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Revive Salad Days

The All American Diner@Habitat World@IHC

Revive Salad Days


Last Byte/Ravi V. Chhabra

Photos:Copyright Right Impact Media Inc.

Good service is more  important
than F&B

It is the shooting up of mercury that decides cold soups and salads done with panache in New Delhi’s leafy, loafing eateries. The May of 2010 had touched 47 degrees celsius. The Old World Hospitality (OWH) run American Diner inside the India Habitat Center (IHC) held a short-lived festival of cold salads and soups for all of May for reasons best known to it.

Fine cold  salads at
American Diner

Speaking to the fnbworld, Executive Chef Rajiv Kumar Malhotra, who has been with the OWH since last 7-years was not keen to tell the reason for such a brief spell of the cold, colored concoctions at hand.

So, the fnbworld decided not to persist. I had taken with me a friend on that sweaty afternoon and as we sat down, configuring the lyrics of an Elton John's all too familiar balad, my friend and I were in unison on two counts at the popular venue mostly frequented by the fashionably mobile: The cold salads and soups festival needed more life-span than precisely 31-days as the hot winds had just begun to blow our souls and, the other, that the American Diner needed a revamp in décor even if not the menu. The chessboard tiled-floor has gone stale, the crimson tapestry howls.

We two were too hungry to order by the elaborate 'cold' menu, so left it to the chef. The only request to him was, serve us as much variety with as little helpings as the he could possibly do. The service as usual was good, the youthful bearers served with a smile and brought us the Asparagus Tips, Capers, Olives, Onion Rings And Crushed Black Peppers cold soup first that was fresh and aromatic.

A few spoonfuls of this and the fresh ripened tomato and leek were good to start with. For our meal we relished the  Scottish Smoked Salmon, Filo Wrapped salad alongside the Traditional Prawn Cocktail On Crisp Iceberg – we tried two, the one with colored decorative ice was very inviting. The chilled soups none exceeding Rs 200 were:  Rich chicken and fresh fennel leaves, light mint yogurt with honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupes roasted pumpkin and tender ginger, fresh riped tomato and leek

While the cold salads, ranging between Rs. 200 and Rs 325 (+ tax) featured the Scottish smoked salmon, filo wrapped asparagus tips, capers, olives, onion rings and crushed black peppers traditional prawn cocktail on crisp iceberg 325 grilled strips, sweet peppers and Moroccan yogurt dressing avocado, pinewood smoked sweet potato, roquefort blue cheese dressing ricossa pasta, artichoke heart, cherry and tomatoes and honey mustard dressing.

Executive Chef Rajiv Kumar Malhotra, an alumni of IHM Faridabad, with North Indian cuisine and kebabs as his forte, he has been with the Old World Hospitality since last 7-years and a part of the hospitality industry since last 15+ years.. He began his carrier in 1983 or 1985 with the Taj Hotel He has also worked with the Claridges Hotel in New Delhi. Having supervised the cold salads and soups affair here in the May of 2010, he says his favorites this time around is the cold tomato and leek soup.

He deserves a  hearty thanks for the short-lived respite from usual hamburger-grease;  with these juicy green combos instead at a show that must be revived, whilst the sun continues to prick the Delhiites’ backsides without a day’s respite!