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Saturday, January 10, 2009
A diversion from my usual serious blog posts....the foodie in me has finally spoken!
A casual call from my college friends Ojus and Harshad in the morning and a lunch date was fixed. Even other guys like Milind, Aniket, Hemant, Abhishek and Sharma were shopping in the nearby Parel. So we just called them for the lunch too.The destination - Diva Maharashtracha near Shivaji Park!!
Diva Maharashtracha is the third in a chain of excellent restaurants by the Maharashtrian enterpreneur and foodie Dr. Suhas Awchat and his wife Deepa Awchat. All three of their restaurants are dedicated to serving authentic South Indian and Maharashtrian cuisines......which we normally do not get in other restaurants!
So we decided to visit the restaurant which has been beautifully decorated in the true royal maharashtrain style!
The darwaan is dressed in impeccable maratha style and holds the door open for you with a smile and a warm "Namaskar!". A true marathi greeting straight from the heart!
As you enter into the restaurant a Tutari sounds overhead signaling your arrival! Your entry in the restaurant is declared in much the same manner as the arrivals of kings was done in the olden days!
As you are led to your table you are impressed by the ambience of the place. It plays popular Marathi songs and the wall-mounted lcd TV plays marathi channels! There are two mashaals mounted on the walls with simulation of fires in them! One can only imagine the kind of ambience if dinner is to be had at this fine restaurant!
As you sit down and have a look at the menu (the high prices not withstanding!) you can just glance and imagine the unbelievable diversity of the cuisine range offered by Maharashtra.
The menu card itself is wrapped in a beautiful Maharashtrian Paithani saree and provides detailed information about the dishes served by Diva....
The waiters are dressed in simple Kurta-Lehenga with a jacket over the kurta...and are so very polite and take extremely good care of you! I guess the waiters that I have experienced were never so very polite and well behaved!
'Diva' offers you authentic Maharashtrian chutneys (deviating from the normal pickles and stuff you get in everyday hotels!) shown in the pic below!
You get authentic Garlic-Coconut dry chutney, Mirchi -Lasun Thecha(Crushed green chillies and garlic) and Kairicha Loncha(raw mango pickle). Along with that you are served fried chillies and the usual onions and lemons!
* A special announcement for vegetarian public! 'Diva' serves all vegetarian food in different plates. A special set of plates is always kept for vegetarian food! * Not that I care about it but still..........
Coming back to the food that we ordered..........
I do not have enough good adjectives in my kitty to glorify the lovely food that I had! Even so, a futile attempt at describing the food.....
1. Shahalyachi Bhaaji (Flesh of Coconut) :
This was one of the most amazing things that I have ever eaten! Served in the entire coconut shell itself this vegetable was awesome in taste and even surpassed the non-vegetarian preparations. This coming from me, a die hard non-veg fan, should be an indication of how much I loved this dish!
2. Varhaadi Paneer (Paneer cubes prepared in special masala from Varhaad region of Maharashtra):
Awesome! Awesome! Assal Varhaadi jhatka to the dish! The Paneer cubes almost melted inside the mouth!
3. Moong Khichdi(Preparation of Moong with Rice):
Heaven! Moong Khichdi never tasted so much better, even at my place! The rice and moongs were just perfectly cooked and the taste was delicious!
1. Saoji Chicken (A chicken dish from the Saoji Community):
Dark brown and mysterious looking this Chicken dish was the center of our attention when it was served to us! If Saoji Chicken was a beautiful woman then it would numero uno on the World's Most Beautiful Women list! ;)
2. Kolambichi Khichdi (Prawns and Rice Dish):
Although this dish is better known as Kolambicha Bhaat in my house, Kolambichi Khichdi was mindblowing...excellent!!
Alongwith these lovely dishes we had soft and hot Jowar and Rice Bhakris!
And ofcourse we had drinks....Rich Creamy and Spicy Sol Kadhi and Sweet Raw Mango Panha!!
Dinner for 8 was on a little on the expensive side....@ Rs. 2700/-
But its allright to spend so much on such lovely food once in a while!
I would definitely recommend this place for ardent foodies like myself!
Just go and experience the diversity of Maharashtrian food!
The taste of Sol Kadhi still lingers on my tongue......
My mouth has started watering so I'll just sign off! :P
* Next time I promise I'll get more pictures to stimulate your taste buds!
This work by Pranjal A. Wagh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.