All denizens of Kolkata who come to Delhi to visit or work start scouring the city in search of a European restaurant. Kolkata’s Park Street is full of European restaurants, most of them in the mid-range. Delhi, on the other hand, has very pricey restaurants serving European food and little in the middle range. I hope that Ça Va will start a new trend. It is unpretentious, well-located in the Def Col market, the prices are low and it has something for everyone, whether you want Camembert Souffle (Rs 295) or Lamb Bolognaise Pizza with Spicy Chicken Sausage Slices (Rs 425).
Ça Va is a branch of Angels in my Kitchen and is right above the Defence Colony branch. Small, cozy and comfortable, it is one of the best restaurants in that market. The Camembert Souffle is a close approximation of the original in Orient Express, Taj Palace at a fraction of the price. However, it is the pizzas that have shot into the limelight. I tried the Mozzarella, Cheddar, Edam and Blue (Rs 350). There are two ways of serving a Quatro Formaggi Pizza. One is to mix all the cheeses and sprinkle them evenly over the pizza. The other is to keep them separate and divide them so that two wedges have only one cheese. That is the route that Ça Va has taken. It works well and the partners – both chefs, incidentally – know enough to keep the base white, that is, without tomato: many Delhi pizza places serve Quatro Formaggi pizzas over tomato bases!
The menu goes on for pages and pages, but I expect after a few months, it will be trimmed. Right now, what works best is the real Spanish Paella. There’s only one offering on the menu, but it is made in a real paella pan with real Valencia rice and it even has a faint crust at the bottom, which no other restaurant hereabouts has managed to date. Shrimps, calamari and fish (Rs 495) have slightly more spice than strictly required, but that’s the route Ça Va has taken in the interests of catering to popular choice. It’s a decision I totally applaud, because all too often European food comes across to us Delhiites as being too bland.
While there is no vegetarian version of the Paella, vegetarians are extremely well taken care of, with a South East Asian inspired menu. Sample this: Five Spice Vegetables Wrapped in Crepes with Coconut Saffron Sauce (Rs 425) and Ragout of Cloud Ear, Button Mushrooms and Fresh Porchini (sic) with Mexican Rice (Rs 425). I did sample Risotto of Pearl Rice with Morels, Mushrooms and Asparagus (Rs 400) but whatever else it was, it was not a risotto. More like a khichdi with a strange sauce in it, I did some strenuous excavation but was unable to discover more than one button mushroom.
Most surprisingly, what are the top-sellers on the menu are the steaks, particularly the tenderloin: Indian/Imported with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce (Rs 495/1395). There are a number of other steaks on the menu: Imported Pork Chop, Lamb, Chicken Leg, Salmon, John Dory, Cottage Cheese and Polenta, each with its own sauce. All are grilled on lava rock.
Leave space for the excellent desserts. I tried Cone-fusion (Rs 225), a decadent, rich, creamy chocolate mousse in a chocolate cone.
7 Defence Colony Market
Ph: 47473322, 9310055665
Open from 12 noon to 1 am
Alcohol served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 1,500