Falak, Master Chef Farman Ali’s Awadhi Magic

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Bengaluru: Have you ever felt like kissing the hands of the person who cooked the food you just ate? I recently visited Falak, translating to An Ode to The Endless Skies at the Leela Bharathiya, Bengaluru. Falak is a fine-dining Indian restaurant and lounge that offers Awadhi and Northwest Frontier cuisine in its original style.

The warm and inviting space with a mesmerizing panoramic view of the city is the highlight of the luxury hotel. Falak, located on the seventeenth floor of the Leela Bharatiya is much like a crown for the property. Since its inception two years ago, it has been a favourite among the food connoisseurs of Bengaluru and with its traditional menu, brings the cultural culinary experience to Bengaluru.

The Last of Great Chefs

Master Chef Farman Ali

Falak has an Awadhi ambience with a modern touch, the raqabdaars or khansamahs have been roped in from Lucknow, who are trained to maintain the Dum Pukht style of cooking that it is famous for. Falak also upholds the history of a genuine fine dining experience by serving dishes that have been saved and reinvented over time by the last of great chefs, Master Chef Farman Ali, and that were originally developed in an era of local spices and conventional cooking techniques. Master Chef Farman Ali has created a menu that will satisfy even the most discerning fans of great Indian food, ranging from Awadhi to Northwest Frontier cuisine.

It seemed like a typical Lucknowi dastaan from the 19th century, exaggerated and stylized to imitate the oral storytelling custom known as dastaan-e-goi as I sat down to eat. I could relive the age of the Nawabs thanks to Falak and Chef Farman Ali. The atmosphere, aura, music played, table settings, and interiors all recall that time period as you enter the restaurant.

The Royal Offering

Falak’s menu is designed in a way you will time travel to the Mughal Period in India. Almost every dish is slow-cooked to perfection, which represents one of the last true luxuries in the world. If this is not luxury, I don’t know what else is. The Bakarkhani, which the legend attributes to Mirza Agha Baqer, a son-in-law of Murshid Quli Khan II, was crisp and layered, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Its flavour is still clinging to my mouth. The most flavourful chicken you will ever encounter is Falak’s Koyla Atta Chicken. An entire marinated chicken is roasted over charcoal in a whole wheat dough casing.

The Best Galouti Kebab

Falak’s Galouti Kebab is why I felt like kissing the hands which made it. According to folklore, the kebab was created especially for Wajid Ali Shah, the ailing Nawab of Lucknow. Although the Nawab had lost his set of teeth, he still had a meat appetite! At his request, the royal cooks devised a clever method of cooking meat that was simple to digest. Minced meat with the right amount of ghee and spices carefully mashed with bare hands, slow-cooked and served, was the best Galouti Kebab I have ever eaten. Master Chef Farman Ali and Chef Prabhjeet Lehal deserve a standing ovation for just this one dish.

Their menu also includes Achaari Jheenga which my father just inhaled, Shahi Nalli Nihari cooked in a mélange of spices, Dal-e-Falak, Multani Sheek Kebab, Dum Ghost Biryani, Moge Wala Kukkad, Lahori Machhi and many more authentic Awadhi dishes. The menu also consists of a wide range of vegetarian preparations.

I will go back for the Galouti Kebab for sure, even though I live in the opposite direction. I suggest at least one visit to Falak only to enjoy the food made with lots of love by Master Chef Farman Ali and Chef Prabhjeet Lehal. The travel time and distance are worth it. You will thank me later.

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