London’s latest Indian, Farzi Café, has the full ability to present first impressions of grandeur, over-priced food and flashiness but it is, in fact, quite the opposite. The Indian import has finally landed in London, with venues already present across India and Dubai. Sitting proudly amongst theatreland, next to the Only Fools And Horses Musical, it’s blatant that this restaurant has landed itself a real whopper of a spot in central London, turning heads with its golden hued signage amidst a sea of concrete buildings.
The restaurant offers two levels of dining alongside opulent colours of luxurious gold and emerald greens that hint towards the restaurants Indian heritage. Downstairs, where we were cosily seated, is the more intimate of the two areas, with plush sofas and darker lighting that isn’t too dark to the point where you’re struggling to see the food you’re eating. On the menu you’ll not only find a bustling range of Indian food but a pleasant surprise where prices are concerned too. Despite the creativity and aesthetic illusions of the food presented, the deliciousness and the restaurant’s location, the prices remain shockingly reasonable.
Farzi Café’s mission is to get Indian cuisine back “in-Vogue” and certainly dispels the inherited view of Indian resto interiors being stuck in the 1980s with their beige, leather embellishments. Farzi is luxe and the food follows suit with its modernist influence leading to customers being shy to ruin the artistic decadence in front of them. Big on table theatrics but at a low cost, Farzi Café has a lot of qualities I look for in a restaurant; reasonable prices, funky looking dishes and service with a smile.
The menu is, at first glance, quite complex to decipher what with the dishes being very much modern Indian and not traditional. In fact, “Farzi” means actually translates to “fake” potentially hinting that the dishes are a spin off the real Indian deal. Saurabh Udinia, the executive head of the group, certainly delivers the goods though with dishes such as Udupi paneer popcorn chicken and fluffy dal chawal arancini tasting truly delectable. You can choose from nano plates, small plates, grills, main courses, side dishes and breads, with the amount you order being totally dependent on how much your tummy is gurgling.
If you’re stepping foot inside Farzi then make full use of the menu as each dish differs enormously from the next. Recommended is the Tandoori goat shoulder which bursts with flavour including citrus tones and chocolate forest for pudding with sweet beetroot and boozy cherries. The cocktail list follows the artsy suit, with each circulating around a star sign. The zodiac listicle involves the Scorpio served in a bronze chalice, amongst other creative flavours centring around horoscopes.
All in all, Farzi Café is a flamboyant revamp on Indian food with prices that will allow you grab a guilt free night cap post-munch. I’d go again in haste, and so should you.
Farzi Café: 8 Haymarket, SW1Y 4BP, www.farzicafe.com
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