Farzi Café created a sensation when it opened in Gurgaon near New Delhi in 2014.
For the first time traditional Indian and global classics were transformed by cutting edge molecular techniques, with a healthy serving of flair, panache and style on the side.
Fast forward four years, and in the wake of nine hugely successful sites across India, with another one in Dubai, Farzi Café has opened its first European site in London’s Haymarket.
Destined to disrupt the capital’s preconceived ideas about Indian food, Farzi Café London is billed as “a sensory adventure of the traditional fused with the futuristic” and is overseen by the award-winning chef Saurabh Udinia, one of India’s most acclaimed young talents.
Saurabh Udinia is bringing experimental Indian cuisine to the city for the first time, with the help of molecular gastronomy, state-of-the art equipment and food theatre. The general idea is the ‘deconstruction’ of Indian food to create more flavoursome and colourful dishes, some of which, according to our very own editor, are “exceptional and totally unique for London”.
Farzi Café London signature dishes include concoctions such as Dal Chawal Arancini (Sicilian arancini balls made with dal & chawal served with aachar, papad & chutney), Raj Kachori (mini shells with sweet & sour pumpkin topped with chutney foam, crisp okra salad) and Tandoori Wild Mushrooms, Truffle & Walnut Dust. The Arancini dish, which is excellent, is pictured below.
According to the project’s interior designers, DesignLSM, the design accent focuses on the ‘Farzification’ of the space; coining the term for the playful, inventive and energetic persona of the brand.
The material palette and features create an ambience that reflects the sophistication of the Indian cuisine.
Movement, texture and pattern are played with, through the introduction of ornate brass leaf walls and fumed oak timbers. These elements combine with deep hues of green marble, rich leather and velvet upholstery.
The prominent brass and oak ceiling raft guides guests’ sightlines to the heart of the space – the open kitchen pass which is framed by a salt brick wall.
DesignLSM were also appointed to act as brand guardians to implement and evolve the Farzi brand into the London market.
Farzi Café is the creation of Massive Restaurants. Now one of the fastest growing restaurant groups in India, the brand was founded in 2012 by Jiggs Kalra, the pioneering food columnist, author, gastronome and food consultant known as the “Czar of Indian Cuisine”, and his son, MasterChef India judge Zorawar Kalra. The latter has been recognised by GQ India as being among the Top 50 Most Influential Young Indians three years in a row, as well as GQ Man of the Year and one of the Economic Times’ 40 under 40.
Jiggs and Zorawar Kalra’s company is also behind five other of India’s most popular restaurant brands. These comprise Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, the first Indian restaurant to introduce elements of molecular gastronomy and one of the country’s most awarded restaurants; “smart-casual” Made in Punjab; modern pan-Asian bistro Pa Pa Ya; modern ‘freestyle’ bar and kitchen KODE, the laboratory-style MasalaBar and Bo Tai, a modern Thai bar & grill concept showcasing contemporary Thai food and European grills and cocktails that reflect Thai flavours with a modern twist. Nearly two million diners visit their restaurants each year.
Farzi Café, 8 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4BP
Food Image: Tuna Ceviche Benghal Jhal Moorie