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Spanish influences in town

Spanish influences in town
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Whoever said Delhi is the city of Butter Chicken is all set to suffer from the foot-in-the-mouth syndrome. And recession [or the humdrum about it anyway] seems to have bypassed the restaurants — the proof of which we got when we visited Olive Beach at Chanakyapuri’s Diploamat Hotel couple of days back. 

What is making the gastronomic scene in the Capital is the presence of food lovers from across the globe, especially when they don the chef’s cap. One of such  growing tribe is Nuria Rodriguez, who has shifted to the Capital from Madrid along with her journalist husband. Currently the inhouse Spanish master chef at Olive, Nuria has earlier worked in some of the finest restaurants of Spain, like Senorio de Ajuria.

And her passion for food remains unchanged. What makes matters even more interesting is that she also teaches Spanish cuisine at the Spanish Cultural Centre.

Bubbly and cheerful, Nuria is clearly quite fond of food and has already created a special Spanish menu at the restaurant. Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines are her forte. The menu that she has crafted has a sizeable amount of vegetarian dishes.

The courses start with a choice of soups. A taste of Spanish cuisine seems incomplete without Gazpacho — that chilled soup which is just perfect for sultry summer evenings.  Chef Nuria has designed the menu carefully so that there is a palette cleanser after every course to ensure that you can actually savour the varied tastes that land on your plate.

We quite enjoyed the Sizzling gambas which are tiger prawns cooked with cherry tomato, roasted garlic and white wine. It was spicy but not too hot and the prawns were quite fresh.

Another remarkable dish from the menu was the Pesce con salsa de Frutos Secos al Eneldo which was grilled basa with extra virgin olive oil, pistachios, potatoes, dill and nuts sauce which was cooked to perfection. 

However, the dish that took the cake [and which Nuria herself was quite fond of] was the Paella de
Marisco, that was made with chicken. This rice dish has now come to be associated with Spain and originated in its present form in mid 19th century in Valencia. Nuria did quite  a god job with the Paella. It wasn’t very heavy, neither was it greasy or sticky.

Overall, a good different menu to try — and authentic to boot.

DETAILS

At: Olive Beach, Diplomat Hotel, Chanakyapuri
Timings: Noon to 3pm (lunch) and 7pm to midnight (dinner)
Phone: 46040404
Cost: Rs 1,200 per person (lunch) and Rs 1,800 (dinner)
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