Diva Kitsch moves to a new location and menu
Atmospherics: This is the old Chez Nini, so all the furniture is more or less the same. The first floor is open when the ground floor fills up. There is a washroom on each floor and service is as well informed, professional and efficient as any Diva outlet. Now that Diva Kitsch in Defence Colony has closed, the oriental sensibility has moved here, complete with the Bomra’s Tomato Salad. There is a duck burger on this menu too, and although there was one in Chez Nini, both versions are poles apart. It has to be said that the chairs with a back rest are on the first floor and those on the ground floor have been chosen for their smartness over comfort. So if your group consists of elderly or infirm people, do call in advance and the restaurant will arrange for chair/s to be brought from upstairs.
Table Talk: The best part about this restaurant is that the food is Dalmia’s own take on oriental food, so nothing is authentic. However, flavours like wasabi, lemongrass and the sweet-sour-spicy combination make their presence felt in a number of preparations. So tangy prawn, mango and snow pea salad with a chipotle vinaigrette dressing (Rs 490) has a glorious punch of flavours: fresh, tangy and spicy. The soft bits of mango combine with the crunchy snow peas to perfection. The duck burger with pickled cucumber and green apple chutney (Rs 795) is served with a delicious wasabi mash and French fries. The patty itself is too finely ground for my taste, but the flavour is strong and duck is a much better option that the national bird of Delhi: chicken! Young papaya curry with kokum and lychees (Rs 560) has a sweet-sour appeal and adding the lychees was a great idea. Even the cold Vietnamese rolls with Namjim (Rs 440) are perfect as a starter or salad on a hot summer’s day, bursting as they are with fine juliennes of vegetables.
Plus and minus: It couldn’t be fun being Ritu Dalmia, for the expectations of each successive restaurant is enormous, and no matter how good it is at the start, can hardly please everyone. It is true that tweaking is required in some recipes, but with a first-class team, Diva Spiced can only get better.
Must try: Bomra’s Tomato Salad, Noodle and Rice Bar, Chilli Caramel Fillet of Sole
Food: 3.50; Service: 3.50; Décor: 3.50
79-80, Meharchand Market, Tel: 011 49051837
Open from 11 am to 11.30 pm, Meal for two: Rs 3,000