Christmas lunch at Café Diva

Christmas at Cafe Diva
Christmas at Cafe Diva

This Christmas, take your family to Cafe Diva at Sangam Courtyard for Pizzas and Mulled Wine. The hearty and soulful food will warm your heart and you will definitely, eat like a DIVA!

Christmas for me, set in a little early, when I visited Café Diva at Sangam Courtyard last Sunday. The beautiful restaurant-café was decked up with Christmas decorations. The collectible decorations adorning the Christmas tree, like rolling pin, miniature Santa Claus from Germany, the big fat Santa Claus in metal and the cutest miniature of Reindeer, were quite evidently hand picked by Chef Ritu Dalmia herself.

Not only the tree looked insanely adorable, the mix of gold and red colours on the table was tastefully done. I couldn’t stop smiling, when I saw Santa’s socks used as cutlery holder.

Diva restaurants are immensely celebrated for their Italian food and the collection of one of the finest wines in India. Needless to say, at Café Diva, the lunch was kick started with a glass of Mulled Wine.

A favourite around the Christmas time, a mulled wine is prepared with Red Wine combined with orange juice, zest and mulling spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves, simmered over low heat for about 10 minutes. An ideal drink for this weather, this warm drink was soothing and served as an excellent start to the meal.

This was followed by a very healthy and delicious Millet and Roasted Pepper Salad. The combination of lemon juice, mint, peppers, pine nuts and a hint of vinegar was refreshingly wonderful. Crunchy nuts, juicy peppers, fresh mint and perfectly cooked millet provided different textures and flavour to this amazing salad, that one can enjoy eating any time of the day.

In terms of food, Italians make fairly similar choices as Indians. Chef Ritu echoed my thoughts, when she told me that Italians don’t like wasting food and use leftover food to recycle them into tasty treats.

That’s when we were served Zeppoline with Rocket – leftover pizza dough, filled with mozzarella cheese, fried and served with fresh tomato sauce and rocket leaves. The sweet-tangy sauce was beautifully combined with the mild flavour of Zeppoline and the rocket added freshness to the dish.

As I relished the after taste of Zeppoline, we found Fried Green Tomatoes from Whistle stop café, on our tables. Green tomatoes coated in thin batter, fried and served on a bed of Pesto and goat cheese. The pesto in this dish is most definitely the best I have had anywhere in India. It tasted fresh, as if it was served straight out of the pestle. The tangy tomato, creamy goat cheese and fresh pesto were a treat for my palate. Undoubtedly, I loved this dish.

For salad lovers, this could very well be a party, as we were served another terrific salad, Carrot Green Apple and Beetroot with Poppy seeds. Cut in julienne, the veggies were fresh, juicy and crunchy. I, especially, loved the red grapes, which added a dash of sweetness. Dressed in vinegar and a hint of sesame oil, this was hearty, comforting and high on nutrition.

Finally it was time to eat some carbs and feel all Christmasy and no Christmas is complete without a Turkey Dish. The delightful aroma from the oven engulfed our table, as the thin crust Turkey Pizza arrived. The wood fired pizza, had a soft base, oodles of cheese, tomato sauce and perfectly cooked turkey. The generous amount of cheese and turkey could melt anyone’s heart.

However, my favourite was the Veg pizza. The thin crust pizza had toppings of mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and pesto, showcasing the colours of Christmas. The fresh cherry tomatoes, onions and always-comforting cheese were pure indulgence. I hate it when my food tastes one dimensional, but this could be used as an example about simple ingredients put together to create something with perfect balance of different flavours.

If you’re wondering how much I can eat then think about who was cooking? When Chef Ritu cooks herself and looks after the operations, it is nothing short of love. Love, which was served in the form of Fish with Prawn Moiley and Quinoa. A perfectly cooked fish and prawn, served on a bed of Quinoa and Moiley curry. Squeeze some lemon juice on top and you experience a delightful burst of flavours. The spicy prawns were well balanced with Moiley, which was made out of lime juice, salt, chilli, coconut and turmeric. A popular curry in Kerala, hints at its origin from Portugal but some also say it’s a popular Malay Dish.

For the vegetarians, Papaya curry and Bikaneri Roti were served. The combination of sweet, tangy flavours of the curry along with green pea roti, was simply luscious. The peas were boiled, mashed and then folded in the flour, to make the roti. The curry tasted so good and I loved the umami flavour of it.

The lunch was concluded with a quintessential Christmas dessert, Christmas pudding with Custard. The bittersweet taste of the pudding was in sync with the festivities. I could taste the burnt caramel, fruits soaked in loads of brandy and spiced to perfection. The sweet custard perfectly balanced the flavours and I loved the pinch of cinnamon in the custard.

The roller coaster ride in flavour land, was overwhelming. I was brimming with happiness from the food, when I was gifted a beautiful coffee mug with my own Doodle on it. Any Christmas celebration is incomplete without a gift, and I received a personalised one. Who says Santa Claus isn’t real?

Personalised Coffee Mug
Personalised Coffee Mug

With a big smile on my face and a mouth full of hearty soulful flavours, I left Café Diva. I thanked my stars for not just giving me a Christmas Day, but a whole week of celebration.

Also read: Christmas at The Imperial New Delhi

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