Review: DIVA Spiced, New Delhi

DIVA is a chain of fine dining restaurants in India. A brainchild of Chef Ritu Dalmia, each restaurant is famous for its own unique style and menu. A new offing from the same team is Diva Spiced. Situated at Meherchand market, it has taken the space of the old Chez Nini, ‘DIVA Spiced’ is an all-day dinning café offering Modern Asian Cuisine. Reflecting Ritu’s signature style of fresh and wholesome ingredients, the café introduces a menu which is a culmination of flavours, spices and innovations from the South East Asian belt. As Staying true to her classic style, a definite splash of European technique and presentation is evident in the cuisine.

DIVA Spiced_Ground_floor

DIVA Spiced is a 70 cover café spread with a ground and first floor seating. Keeping up with the DIVA legacy, Spiced has a warm and a cozy ambiance, but unlike other Asian cuisine venues it has its own take on decor.The interiors of the cafe have been designed by Anita Dalmia with a combination of vintage and contemporary style. The wallpaper is quite quirky with images of Asian women, Asian motifs and sightings while the chairs and furniture have an industrial appeal. Keeping Asian minimalism in mind the look is overall quite subtle with a play of bright colours. The style is very cafe like while the food is Ritu Dalmia’s take on Asian cuisine.

DIVA Spiced_1stFloor

Not for the weak-hearted or for people who do not like experimenting, the menu is a culmination of a lot of innovations, ranging from steamed crystal dumplings to grilled, fried and baked dishes. Some of signature dishes include tapas dishes like Panko Crusted Arancine filled with corn & chili jam, fried Zucchini flower stuffed with Tofu and Feta, Pork belly skewers with spicy yuzu Lemon dressing. For the mains there is a large variety like Goan Prawn Curry simmered in kokum and coconut served with ginger rice, stuffed baby eggplant in a whipped fennel sauce, Miso Marinade Salmon with soba noodles etc. For a sweet ending there are the regular DIVA desserts and a few special ones for Spiced such as a Spiced Mess- Lemon Grass Meringue with mascarpone cream and berry compote and the special black pepper infused chocolate fondant served with basil ice cream!

Address: 79-80, Meharchand Market (Ground & First Floor)
Contact no: 011 49051837
Meal for 2: Rs. 2200/- (without Alcohol)

Review: Tamra, Shangri-La, New Delhi

Tamra, the new all-day dining at the Shangri-la, takes its inspiration from the early ages of culinary evolution when copper (tamra) vessels were key components. I think the concept and the visual appeal of Tamra is fabulous. Tamra brings a high level of creativity to the casual dining scenario with a large variety of food offerings from around the world. It successfully brings old world charm and presents it in a new avatar,as it borrows its decor inspiration from the early trading markets when Indian spices, jute, copper, silk, leather and other items were appreciated at shores all over the world. Even the interactive kitchens are a tribute to the early market place, where Chefs showed off their skills and produced culinary delights to sell to traders and visitors.

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Walking into Tamra was quite a pleasant surprise for me as I am not used to seeing Hotel coffee shops go through such creative ideas and style the space. Tamra has a unique five, live kitchen concept, along with an elegant wooden bar next to the entrance. Conceptualized by the renowned Dubai based Stickman Design, the restaurant is a visual depiction of culinary delights from around the world. From the wheat grass lined planter boxes that form the backdrop to the continental station to Copper hanging pots that are displayed over the two infinity tables where mirrored walls provide an exaggerated view,the space gets an overall warm and convivial character

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Led by the hotels Executive Chef Martin Bracker, Tamra’s open theatre stations are Asian, Indian and regional, Japanese and Teppanyaki, homemade gelatos and a Dessert Bar, Cold Cuts, Cheeses, Breads and a Salad Bar. However despite the large Designed with intimacy in mind, Tamra has pockets of privacy screened off by decorative floor to ceiling jute rope partitions. Hanging shelves at the back of the show kitchens display decorative culinary installations and provide a quirky backdrop for the interactive kitchens while the counter tops are lined with signature dishes to showcase the food. The food itself is amazing! The variety and amount of food offered here possibly surpasses that of any other Hotel coffee shop buffet. They also have a ‘ghar ka khana’ counter which is perfect for the traveler who is missing home cooked food. Finally at Rs.2100++ (w/o alcohol) the buffet is also extremely well-priced. Piece of advice, go starving if you really want to enjoy the vast selection!

