Nestled among the many shops in the upscale Meherchand Market, is Cafe Diva Spiced. From the famed house of Chef Ritu Dalmia’s Diva group of restaurants, Chef Anumitra is at the helm here and boy has she done wonders with the new menu!
The meal began with an assortment of dumplings and even though I am a hard core meat lover, but the root vegetable dumplings stole the show. Soft on the outside and crunchy inside, they were steamed beautifully with amazing flavours in the filling. Every bite made you feel there was a party in your mouth!
This was followed an equally brilliant Thai spring rolls with exquisite sambal on top. Chef Anumitra sure loves her sambal (and why not!)as the entire menu has many variations of it with different dishes (and all of them equally delicious).
The menu is superbly creative as the next few dishes showed us. The rice paper rolls were enhanced many folds with a superb tamarind- ginger dip, accentuating the umami flavor and honestly, making the dish.
To my real surprise , one of my favourite dishes (and least likely, I may add) was the Bomra tomato salad. This may just be one of the best salads I have ever had. The fresh tomatoes in combination with the sweet jaggery, the sour tamarind and the crunchy sesame make it a flavour bomb.
The Bao Burgers were next and they hit it out of the park as well. Diva Spiced serves a variety of Bao Burgers and I happened to chose the best – the panko crusted fish burger. This is such a creative take on the burger as the sweet baos complement the sweet fish so well , along with the crunch that the panko gives it. It is hugely inspired and worth coming over and over for.
Frankly, the menu does have a huge variety of inspired dishes to choose from. Two other equally brilliant dishes were the slow cooked Pandi curry and my personal favourite – the pearl barley risotto in moilee sauce with a drop of superb sambal.
For dessert we had a not to be missed trio of salted caramel treats – cheesecake, ice cream and a mousse – a play of different textures with the same core ingredient.
Diva Spiced was a remarkable experience for me as it showcased a growing trend of restaurants run by Chefs who are not limited to certain cuisines or types of traditional cooking methods. Their take on food comes from truly understanding flavour and then merging different flavours together to create a perfect unison on the plate. Chef Anumitra comes from that school and her very innovative new menu is a take on that and thus unmissable.