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)

Mumbai served on a Platter

The Imperial Culinary Club is an initiative by The Imperial hotel, New Delhi to share the finer nuances filled with secrets of what makes ‘The Imperial’ cuisine so sought after the world over. A unique and interactive platform to capture the culinary interest of cooking enthusiasts. Each session is full of exciting cuisines made either by the in-house chefs and The Imperial Senior Executive VP & GM- Vijay Wanchoo or a celebrity chef. This time embracing some of his favourite restaurants and eateries and presenting an array of delicious offerings, Michelin Chef Vikas Khanna seized the afternoon at The Imperial Culinary Club with a live cook out of vibrant dishes from Mumbai while launching his book as a tribute to the city of dreams called “Savour Mumbai”.

Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna and Mr. Vijay Wanchoo- Sr. Executive VP and GM The Imperial, www.stylecity.in

Mumbai is a unique juxtaposition of modern and traditional Indian experiences that is captured ecstatically in Vikas Khanna’s book which has an array of delicious food options: Maharastrian, Parsi, Gujarati, Konkani, street food and so much more. In this particular culinary session, Chef Vikas Khanna had even me a self-declared non-cook mesmerised. He is a great orator, reliving stories of his childhood while showcasing how to create some restaurant quality dishes in a simple manner in the comfort of our homes. The carefully selected gourmet options handpicked from distinct cuisines which find their popularity in Mumbai chosen for the live cook out included Kaju Kothambir Vadi from Maharashtra, Khubani Ka Shahi Tukda from Lucknow, Guava and cottage Cheese salad from Allahabad, Kacche kele ki Asharfi from Hyderabad and Chicken Cafreal from Goa.

kacche kele ki asharfi, www.stylecity.in Kaju Kothimbir vadi, www.stylecity.in

So if you are intrigued and cant wait to attend the next Culinary club, whether you are a foodie, a chef or simply for a different experience do try to get on board with the culinary club.
Attendance fee: Rs.2,000
Contact: Ms. Anupama Kumari
The Imperial: Tel: +91 11 23341234 Mob: 9811633395

Festive mood at Leela Palace, New Delhi

Christmas is in full swing around the hospitality industry and I am super excited by the The life size Gingerbread House placed in The Leela Palace, New Delhi’s opulent lobby. Made of 3000 bricks of fresh-baked gingerbread on the outside and 900 larger ginger bread tiles on the inside, 1 metric ton of royal icing and adorned with wreaths, traditional glass balls, stars and bells along with gold foil decorations, the gingerbread house is designed and sculpted by the award-winning Executive Chef Glenn Eastman and his pastry team, took a whopping 120 man hours to complete.

Gingerbread House at The Leela Palace New Delhi.www.stylecity.in

DSC_9958In addition, pastry Chef  Vikesh Singh is belting out interesting gourmet hampers including handcrafted Santa shaped chocolates, plum pudding, sugar cookies, fruit cakes, mince pies, ginger breads and many more sold through the retail store Amalya at the hotel. I love these small Santa chocolates, the detail and design is so awesome I don’t think I would have the heart yo eat them. But that is me, I am sure kids would love santa chocolates (Gift option!)But another festive touch is the very sophisticated white X Mas tree adorning the lobby of the palace, almost touching the ceiling.