I love to pamper myself to long drawn weekend brunches and the thought of spending a sunny weekend afternoon in the cool interiors of Diya at The Leela Ambience, Gurgaon, was really inviting. I must confess that it was my first time there even though I live a stone’s throw away.
The interiors are done up in classy beige and gold, with huge hanging glass lanterns, a fountain in the center, a setting near it with covered Indian instruments where musicians would be playing and a bar running one length of the restaurant. The service is perfect with the waiters fussing over you to make sure you enjoy your meal.
Partnering for a year with the Delhi Gourmet Club, “nearbuy” (earlier Groupon India) launched ‘The Gourmet Studio’ last month – it offers customers the chance to relish an extravagant dining experience at nominal prices. The idea is to highlight and help promote one chef each month, that is, ‘The Chef of the Month’. The elaborate 6-course tasting menu specially curated by “Chef Harjit Kumar” at the Diya is their second such venture and this offer is on till 21st September, ’15.
It clearly comes across that a lot of thought must have gone into the menu selection and presentation because this was no ordinary, run of the mill Indian meal. It was innovative and different and the chef tried to give us the flavors we are used to paired with different ingredients which worked very well together. The selection for vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians is really interesting and varied.
The Dahi Kebabs were panko coated crunchy dahi balls with herbs and onions and not the regular ones you get which look more like galautis. Methi and paneer combines so well together and that is what the chef did to give us Methi Paneer Tikka. Baingan ki Katli is nothing more than baingan bhaja (fried aubergine roundels) which the Bengalis have as a side dish with their meals but this was served topped with sweet tomato relish and garlic yoghurt which made it a delight for the palate.
Murg Malai Kebabs were soft, corn-fed chicken breast tikkas marinated really well. Mouth melting Gilawat ke Kebab came next served on bite sized ulte tawe ki rotis. Kasundi Salmon Tikka was the first time I had salmon in an Indian avatar and what a beauty it was.
The Dal Shorba was served with 2-3 pieces of jeera aloo, a piece of pickled onion, some mustard oil and rolled namakparas already placed in the soup bowl with the soup poured from a kettle.The soup was yellow lentil with mustard and curry leaf, finished with coconut milk.
A Tamarind Sorbet served as a palate cleanser took me back to school where I used to buy sugar coated tamarind balls from outside the school.
Khattey Meethay Koftey were soft cottage cheese balls stuffed with apricots embedded in a thick and sweet cashew gravy. Next came a dish which was a first for me and left me totally gob smacked. Bhuney Pyaaz ki Subzi, which was marinated whole baby onions cooked in a tangy, achari Punjabi masala was an amazingly awesome dish and I could go back there once again just to have this. Bharwan Mirchi ka Salan was sweet and sour and slightly spicy and tasty.
Nalli Korma was a large lamb shank cooked to perfection in subtle gravy. The lamb was tender and could be easily pulled off with my fingers and the slow cooked gravy had all the juices of the shank flavoring it. Tawa Murg was again a well cooked chicken tandoori finished in onion and tomato masala. Malabar Seafood Curry, though well cooked, did nothing for my taste buds. The main course is served with dal makhni, saffron pulao and assorted tandoori breads.
Thanks to The Gourmet Studio, a person will not have to wait for a special occasion to go to Diya and celebrate. With these special prices, the meal is a celebration by itself. To avail of this offer, you can click on the link below :
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Drinks: Yes | Ambience: 3.5 | Service: 4 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for One: Rs. 1,500 AI (Weekend Lunch and Weekday Dinner), Rs. 1,700 AI (Weekend Dinner) | Credit Cards: Yes | Alcohol: Yes |Timings: 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm and 6.30pm to 11.30pm |Wheelchair Access: Yes
Address: The Leela Ambience, Ambience Island, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon | Phone: 0124-4771234
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.