Review: Hungry Monkey, New Delhi

The New York styled loft ambiance of Hungry Monkey; bare brick walls, concrete floors, the MS installations and the elegant wooden interiors come together in perfect synchrony to create an intriguing industrial feel. The creative typography of quotes on the walls, crafted using carefully chosen fonts are a perfect match to the stylish vibe of the restaurant. Already curious? Well, ‘curiosity is the beginning of adventure‘, is exactly what the walls of The Hungry Monkey tell you.With a faint old school meets new age magnetism, numerous little elements like encyclopaedias stacked on shelves, a vintage hour glass, Edison light bulbs and the rich brown of the wood everywhere bring to life these very stories.The Hungry Monkey, www.stylecity.inThe Flying Brunch, Hungry Monkey, www.stylecity.in

Inspired by sunny California, The Hungry Monkey introduces the city to ‘California cuisine’, which many may not be well-versed with, but worth a try. An out of the box offering, the restaurant brings you a rendition of varied dishes from the European culture with a unique twist of fusion. Even the “Flying Brunch” is a step away from the usual. After you pick your salad from the display, you get small quantity main dishes delivered to your table and you can pick and choose the ones you want to have or repeat. The Hungry Monkey offers an eclectic menu which focuses on a global palate, through a surprising fusion of flavours combined with fresh produce from organic farms like ‘Farmlove’, a pioneer in organic food in the capital. Dig into the Cold Spinach Gomae or relish the signature Bang-Bang Chicken Rolls. For the adventurous souls, the Expresso Pan Fried Chicken made with a light coffee sauce or the Asian Honey and Soy braised Pork Ribs served with Kimchi on the side are the perfect indulgent picks from the menu. While the Smoked Salmon Carpaccio is a succulent fusion of flavours, the White Chocolate Parfait with almond and vanilla filo pastry cigar along with Coconut French Toast leaves a lasting impression. The Flying Brunch, Hungry Monkey, www.stylecity.in

The bar’s hexagonal chemical bond inspired display itself has been designed personally by the owners who have left no stone unturned to bring you an exciting array of drinks. Always innovative in its ways, The Hungry Monkey serves its signature cocktails, the Old-Fashioned and the Manhattan, classic as well as smoked. The bar here easily boasts of a selection of delightful and many a times ‘difficult to spot in this city’ liquor.  Apart from popular modern cocktails, be assured to also come across beautifully infused renditions of the classics.

Eat | Drink | Play
Address – B 6/6 DDA Market, opposite Deer Park, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi
Contact No. – 011 46049801, +91 9810788196
Meal for 2 – Rs. 2000 ++
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/hungrymonkeydelhi

New Launch: Social, Hauz Khas Village

Socialize, Social-network, Social-media; the word ‘social’ seems to be taking over our lives. And now, Riyaaz Amlani, owner Impresario (of the Mocha and Smoke house Deli fame) brings to us how he envisions a physical form for the word, in the form of an all day cafe and bar called SOCIAL.

Hauz Khas Social, www.stylecity.in

“You remove form from design and all you are left with is function.” Riyaaz explains about the interior decor or rather lack off in the space. “Coffee shops and cafes have been projected as your “Third Place”, a place away from home and your work/college. With Social, for the very first time in restaurant history we have introduced the Second Place concept, a place where you can both work and play,” he continues. 

Hauz Khas Social, www.stylecity.in

Spread over 8,500 square feet with a stunning view of both the Hauz Khas monument and lake, the decor of Social has been left to a bare minimum, with exposed brick walls and tiled flooring, made to resemble an old warehouse or New York loft, as was my first impression when I entered. Rugged yet chic, everything found in Social is recycled or up-cycled. The unfinished bare walls and naked bulbs dangling from the ceiling are juxtaposed against the plush leather sofas. Skeletal table clamp lights add strong lines to the large communal tables, while jute blinds cover the large windows. Everything here has been found and not bought, adding to the character of the space. Social has everything an office has; a boardroom, wall-space, conference facilities, wall-to-wall uber high-speed WiFi and built-in social interaction, along with an app for the same. The app lets you order and review food, check out the restaurant’s playlist and even check in on what the other guests in the space are up to, to allow room for collaboration and interaction between tables. Once the day ends, the work space at Social shifts gears to become a high energy bar.

Hauz Khas, Social, www.stylecity.in  Hauz Khas, Social, www.stylecity.in

Then of course, there is the food. The menu combines ingredients and cultures from across the world with a street food experience sitting in a cafe. So your fish of your Fish and chips is mini-bites, served in a mug while your Wow Bao’s, a Turkish street dish, plated to look like a burger. That element of quirkiness is not to be missed while there are not enough words to describe how tasty the food was, but that is not surprising, as experience has shown me Mr. Amlani loves his food and usually gets it right. The drinks menu is like something out of a science fiction laboratory. The Deconstructed Moscow Mule, for instance is served in a mule mug, with a beaker tied up in muslin cloth with smoked Vodka and a pipette with bitters. While the Long Island Iced Tea was actually long, served in somewhat of a long glass tube. The cocktails are definitely going to be a draw for Social.
All in all, I am definitely expecting Social to attract a young and creative crowd. Especially those who find sitting in a conventional office to cumbersome. But, will it be a long-lasting solution to keep this easily bored Generation Z excited and fill the gap left by regular coffee shops, that is yet to be seen!

