You’re a Hogwarts student. Years have passed since you were sorted into your house (Gryffindor, obvs). You’re now old enough to take trips off campus. Stay with me here… So you go and explore Hogsmeade (throwback) and come across a little Indian and Arabic themed restaurant.
If that’s how the story went, said restaurant would be Farzi Café.
It’s grown up food in a swanky setting that still excites your inner child. Although it has a really relaxed and family-friendly vibe, it’s the kind of place you take people to impress them. If you’ve been fretting over a first date venue, you’re welcome.
Farzi’s Iftar menu
Farzi originated in India and has recently opened in Dubai. Every branch has a slightly different menu, incorporating popular local cuisines, so a dish like the Shawarma Biryani is exclusive to us.
We visited Farzi to try its special Iftar set menu. The first thing we were served was the palate cleanser. It was a mini sphere that burst in our mouths and tasted like sweet lassi. You know those tiny balls you get in bubble tea? Think that, but on steroids. Speaking of bubble tea, the first drink we had was the Ananas Orbit. That’s just Farzi for one of the best Pina Colada mocktails you will ever taste. It’s obviously very popular and for good reason. It was stunning, extremely moreish and took a lot of self-discipline to not gulp it down in one.
Both of the above items were served alongside dry ice, which just added to the magical feel of the whole experience. Farzi seems to take well known and much-loved dishes and give them a serious oomph. Dhaal Chawal (rice and lentils) is a standard dish in Asian homes – it’s nice, but hardly exciting. It was surprising to see it on the menu until it arrived at our table in Arancini form. It was topped by chutney, pickle and mini poppadums so every bite tasted different.
Delicious, clever and very well executed
The Tempura Prawns were rich, creamy and crispy all at once and we loved the chilli and lime foam that disappeared as soon as it touched our tongues. It left behind a peculiar, phantom taste. The Tandoori Wild Mushrooms dish was served atop a bowl of dry ice (it never gets old!) and was interesting although it should definitely accompany rice or bread. The Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie was an absolute treat. Wagyu beef cubes were tender and juicy and the mash was perfect. Every dish was exciting and the presentation was immaculate.
The Devilled Quail Eggs with minced chicken ragu was lovely and the Chicken Tikka Masala was served in a phone box in a nod to its status as London’s most popular dish. Just when we thought we were getting all wowed out, the Butter Chicken Sliders arrived in a little green truck. The bun was unlike any other we’ve tried before in terms of fluffiness and let’s just reiterate. Little. Green Truck.
The piece de resistance was the Shawarma Biryani. By this point we could only manage a couple of spoonsful but had to try such a beautifully crafted dish. Food at Farzi is not just food, but more works of art. The kind you almost don’t want to dig into because you’ll ruin it, but have to, because it’s so exciting and different.
Believe the hype
The desserts were delicious, Jalebi Caviar and Ras Malai tres leches. Literally two of the most widely available sweets mixed with two of the fanciest food concepts. The whole experience was special and it’s safe to say that you can go ahead and believe the hype about Farzi Café. It almost makes us feel better about not getting our Hogwarts letter (obvs lost in the post). Almost.
Iftar is AED 125 and AED 75 for children between 3 and10. For details, call +971 4394 2556.