NUEVA, Delhi – Latino magic on a plate

Nueva which is located in the Sangam Complex that has lately become an up market foodies’ hub, brings Latin American cuisine to Delhi – a cuisine which is a rarity not just in Delhi but also in India as a whole.

Chef Michael Swamy

Nueva has fine dining, high tea and tapas all under one roof and is the creation of an acclaimed trio : Michael Swamy – a chef of international standing who is a graduate from Cordon Bleu Culinary School and wears additional hats as a food stylist and travel photographer, Vikrant Batra of Café Delhi Heights fame and…..Virat Kohli !

The restaurant is split over two levels – the ground floor has a bar and lounge and a spiral staircase leads you to the first floor which houses a fine dining restaurant (including one PDR) with a view of the glass wall kitchen. The classy fine dine décor in black, golden and beige, the made to order elegant crockery from Villeroy & Boch, cutlery from Cromargan and custom made corresponding coasters, table mats and menu cover prints (no two tables have the same coasters, mats and menu cover prints) give one a feeling of elegance and grandiosity.

My friend and I started with a Gherkin and Wasabi amuse bouche. It was followed by Chilean Empanadas, a pastry stuffed with chicken and deep fried. Though it was made well, the pastry needed to have been fried on sim to get it crisper.

Ceviche de Camarones Shrimps

Ceviche de Camarones Shrimps cooked in the citric base of tiger’s milk and flavoured with yellow chilies is a Peruvian dish done only with white fish but is done here with prawns. It was an absolute delight with the tartness of lemons and raw onions and raw mango balancing each other.

Langostinos a la Parilla con Sambal de Cilantro were huge prawns grilled to perfection with a hint of lime served with a coriander and mint sambal and bell pepper crisps. I felt that the sauce needed a bit more heat and tartness to bind this awesome dish together.

Who would have thought that the show stopper would be a vegetarian dish ! Arroz Salvaje y Estofado de Fava is a black rice dish served with a rustic stew of Fava beans made across the homes in the villages and small towns of South America. The beans (done in a robust sauce of tomato concasse) were served with black rice and exotic vegetables and a salad with dehydrated apples and grapes where all these flavors together created nothing less than a party for the palate.

The two fish dishes we had were without doubt a heart stealer with the fish shining through the simplicity of their subtle flavors. Chimichurri Trucha is fresh trout flavored with chimichurri, the herby garlicky signature sauce of South America, on a bed of couscous. Bacalao Negro Escalfados en Mantequilla is black cod done in butter (a French technique which is a favorite of Chef Michael) along with Aglio E Olio Spaghetti – this technique travelled to South America when the French went there to establish their rule in certain parts.

Whatever else you miss eating in Nueva, try not to miss eating their salads. Would like to share here that the salad section is one I normally totally bypass while reading a menu but egged on to try them, I was so happy that I did. Cloud Salad is a salad with cottage cheese mousse with gherkins and wasabi, surrounded by earthy wild rice and fresh greens in a balsamic and mango reduction. Sky Salad comprises of fresh zingy lettuce tossed with pear drizzled with mango glaze and balsamic reduction set upon a pesto of tea leaves. Both these salads become alive with their dressings and the careful selection of ingredients used.

Then there was the Panca de Puerco Cocinada Lentamente con Glaceado Vindaloo – pork belly sous vide smoked with rosemary and served with a spicy and tart vindaloo glaze. What an awesome combination that leaves one asking for more.

Two mocktails which we enjoyed during the course of our meal suggested that the bar tender is going to do a fabulous job with the cocktails in the days to come once they get their bar license – Bayabeso (a blend of grapefruit and raspberry jujubes topped with sparkling water) and Pure Verde (a kiwi, cucumber and jalapeno drink topped with sparkling water).

Also do try their Columbian Siphon coffee which is brewed right on your table making you jog down memory lane about principles of evaporation and condensation.

I feel that the face of a restaurant after all the things are in order is the servers. It is evident that considerable time and lots of effort has gone in to training the servers as they are more than well versed with the menu. It was shared that they were even taught how to speak Spanish so that they don’t falter in pronunciation. They are there for you making you feel pampered without being in your face, if you know what I mean.

Would I recommend Nueva to you ? Yes definitely for the overall fine dining experience which takes into account the ambience, food, service and the feel good X factor. One can go there for high tea, hang out in the pub as the evening proceeds and later go for a fine dine meal all in one place.

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for Two: Rs.2500 ++ | Wheel Chair Friendly: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Yes (awaiting license) | Timings: Lunch – 12.30pm – 3.30pm, Dinner – 7.30pm – 11.30pm, Bar and Lounge -12 noon to 12 midnight, High Tea -3.30pm -6.30pm

Address: Nueva , Ground floor, Sangam Courtyard, R.K. Puram, New Delhi | Phone: +91 9266668382

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

Nueva Sangam Courtyard Delhi
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