Address: 9A &12, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi
Number: 7838652814

Review: He said she said, New Delhi

By Avni Wadhwa
Situated at the very alive and kicking Haus Khas Village , He said she said doesn’t promise more than it can deliver. That is, it is a non-pretentious pub with simple décor and introduces the concept of a ‘Shots and Bar Café’ in this populated market which has tons of different cafes and pubs. This on it’s own wasn’t as exciting to me, but clubbed together with a menu offering food infused with alcohol definitely made me want to venture out and try this place with my friends. It is not high strung; the place has no airs about it. It is a modest ,chill out place. We  were made to wait for about 10 minutes before we finally found ourselves a table inside. The murals are definitely interesting but nothing extraordinary, even the seating is simple with high bar stools.The shots menu though was extremely creative and had an interesting variation of shots to offer. ‘I clove you’, ‘aamsutra’ were a few of the shots we tried from the very elaborate shots menu. The shots were tasty, colourful and pretty reasonable at the same time. They definitely aren’t stingy with the alcohol, that I can guarantee.

He said She said, www.stylecity.in

watermelon shots, he said she said, www.stylecity.in

I was most curious as to how the food would turnout. They say “you eat with your eyes first” . We ordered ‘Mutton khurchan’ to start from the Indian Selection. We waited 15 minutes before the food finally appeared on the table. The mutton was served on top of the naan and was accompanied with mint chutney, kurma and onions on the side, it tasted fine and had a smokiness to it thanks to the rum infusion. It was spicy ,tender and seasoned well though I felt something innovative could definitely be done with the presentation. Next in line we had ‘Aphrodisiac garlic chicken. This one was a sure shot winner on my list ,with the correct amount of garlic and oriental spices it definitely tingled my taste buds. Main course was ‘Chilli fish with sliced garlic’ and ‘Lamb manchurian’. We ordered steamed rice and hot garlic noodles as sides. The fish was pretty much the old “desi” version Chinese we had as kids. The sauce was a garlic ,soy base thickened with corn starch(more like a regular Manchurian sauce). I had expected more from the chilli fish. The spice factor was missing as the name suggests, though the fish was tender. Lamb Manchurian was seasoned well, extremely tender.The food all in all was decent ,portion wise it justified the price. The aphrodisiac garlic chicken definitely is worth a try and is perfect on the palette. Also the service of the staff was worth a mention, they were sweet, friendly and accommodating. This place is definitely worth a visit especially to start you night of partying, and if you happen to love shots that just a bonus.

Address: 31 Hauz Khas Village, (Ground and 1st Floor)
New Delhi, India 110016
Tel: +91 9717888945, +91 9717888940
Price: meal for two costs 1500/- (inclusive of alcohol).

Luxe and Stylish: Les Parisiennes

Founded by Catherine Prakash and Lucie Salaun, Les Parisiennes is housed in a beautiful haveli in Shahpur Jat, New Delhi. Les Parisiennes is a vintage chic concept store offering carefully selected women’s wear, range of Home décor and its very own French Café. The store offers a unique blend of feminine vintage pieces, perfect for a modern woman who values her individuality as much as she accepts and respects the past. Catherine and Lucie take great care in sourcing a mix of vintage items along with customized items specially made for the shop.  So as a part of Paris week on Stylecity, we bring to you this Luxe and Stylish store- Les Parisiennes.

Les ParisiennesLes Parisiennes, www.stylecity.in

Les Parisiennes, www.stylecity.in

Les Parisiennes, www.stylecity.in
Les Parisiennes, www.stylecity.in

Address: 5B Shahpur Jat, Asian Village, Dada Jungi house
Tel: +91-8826518943

Khan Market gets its own Smoke House Deli

Khan Market finally gets its own Smoke House Deli. Seeped in history, Khan market is the perfect location for the latest Smoke House Deli, the narrow by lanes with shops on both sides are a part of Delhi’s cultural heritage and definitely one of the best markets left in Delhi with the uprising of the mall culture. Smoke House Delhi Khan Market takes you down a trip of nostalgia with walls that illustratively resurrect The Empire Store and Sovereign Dairies – landmarks that haven’t existed on these streets in decades.

