The queen of Italian khanna, Ritu Dalmia, strikes again, except this time with flavours closer to home. The menu is Pan Asian with that fresh Diva spin.
The decors has a kitschy art deco sort of vibe. I quite liked the space, minus the lighting which at night I found way too dark. There is a fine line between mood lighting and gloom.
My verdict on the food was a hard one to draw because of the disparate 50:50 split between our meal. We had dishes that were undeniably tasty and worth coming back for, and then ones' that made you question if you had walked in to the right restaurant.
Yet, the good dishes were the kind of good that you craved later. That's the hook. The difference between average and good. Will I go back or will I run? The answer is, I certainly will go back, not just for the ones I loved but for the many other dishes I still have my eyes on, one being the much talked about - Tuna Burger.!
The menu is eclectic and inspiring enough to keep you coming back.
Here's a list of the good and the bad.
What to Come Back For:
- Bomra's Tomato Salad - Absolutely delicious. It's fresh, light, and ever so robust. You have all your favourite Thai flavours - sweet, salty, sour, spicy. Loved the crunchy peanuts and fried shallots on top.
- Chilli Caramel Flavoured Sea Bass w/ Orange - This dish couldnt be bashful no matter how hard it tried. Far from subtle - bursting with all sorts of tangy salty flavours. I absolutely loved it and even tried recreating it at home. (In case you were wondering... it didnt happen!)
- Black Pepper & Basil Fondant w/ Basil Ice-cream - When in doubt go with whatever oozes hot chocolate! A classic that Diva has nailed again and again. I especially loved that basil ice-cream with the fondant, rich meets refreshing.
- Jaggery Creme Brûlée - If you are sticking to just one dessert go with this. If you are planning on not ordering any dessert... well go with this anyway. Luxuriously creamy, with that perfect hard caramelised sugar top. In fact what makes this dessert all the more luxurious is that evolved sweetness and depth that comes from the jaggery. Superb!
On the Fence:
By on the fence I mean I didn't want to fling the dish out of the hemisphere, and consumed it with just a mere grumble or two, but I wouldn't order it again.
- Lamb Massaman Curry w/ Wok Fried Quinoa - The best part of this dish was the wok fried quinoa. And you don't need to order the whole dish to try it because you can order it separately as "Sides". My regular readers might already know, my vow of finding the perfect Massaman curry in this country. Despite the obviously unsavoury lesson of there being no good massaman, I trod on with my spoon. So, another one to hit the dust, though at least this was identifiable as massaman unlike the many others. However, it didn't quite have the oomph and soul to make the cut. The smelly lamb certainly didn't help it's chance of re-election either.
- Steak & Eggs - Much ado about nothing if you ask me. An Asian spin on the classic that never rose off the drawing board. So it's steak and eggs, simple enough not to go too far wrong. But it seems to be the simplest ones that get hit the hardest. A case of over confidence? Anyway let's get to the Steak & Eggs, Wasabi rubbed steak, Mash & Shiitake Mushrooms. The mushrooms tasted extremely weird to me, almost off. The steak lacked any real flavour, be it of the wasabi or simple seasoning of salt & pepper. Meat should always be seasoned well, more so when it isn't prime. ! However, seeing its popularity with many others you may want to try it and decide for yourself.
- Mr V's Bang Bang Salad - Greens & Vermicelli noodles tossed in Gado Gado dressing (supposedly) - Now for those of you that may not know, Gado Gado is a hearty classic Indonesian salad, that could be a meal on its own. Though this salad is not pretending to be that the dressing is, though it is everything but. Gado Gado dressing is a thick rich peanut sauce dressing, far from the bland coconut milk wash out this was.
- BBQ Chicken Dumplings - This was the only dish that was downright bad. So much so, I don't even know where to fault it. But I guess being a dumpling I can start by addressing the skin and the stuffing. The skin was thick, overly gelatinous and over steamed to boast. The stuffing was, honestly I really don't know what it was, all I know is it wasn't pretty. My memory has done everything it could, to forget any distinct flavours, I could have otherwise brought to your attention. A ball of mush and goo.
- Caramalized Lotus Stems & Snow Peas, in Light Cardamom & Turmeric Coconut Sauce - I normally find great comfort in light, simple coconut curries. But it is one thing being light & simple and another to be bland. Let me not beat around the dish - All this tasted of was a can of raw coconut milk and nothing else. Sad because it could be so much more.
Coming soon. Along with which the terrace will be opening!
Terrace opening soon!
D-17 Defence Colony. Next to Petrol Pump and Nature's Basket. (NOT in Defcol Market)
Labels: Cafes, Chinese, Fusion, Modern, Outdoor Seating, Pan Asian, Romantic