If you are a sucker for modern Middle-Eastern food, then Priyank Sukhija’s Diablo in Mehrauli awaits you. We visited the posh restaurant to dance with the devil albeit with potent cocktails in hand. By Priyanka Chakrabarti
A wicked gargoyle figurine looks down on me as I walk past the entrance of Diablo. Before coming here, I did read up a little about this new restaurant and learned that the underlying theme of this grand eatery is–all things devilish. Needless to say, Diablo literally means ‘devil’.
The first thing that strikes me is the out-and-out contrast between the indoor and outdoor dining area; while the outdoor is beautifully canopied with lush thickets, the indoor is where all the infernal drama unleash. Think millennial pink, shiny violets and robust crimsons coupled with eclectic furniture, vintage wall art and ostentatious emerald and golden chandeliers. If this is where Satan parties, count me in too!
After a quick tour of the place, I choose a table at their alfresco section; after all, a tiny dollop of winter sun can do wonders to weekend brunches. I start the afternoon with a tall glass of artisanal cocktail called Morning Star—a potent blend of tequila, agave, orange juice, Angostura bitters, red wine, tamarind and mint spring; topped with a slice of lemon, this concoction spelt sheer seduction! Next, I try The Gospel—a whiskey-based drink infused with strawberry puree, mint leaves, lime juice, egg white and some edible flowers. And finally, I lay my hands on one of their signature cocktails, Paloma; a garishly ritzy potion, this fantastic drink was made of tequila, elderflower syrup, lime juice, fresh grapefruit juice and a dash of egg whites.
With the release of feel-good endorphins, I am now happily looking at the food menu. From light salads to kebabs, and grills and mezze platters—the selection process is only getting tougher. After much contemplation, I order a portion of the Chicken Jujeh Kebap from their chargrill section; boneless chicken marinated in saffron, lemon, charred pepper and garlic dipping sit firmly on a bed of Persian Zaffran rice. Every bite releases an outburst of choicest Middle-eastern flavours.
Up next is a hearty serving of Lamb Chelo Kebap—Persian barbequed kebap served on Zaffran rice, and paired with charred tomatoes, pepper and some salad on the side. Then, I try their Tavuk Souvlaki—tender chicken pieces slathered with lemon olive oil dressing come on a thin sheet of pita bread; the roasted bell peppers and fresh greens on top add the much-need colour and crunch to this wholesome dish.
Moving on to the main course, I get myself a helping of Meygoo Polo—plated delicately, this luscious dish is an arty melange of Middle-eastern spiced prawns and saffron kuzu puree, served on aromatic Parisian prawn rice. I savour each bite mindfully, letting the flavours work wonders on all my senses. This one is a showstopper and I highly recommend it.
I’m still enjoying the uncompromised, dramatic flavours of the main course but before it gets too late, I quickly place the order for the desserts. I’m told their Turkishmisu is a head-turner; layered coffee, Bailey’s mascarpone and cocoa dust—what’s not to love here? Lastly, before I call it a day, I indulge in their sinful Sticky Date Pudding—steamed date pudding, topped with oranges, vanilla sauce, caramel cobs and some delicate rose petals; mildly sweet yet royally luxurious, every gooey bite releases decadent notes.
For me, this is what perfect luncheons are made of. If you like contemporary Middle-eastern dishes and handcrafted cocktails, this is where you should be. And, they have flavoursome sheeshas, too! Need we say more?
Price for two: INR 2,000 approx.
Address: 12 Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi
Reservations: +91 93193 01333