London’s latest high-end Indian restaurant import — the Farzi Café brand from the Massive Restaurants group — has confirmed that it will open on Haymarket, in central London this summer. Though no official date has yet been given, it is understood that the operators are aiming for the end of June.
Farzi Café is described as a “modern Indian bistro” and, over the last six years, has become famous across south Asia and the Middle East for its “experimental Indian cuisine...molecular gastronomy, state-of-the art equipment and food theatre unlike any seen before.”
Massive Restaurants says it has “redefined India’s dining scene” and wishes to advance its “perception-challenging” agenda globally. London, the second international outpost, follows the expansion of the Farzi Café brand to Dubai which, it says, “has been instrumental in altering The Gulf’s dining dynamic and preconceived ideas about Indian food.” Last December private equity firm Gaja Capital invested £18 million into the company, designed specifically to propel its global expansion. (The total capital raised by the group stands at £24 million.) It is said to be “on track” to launch across eight countries during the course of 2018.
Massive was founded by the so-called “prince of Indian cuisine,” Zorawar Kalra, in 2012. As well as Farzi, his company operates four other brands: the “premium fine-dining” Masala Library by celebrity chef Jiggs Kalra (Zorawar’s father); “smart-casual dining” Made in Punjab; and the “modern pan-Asian bistro concepts” Pa Pa Ya, and MasalaBar. There are nine Farzi Cafés currently in India.
A selection of sample menu items, designed by the award-winning young chef Saurabh Udinia, shown to Eater includes:
- Dal chawal aranchini: Sicilian arancini balls made with dal and chawal served with aachar, papad and chutney
- Mini raj kachori: Mini shells with sweet and sour pumpkin topped with chutney foam, crisp okra salad
- Chilli pork ribs
- Tempura fried prawns, mimboo mirch air
- Tandoori wild mushrooms, truffle and walnut dust
- Ras malai tres leches: Ras malai made with three types of milk and garnished with rose petal net
Farzi Café, who says its modern interpretation of Indian dishes, “reimagines traditional Indian and global classics using cutting edge techniques” will be encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Indian Accent in London earlier this year. At the latter, chef Manish Mehrotra’s “nostalgic Indian dishes” with “openness towards global techniques and influences” do not seem out of place in a neighbourhood that is already home to three of London’s most celebrated Indian fine dining restaurants: Gymkhana, Jamavar and Benares.