In a line: Delhi gets acquainted with South American cuisine.
Cuisine: South American, Italian
Price for two: Rs. 3000(approx)
Location: Sangam Courtyard, RK Puram
Must haves: Chicken Peri Peri, Chilli Lime Shrimp, Wild Rice and Fava Bean Stew
When food is pursed with pure passion, culinary magic to woo one’s palate is an obvious expectation. An expectation that the much talked about restaurant, Nueva, is able to meet with finesse.
The brainchild of the renowned Chef Michael Swamy, Nueva, meaning ‘new’, is geared up to introduce the evolving palate of Delhi-ites to South American delicacies with an influx of dishes from Europe and Asia, ensuring that nobody goes unsatisfied.
Spread across two floors, the restaurant exudes a contemporary aura and has a lounge at its disposal on the ground floor, and a chic fine-dining seating on the first floor, marked by a see-through kitchen, where one can see the Chef’s working meticulously. The attention to detail in terms of cutlery, seating and something as simple as coasters, kept me curious throughout the course of my repast.
With a menu focussing upon Peruvian comida, I commenced my meal with a moist prawn sitting atop a bed of aji chilli, mashed potatoes and avocado(Causa), that was perfect to set my palate for the upcoming dishes. The chicken peri peri comprised of morsels of chicken marinated in the Portuguese spice blend, skewered along with peppers.
The beautiful chicken was followed up with the national dish of Peru: Ceviche, which is a dish prepared by curing the raw fish in lemon juice. A refreshing sole fish ceviche that was cured with a lemon and coriander emulsion was served to us with fresh watermelon at Nueva.
Dining with our Peruvian friends made us realise how elegantly food is celebrated in the hope diamond of Latin America, Peru. It also helped me hone my Spanish a little bit. Que va! Jajaja!
The highlight was stolen by the unpretentious chilli lime shrimp, the spiciness of which didn’t overpower the flavour of the shrimp and was well balanced with the sweet corns(choclo) that it sat over. In India we get small yellow hued corn kernels, the ones available in Peru are varied, not only in terms of size but colour as well.
The soup course was presided over by Parihuela. A hearty and spicy seafood soup that has modest origins in the fishing communities of Peru. The soup sang of a medley of seafood that came together in a heartwarming bowl, that will be perfect for winter afternoons.
The meat course was presided by Duck Confit with Chilean Pear Sauce. Duck leg rendered down in its own fat, making it moist and falling-off-the-bone along with buttery potatoes and dehydrated apple made up for a great main. The piece de resistance has to be the Wild Rice and Fava Bean Stew, a vegetarian main that had spice tossed fava beans served with indigenous rice and a light leafy salad. A fuss-free and well-balanced main.
The meal concluded on a dessert that was all about celebrating chocolate, named Parched. The crunchy rice tuile(edible rice paper) representing infertile land was covering the richer and more fertile bits, represented by moist mud or dark chocolate ganache with chocolate worms. The sticky raspberry jelly added a fruity bit to the otherwise overwhelming chocolate dessert. The degustation was sealed off with a hot cup of syphon drip Colombian coffee with bits of ginger, perfect to settle down the beautiful dishes demolished.
Confession: A meal at Nueva is going to be nothing more than an experience that is marked by superlative food paired with excellence in service and a classy ambience that ties it all together. The little stories behind the dishes and the intricacies that have been paid attention to are worthy of being experienced.
Sharing the meal with our Peruvian friends helped to elevate my experience, as I got to know and learn so much about Peru, its people and its impressive food culture.
PS: While dining, I got to know about the insane varieties of potatoes, grains and corn available in Peru. Hence, after my meal, I did some research and got to know that there are 3800 varieties of potatoes. Imagine! 3800! Oh, how I hope to go and try ’em all 😛