Head to the New Delhi Airport and very close to it you will find Holiday Inn Aerocity where their all day dining restaurant Viva is. It isn’t at all what i expected it to be. What did I expect it to look like? Well, it is an airport hotel. I was certainly expecting it to be sinfully simple. Was it? Not at all.
The hotel has been very tastefully done and has a very good looking bar/lounge called The Hangar. The owner of this hotel is a well-travelled man with excellent taste. His taste is evident in the intelligent design of the bar/lounge.
It has been created using real parts of old airplanes. It also has a lot of interesting airplane models making it not just an ordinary bar/lounge but a tribute to travellers or a museum for airplane enthusiasts – the place is a vision.
If you like reading my reviews, you are just as big a foodie as I am, so, to put you out of your misery let me tell you that most of the food I ate at Viva was good. If you are a travelling, you will find a lot of variety and options at this restaurant that would prevent you from overeating.
However, if you want to stuff yourself and stay they night, pick their “Non-Veg Thali” that has an array of delectable treats like the beautifully cooked Andhra fish curry, the silken butter chicken, the fragrant nalli gost, the moreish paneer lababdar, the outstanding dal makhni and the bhindi do pyaza (which I did not touch!). The thali also has raita, steamed rice, achar, green salad and is served with indian breads and a dessert.
There are very few restaurants I visit a second time. Being a food reviewer is a very interesting hobby. I travel around the world and try all kinds of interesting things but there are not a lot of restaurant’s that I recommend to people or restaurants that hold my fancy. Viva’s thali is quite memorable and it is so elaborate that it is almost impossible for me to get it out of my head. So many interesting things in one single thali – don’t miss it!
The freshly prepared Gulab Jamuns served by their extremely talented Chef, Chef Pankaj are seriously bloody brilliant. It’s been a while since I went to Viva and there are still days when I miss them Jamuns. :’-(
And if you’re thinking we are through, well not at all. Never under-estimate how much a reviewer can eat! Then came the sensibly cooked Gilafi Seekh Kebab, the kebabs reminded me of the Old Delhi Karim’s kebabs.
They were quite soft and unlike any kebabs I’ve had at local restaurants and the seasoning was bang on.
The Risotto that came with the Grilled salmon Steak was full creamy spinach and chunky tomato sauce. The salmon marinated in herb oil once consumed with the risotto gives real heft to the mix of sticky arborio rice.
The food was so good that I wasn’t at all surprised when I saw people from all over the world getting their fingers all covered in delicious curry as their chatted about their experiences and travel. Eating with their hands was quite amusing to most but they happily embraced the Indian way.