Good – bad, bad-good, good-bad, bad-good. Shuffling opinions faster than the speed of sound, the zoman was on the verge of a mental breakdown. Never was he so perplexed about making a narrative on his experience at an eatery but this time he was at his wit’s end.
While he tasted some delectable fare with ingredients as fresh as a drop of morning dew, somehow the overall experience had gone considerably asatray. All this checking and un-checking of boxes had already caused the zoman to mow through a box of cookies and almost the entire supply of the apartment’s milk when his damsel reminded him of the law of averages.
Turns out, that was precisely what the zoman’s recent FBAI soiree at Farmer & Sons was. An amalgam of highs and lows that averaged out to… Well, just about the average!
Here it is then…
Apart from the bad lighting for photography, which can also be remedied, the ambiance at F&S is quite good. Rustic meets contemporary is how I’d sum up the decor.
I loved how the space has been utilized and the bar counter is simply beautiful.
F&S could do a lot more in terms of this aspect; in fact the service here leaves a lot to be desired.
Staff running berserk without a clue as to what was going on, plus our host busy entertaining his own posse. While I understand that there were a lot of bloggers at the meet-up, I can imagine how bad the service would be on full-house days. I could see that the service for the otherwise unsuspecting couple of tables was also horribly slow.
Worst is that the staff doesn’t seem to have a proper read on the menu.
Complete chaos and totally abysmal!
As is the case with pretty much any place you’d visit these days, the food was a melange of the good and the bad. But true to what they profess, the ingredients seemed absolutely fresh.
I’ll begin my recount with the cocktails.
DRUNKEN DRAGON’S MILK
Box office failures with super-star ensemble casts are becoming quite regular these days. Naturally, someone had to replicate the principle in a cocktail too. Such amazing ingredients like the green tea infused vodka, coconut puree, kewra syrup, and Thai basil, but a very funky tasting concoction.
Didn’t like this one bit!
MUMBAI ICED TEA
After years of drinking the Long Island Iced Teas, finally someone came up with a Mumbai version for the same. Props to F&S for doing that!
A three liquor iced tea with pomelo puree and black tea syrup. The tartness of the pomelo blends well with the tannic sweetness of the black tea syrup, making for an interesting palette contrast in every sip.
I liked this but I wouldn’t whole heartedly recommend this!
RHUBARB AND ROSE MOJITO
I took my first sip of this drink with a lot of trepidation. I was almost certain that this would be the worst drink of the evening.
Turns out, I was absolutely mistaken. The rose syrup complemented the white rum so well. The rhubarb added its robustness to the drink without any overpowering taste.
If you like slightly aromatic cocktails, you’d love this!
This was perhaps the unanimous choice as the favourite cocktail of the evening.
Vodka, pineapple juice, fresh mint, and tobacco, go into the making of, perhaps the best cocktail you can have at F&S.
The drink was so well mixed and everything in it balanced perfectly, complementing each other flavour present in the cocktail.
We started the noshing proceedings with the
QUINOA, BROCCOLI, AND KALE SALAD
Gently wok tossed broccoli and kale served on a bed of quinoa, along with a healthy helping of feta cheese.
I don’t eat broccoli and I summarily removed whatever broccoli I came across to a far away corner away from my reach. Other than that, the salad was simply perfect.
Absolutely loved it!
GRILLED SEAFOOD, GOTU KOLA, AND COCONUT FLAKES
Something that seemed very elaborate when it was announced, but turned out to be pretty simple when presented.
The fish was grilled perfectly and went well with the mildly roasted coconut flakes. The gotu kola was thrown in for the sake of being fancy and seemed wasted in context.
Overall, I’d still recommend this because of the fish!
FINGER LICKING DUCK (SANDWICH)
This was already the star of the show before we even arrived for the FBAI meet-up. Thanks be to the foodie heavens that F&S’ duck confiture sandwich didn’t let us down one bit.
Marriages are made in heaven, at least, in the case of caramelized onions and gruyere cheese. They are simply perfect with each other. Add to it a helping of duck confit and some mustard. How can you ever go wrong with that?
Absolutely loved this!
Roast chicken and pickled beets, dayumm! And I haven’t even mentioned the tzatziki and aioli.
But I do hope you get the point, right!
