough spice and the kumquat chilli air added a huge amount of flavour to the dish.
I’ve been known to enjoy a butter chicken in my time so I was super excited to try the butter chicken buns. Served in a lovely, light steamed bun and topped with green chilli mayo they were divine and not too heavy. I’d seen plenty of shots of the Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie on Instagram however this was probably the only dish that didn’t quite thrill me. Don’t get me wrong it was lovely, with tender chucks of wagyu and a lovely smooth mash potato with crispy beetroot crisps but compared to the other dishes it didn’t quite have the same wow factor. It is very pretty for a pic though!
Lastly we couldn’t resist trying the “British National Dish” of chicken tikka masala which came out aptly displayed in a London telephone box which was rather entertaining. The curry didn’t disappoint and was well flavoured and deliciously saucy, perfect for dipping in the mountain of garlic naan we ordered! (Carbs don’t count on the weekend right?)
Onto desserts and as I think I’ve mentioned before I’m not normally a huge fan of Indian sweet offerings, I’m all about the chocolate, but I have to say I really enjoyed the two that we tried. The Ras Malai Tres Leches was probably my favourite. It was soft and dainty and the carrot cream and rose petal were refreshingly different. The Gulab Jamun (sweet dumplings made with dried milk) were prepared at our table where the chef used dry ice to freeze the rabri (sweet condensed milk) and then added this to the dish along with a frozen rose petal for extra flair. A great dessert if you have guests and want to impress.
We absolutely loved out experience at Farzi Cafe and were so impressed with the unique and modern take on traditional Indian cuisine. The odd touch of molecular gastronomy went down well and wasn’t over the top. The staff were attentive, fantastically friendly and very knowledgeable and the place had a great casual, buzzing vibe. Definitely one for the list.