Iranian, Turkish, Lebanese
Atmospherics: Somewhere near the entrance of Hauz Khas Village, yet another rabbit has popped out of the never-ending hat. This one is called Faarsi, and if it is small, it has a well-thought out role. It comprises a take-away counter and a tiny 20-seater eatery. No alcohol, no sheeshas, no fuss. It’s an after-party place where you fill yourself up with sustenance before heading home. Or sit and eat good food that is surprisingly authentic, given the inexpensive price. The large open kitchen occupies approximately half the space. It’s not the kind of outing that your mother in law would appreciate: the seating is comfortable but low, and the menu is not extensive. Service is cheerful and prompt. The place works because of the unpretentiousness of it all. The only decorative element is a board with dozens of Turkish eyes on it in all sizes. Though the name is Faarsi and the bright blue exterior is reminiscent of Iran, the food encompasses Iran, Turkey and Lebanon. A couple of the kababs – chelo and kubideh for instance – are typically Iranian, borek is Turkish and kibbeh is Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian.
Table Talk: Among the meaty offerings, lamb chelo kebab (Rs 255) is the best thing on the menu. It is delicately flavoured, the mince is finely ground and it is as close as you can get to the Iranian original. In short, at the price of Rs 255, it is a complete steal. Even better is the babaghanoush (Rs 95). If you are not very hungry and just want a snack, you might like to order just the babaghanoush and the chelo kebab and get change back from Rs 400! That too, in Hauz Khas Village. Other things to look out for are the hummus (Rs 95) which is not the best in the city, but well worth the modest outlay, falafel with hummus (Rs 175) served with pita bread, lamb kubideh kebab (Rs 235). Many of the dips are served across the Middle East, yet are made differently in each country. The babaghanoush is typically Turkish, but whether by accident or design I wouldn’t know.
Plus and minus: for sheer unbeatable value, do not miss this one. The tasteless, re-heated yellow rice served with the chelo kebab and the ghastly ‘sauce’ were just there to fill the plate.
Food: 3.00 Service: 2.50 Décor: 2.50
Must try: chicken shawarma wrap, cheese sambousek, mezze platter veg
26, Hauz Khas Village, Tel: 8130330555
Open from 12 noon to 12 midnight
No alcohol served; at present: only cash (credit cards will be accepted after a week)
Meal for two: Rs 750