Smoke House Deli, Khan Market. www.stylecity.in

A walk through the café designed by Amith Chhabra of Livin’ Colors Design reveals an interesting mix of 2D and 3D illustrations that cover the walls, to invoke a sense of modern nostalgia. “For instance”, says Kriti Monga, the Designer and typographer who’s beautiful handiwork you see on the walls, “The half illustrated-half real bird bath on the first floor reminds you of childhood trips to Lodhi Gardens, dates on calendars around the cafe are landmark events in Khan Market’s history, and titles in the illustrated bookshelf are a tip of the hat to the locality’s literary giants.” Having spent her early years living in Khan Market, she says, “On a personal note, I get to legitimately draw pictures on walls, in a place I spent a childhood learning to draw in.

Smoke House Deli, Khan Market - Terrace Area. www.stylecity.in

The café is an amalgamation of rich culinary traditions with modern European café fare. “The menu highlights homely, comfort food that please all your senses while retaining gourmet flourishes” says Executive Chef Shamsul Wahid. “Our intent is to give you all-day options with wholesome, healthy as well as hearty fare designed to cater to every mood.”The extensive menu at Smoke House Deli is perfect from breakfast with a variety of pancakes and eggs thru dinner with Wild Mushroom + Artichoke Crepe Gratin, Cambodian Basa + Smoked “Pimento” Puree, Lightly Smoked Lamb Shanks and ½ Roast Chicken. At Smoke house deli you also have options for in-between meals or for the not so hungry. A variety of sandwiches, burgers and pizzas like the Smoked Tomato + Brie Sandwich, the Soy Mix + Curried Vegan Burger, the Smoked Lamb Burger, the Tomato + Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza and the Shrimp + Grilled Chillies Pizza promise to hit the spot. Smoke House Deli Khan Market’s interactive bar is sure to be an instant favourite for those who love a tasty tipple. The extensive cocktail menu features perplexing combinations of fruit, herbs and high-class liquor.

Smoke House Deli, Khan Market-   'House Spiced Smoked Chicken + Five Spice Jus'.www.stylecity.in Smoke House Deli, Khan Market- _Watermelon Martini'. www.stylecity.in

Like the other Smoke House Deli properties, the one at Khan Market does not disappoint, neither in terms of food nor decor or ambience. So next time you are at Khan market stop by one of the bylanes at the new Smoke House Deli and enjoy a nice cool watermelon martini in the evening or even a lovely lunch while overlooking the streets of Khan market.

HOURS:
8 am – midnight, 7 days a week
LOCATION:
Smoke House Deli, 17, Khan Market, 1st Floor, New Delhi – 110003
Phone: 01143542819

News: Lure Switch

Years ago F-Bar opened in New Delhi for the first time. I distinctly remember when, where and what it looked like cause it was the place to be back in the day. It had glamorous interiors an equally amazing outdoor surrounded by a gorgeous garden and had the best crowd in town. This was back when I was in college. After which ofcourse the property changed hands and name a lot of times, came up as various hip night clubs over the years and I slowly lost track of the place.

Then recently it is up and about again re-christened as Lure Switch. I was visiting the property after nearly 5 years and even though structurally the space remains similar unlike its earlier avatars, this time this iconic property, set aside by the great outdoors offers a laid back café without the current conventions of high-strung café turned clubs. The first floor comprises of their vegetarian restaurant Vega,( look out for a review here soon)while the ground floor and outdoor makes up of Lure Switch.
Tucked away in Lado Sarai next to the luscious greens of the Qutab Golf Course, Lure Switch brings an excellent experience for all the foodies out there, with an authentic ambiance and scintillating F&B selection. You can choose between a charming courtyard with outdoor shacks for comfortable seating and a cosy dining area indoors. The space is more than ample to meet all party and festivity needs, in fact I would really recommend you check it out if you want to host a Diwali or Birthday party. Rich wooden flooring and softly lit surroundings make the environment conducive to unwinding and kicking back, and the interiors have been tastefully designed to optimize the down tempo aura of the café.

Get ready for some exciting times this winter, with a variety of outdoor entertainment planned – be it Sufi nights or nights celebrating the spirit and culture of India – this is just a glimpse of more to come. Lure Switch is a place where you can take your family or friends without thinking twice about blending in, and where you can never go wrong with your choice of food or drink.

Address: Tavern on Greens, Lado Sarai, Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi-110017
Phone No: 9810125070 / 9818365864/ 9871770250
Meal for two: Rs. 2500 (approx.) incld. appetizer and dessert (excld. Taxes and alcohol)