Picture this: Someone holds out a plate of a ‘chilled’ yellow powder, dressed with fresh pomegranates, which literally melts in your mouth and slyly asks you to identify the dish. And you, seriously, can’t recognise a Bhelpuri! That is what your experience in Farzi Café is likely to be. At the newest addition to Cyber Hub, Gurgaon’s hot-spot, this one tasting session ably turned many ‘usuals’ into myths — precisely what food deconstructivism, or molecular gastronomy, aims to do. Crushed in a grinder and infused with liquid nitrogen, the deconstruction begins with Bhelpuri 2.0!
How do you deconstruct the done-to-death palak paneer? A staple, but always a winner, it is equally compatible with bread or rice. So how about infusing the palak (spinach) in a pav at its cellular level and stuffing the paneer inside it? Bite sized, and all in one. Also, most people tend to love the vada more than the pav in the famous Bombay street-food legend vada-pav, so how about letting vada play the lead while putting the bread inside it? Gulp sized, again. No, we are not at some food research centre. But, having said that, which kitchen isn’t one?
It’s a peculiar position to be in — while a righteous Bengali can lecture an entire evening on the sanctity of Mishti Doi, what he can’t is argue that the little gulps of yoghurt balloons, topped with paanch-phoron (mix of five whole spices) and strawberry is the most outrageously delicious way Mishti Doi has ever been served. Moreover, it’s supposed to be an appetiser! He can, probably, only take solace from the fact that he isn’t alone. The fellow Marwari is equally and pleasantly flummoxed with the upside-down mini Raj kachori with foam chutney; the purani Dilli-man is mulling on the serious Chinese influence on the Duck Samosas; and the lady from Andhra is surprised at the Poha Pad Thai with Red Snapper.
You can’t blame Zorawar, he has quite honestly named the place Farzi — the fake. But there’s nothing fake about the taste. The Gahlouti Boti tiffin-burger is as melt-in-the-mouth as it should be and scotch whiskey with cinnamon and apple deduction isn’t a letdown either for the purist.
So what is all this molecular-razzmatazz all about? Just another gimmick or something genuinely innovative from the house of Jiggs Kalra? I say, a bit of both. One of the youngest-chefs team around the city, everything served here tells you one thing — there’s quite a bit of thought behind it. The excitement to serve the phirni oxide is similar to that of a researcher closing in on a result in his lab. And yes, all the ‘tests’ are yielding good results.
Indians, mind you, we are a race that’s ritualistically dogmatic with almost everything and quite fiercely when it comes to food. But what if we are suddenly bemused by our very own traditional cuisines? It’s certainly not a very comfortable feeling. And hence, the gimmick is a necessity. With an onslaught of world cuisine slowly sidelining Indian delicacies as ‘every day usual’ to its very own people, a food-magic is the need of the hour. And any magic has to be farzi!
Where: Farzi Café, Cyber Hub, Gurgaon
Price: Rs 2000 (approx for two)