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Restaurant Review I Diva Spiced

So Chez Nini shut down a few months ago and in its place Ritu Dalmia's Diva Spiced opened shop recently. 
Like most of the Diva restaurants, there are beautiful flavours, strong pairings and plenty of hits and misses. And on the particular evening we went in, we found the number divided straight in the middle.

For starters, everything we asked for was either already "over" or wasn't "available". And mind you, we weren't asking for the sun and the moon but something as simple as the pumpkin and maybe a little more harder to get, the zucchini flower.

Oh well. Our meal began with the Bomra's Tomato Salad. With a dressing of tamarind, jaggery and sesame, it was really quite delicious. I am anyways a sucker for something sweet and tangy, so this was absolutely the way to go for me.

Since we'd asked for tasting portions, we got a one by 2 portion of a gigantic Vietnamese Summer Roll that had been filled with glass noodles and artichoke. It sort of lacked an oomph. Yes the artichokes were crunchy, yes there was a bit of sweetness but it was still rather bland and the textures really did not shine. I felt that the roll was overloaded with the glass noodles killing all the other flavours.

The Panko Crusted Aracine with the corn and chilli jam was a big hit. I loved how the arancine was not gloopy and had a wonderful bite to it while the chilli jam paired very well with it. But on the flipside the corn and tofu cake was a bit of a damper. It tasted of nothing. Ofcourse the mango chutney that came with it was delicious, the cake in itself was a disappointment.

We also tried the home-style Malabar Parantha with beef teriyaki. As strange as it sounded, it worked rather well, the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce worked very well against the flakiness of the paratha and I liked how the whole thing came together.

For our mains we tried the Young Papaya Curry with Kokum and Lychees. This was one of the most spectacular dishes I tasted that night. So light with a beautiful fragrant broth that you couldn't stop sipping on, just won the evening for me. I'd paired this with a wasabi mash, and I have to say, it was just as delicious as the curry.

We also tried the chili caramel filet of sole with orange peanut nanjim. I found it exremely fishy while my companion loved this dish. I did really enjoy the greens that came with it. We'd also tried the Chicken Satay which were under spiced and too meaty. 

Finally, it was time for the duck burger. A Diva speciality, it lived up to the name.The meat was tender, a big surprise considering it was from the duck and flavoured very nice. But it was the fries that came with it that won the dish for me. I haven't had such good fries anywhere in Delhi and for the fries and the fries alone, I will come back here to eat. 

Making our way to the dessert, we settled on the Nutella banana crepe and the salted caramel tart with the maple ice cream. The crepe was delicious. Transparent and light while the salted caramel tart was a bit meh. I wish I'd tried the eton mess instead because the tart was just very ordinary. The bottom was soggy the custard did not taste of caramel and that hint of salt, well, it really wasn't there.The ice cream that came with it was however delicious. 

Diva Spiced lived up to its Diva reputation. What you liked you really really liked. What you didn't well, you had no mixed feelings about it. But this restaurant has done some out of the box things that are definitely worth a try.

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  1. On my next Delhi trip am going to try at least one of her restaurants, my friend was raving about pumkin ravioli and now u have given me some more options to try from.. slurrpp!

  2. The server at this place made sure to explain everything on the menu (I love it when servers actually know the menu), and basically made us feel like we were her best friends coming over to her house for dinner. We tried a few things at Boston restaurants and were impressed.