In a nutshell:
Good Ambience, very warm, efficient & courteous staff, Good sophisticated North Indian food that suits this New York based Restaurant Chain in New York, but lacks the rustic punch of North Indian food that most of us r used to here in India. Great place for taking ur Firang friends & also for families with Kids. Not recommended for hardcore foodies / people who wud rather walk the extra mile to go into say Jama Masjid / Chandni chowk area to get an authentic rustic bite.
Address & other details: Sector 29 parking – near Downtown, Spagetti Kitchen.
Meal for 2: Rs. 1500 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
This is a place that had the warmest hosts I wud say I have come across in a long time. Be it the Lady at the reception , the Stewards or the General Manager (who came to say hello to all guests in the Dining Hall) – An amazing mix of professionalism, efficiency & also a very warm ‘feel at home’ kind of feeling (as if we had gone to a friend’s house). Kudos to the owner / HR person who chose the team.
The restaurant is situated in the first floor of a Grand 3 storeyed building. There are some more eateries that are about to be launched by the same Group in the other floors. As mentioned above, this chain was started in the USA 2 decades back & they have 4 restaurants in New York. The Gurgaon one is the first restaurant in India.
The interiors were nicely done – nothing exotic but very nice.
The menu card had almost no surprises. All usually found dishes of Delhi. We ordered a lone fish dish which we were told was ‘probably not there’. So were offered prawn instead. Chicken ruled the Nonveg section by a landslide margin. There was an occasional solitary lamb. In vegetarian, paneer was clearly ahead of others. We spotted something non paneer & orderd it – Kashmiri Mushroom preparation, only to b told that it is not available.
I always hate eating Indian food in the US as in most of such occassions I have met with disasters served on the plate. If the food that was served here is served in New York as it is, I wud say that wud b the best Indian food I have tasted in the USA. However, when I compare the food to what is available around in Gurgaon, this one falls way short of the best – It is too sophisticated & too non rustic. If u r looking for Hygienic Indian food that is less spicy, less hot, good for kids / someone with a weak stomach, this is the place to be.
Look at the prawns. They look almost boiled , leave apart being charred / being full of masalas.
Prices were on the higher side. 3 veg dishes + 1 non veg + 1 dessert with no beverages cost us Rs. 3600.
Detailed Description – Read it only when not in a hurry:
We got excited reading the definition of ‘Paan Aur palak ki chaat’. It read ‘Crispy spinach & betel leaf fritters tossed with onions & tomatoes, camouflaged with yoghurt tamarind & mint chutney’. What came instead was something that was deep fried in batter. Very very crispy and super enjoyable outer layer pieces with perfect taste & texture.
Paan and palak however decided to keep mum – their presence was not felt at all. The chaat was full of anaardana and had sweet & tangy chutneys atop a dahi base. It was very very heavy as a starter, I guess due to the deep frying. Very tasty as it is if eaten without any background. However it turned out to be way different from what was written. I rate it 2.5/5.
Post that we moved on to Paneer tikka anardana. Menucard described this dish as ‘Marinated batter of cream, pounded pomegrenade & spices.’ It turned out to be a pretty soft paneer tikka with a good marinade. The marination was also seeping into the inside of the paneer. I rate this 3/5. The Paneer Tikka at Havemore was way way better.
The next dish was Tandoori Prawns – Delicately ajwain spiced jumbo prawns. Once again this was a very subtle, sophisticated tandoori item that did not even have rustic burnt edges. It was however soft & juicy. I have had many many prawn tikkas much much better than this. This was just ‘good’ & hence gets a rating of 3/5. Was remembering the outstanding Tandoori Prawn at the erstwhile Dhaba, Claridges, Surajkund (Reopening shortly in Cyber Hub Gurgaon).
For main course we had Malai Kofta with phulkas. The Malai koftas were soft & nice but nothing great about it again. Was remembering the wow koftas at Kake di Hatti. I wud rate the overall dish at Diwan 3/5.
We also had Veg Biryani. It had long grains of aromatic rice, perfect in texture. Spices expressed themselves well. The veggies were distinct in shape and did not melt away. Good dish I must say. Rate it 4/5. Much better than the Veg Biryani at Indus Flavors, GTB Nagar, Delhi.
For dessert we had Gulab Jamun, which we were told was made inhouse. It was nowhere close to the awesome Gulab Jamun I recently had at Gangaur. The center of the Gulab Jamun was plain, the texture was intense and overall it was just as good. It was surely better than Gulab Jamuns sold by most other eateries around but it did not surely leave a mark. I rate this 2.5/5
Overall rating of food at Diwan averages out to 3/5.
I wud surely not get back here on my own but might consider taking an expat guest here, if it is convenient in terms of location. Else for North Indian food in Gurgaon, Made in Punjab, Cyber Hub is a much better choice for Punjabi food & Earthen Oven for Frontier Cuisine.