Unashamedly bare and undoubtedly supreme, the margarita is certainly the queen of pizzas.
I loved the sauce in this case as well as the way they presented the pizza.
My only worry was that the crust was like a paratha rather than a pizza and it was burnt to a tiny extent.
Anything and everything that the night lacked, was perhaps made up for by this pizza. The rings of calamari, prawns, and then clams, oh lord!
The sauce was perfect yet again, and on this occasion so was the base.
Tremendous job on the pizza!
AGLIO OLIO E PEPPERONCINO
Another rendezvous with my absolute favourite pick from the entire universe of food. Must say, it was like bumping into an ex at a friend’s wedding.
Per usual I was tempted by the charms of the aglio e olio, but on close glance and maybe a rushed bite, I realized this wasn’t the love of my life for certain.
The garlic was slightly burnt, unlike how it should be and the olive oil was used with a tad bit extra generosity than actually needed. Overall, this broke my heart!
The house-made fettuccine used in this dish was gorgeous. A decent helping of zucchini and tomatoes along with some fresh bocconcini were nicely fused within the pasta by an emulsion sauce.
This time around, the sauce was not greasy and was perfectly seasoned.
I’d have this again if I happen to dine at F&S in the future!
I don’t know if this is a dip that goes with pita bread or a salad’ish dish on its own. But boy was this delicious. In fact this was the best dish on the F&S menu and I definitely recommend giving this a shot.
The beetroot, yoghurt, garlic, and olive oil combination is an absolute beauty. This dish was absolutely perfect both in terms of the texture and the taste. Add to it, the brilliant red colour.
I was quite excited for this since I’ve never had this before but I found the hummus to be a tad bit greasy overall. I don’t really know how a black hummus is supposed to taste like, but I do know how greasy a hummus should be and this one overshot that by a considerable margin.
I wouldn’t recommend this at all!
BRAISED PORK BELLY
It’s a rare occasion that a cracker of a dish like this gets a down vote from me. I found this to be excessively greasy and I’m saying this despite knowing that pork belly is anyway greasy. Plus there wasn’t any crackle to the pork belly and I’ve never had a soggy’ish pork belly before.
The kimchi was too dead looking to even try it.
No no no!
BRAISED LAMB SMOKED AUBERGINE
Thank god for second chances!
The presentation of the dish was messed up and at first bite we could only taste caramelized onions. But having decided to give this a second bite, we were totally blown away.
The lamb was braised to absolute perfection and went quite nicely with the aubergine once you pushed the onions off to a side.
I almost want to have this right now and I totally recommend it!
PANNA COTTA, COCONUT TAPIOCA, AND SEASONAL FRUIT SORBET
Nice wobbly panna cotta! An otherwise fantastic dessert that was screwed over by the coconut tapioca; if you scrap it to the side, this dessert is still amazing.
It’s been a while since I had perfectly grainy and balanced clafoutis (actually quite easy to make) and that wait ended at F&S.
This was wonderfully balanced both in terms of texture and flavour. Sadly everyone dug into the dessert and there wasn’t much left for me to savour, though I did get a few bites in.
BAKED CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE, FIG INFUSED LIQUEUR, AND CREME FRAICHE.
This was a decent truffle that was completely run over by the liqueur and crème fraiche. It was like a piece of cake swimming in a puddle of sweet tasting runny liquid.
Somehow the dish lost all of its coherence midway.
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
The cheesecake was nothing more than average and a rarity among cheesecakes that it lacked any visual appeal.
If only the pomegranate coulis was added a little more generously, it could have made for a brilliant sweet and tangy contrast and a great dessert too.
I wouldn’t take sides on this dessert preferring to be ambivalent about it!
F&S is like a sine wave in terms of its price. Some portions surprised us in being tremendous value for money while the others left us hoping for more, a lot more actually!
In terms of the bill value you’d end up with at F&S it doesn’t seem overly priced as compared to other places in the neighbourhood.
I had a good meal but not the most memorable of experiences.
If this was a takeaway place like Yorrick’s in Bandra I’d happily go and give them a hug. But an eatery is much more than good food and when it comes to the overall, F&S loses some of the pluses which its food gets for it.
As for the question, would I recommend this place? Hmmm… Mildly Yes!
With the Food Bloggers Association of India – https://fbai.wordpress.com/