Amidst the rush to get into one of the regular eateries for a meal, there is this one quaint little place which invites you for an altogether different experience.
La Vie, meaning "street" in Italian, opened its doors in April. The menu consists of Italian food, whose specialties are pizzas from a wood-fired oven.
Located in South Delhi's posh Khan Market, with very simple interiors, this 24-seat eatery gives out a very European street-side bistro feel.
"This place is kept small for people to just come and grab a quick bite and move out, not for prolonged sessions, and hence our menu also has very light yet filling items," owner Anirudh Gupta told IANS.
The menu is mainly Italian and its specialty is the thin crusts and the use of fresh ingredients in all the items. They do not serve alcohol.
"We believe in using everything fresh. We do not want to compromise with the authenticity," Gupta explained.
La Vie recently launched its summer menu, including light food items which are perfect for Delhi's intense heat.
We started with two refreshing mocktails - tamarind rush and aqua fresca. The tamarind rush should come with the warning for its spice content - not meant for the faint hearted! The fresh tamarind flavour was quite good enhanced by bits of chilli and garnished with garam masala. The aqua fresca, on the other hand, was like summer in a glass - a mix of crushed cucumber, mint and a very subtle hint of spice to tingle the taste buds.
For the food, we started with summer breeze salad and the Spanish tango appetizer. The salad was light, fresh and filled with flavours. Being a hardcore non-vegetarian, the sound of a vegetarian salad was a little sad in the beginning, but this dish did fulfil to completely change my thoughts. The salad had yellow bellpeppers, sundried and fresh baby tomatoes, lettuce, walnuts, grapes and olives. The dressing was a well-balanced mix of honey and mustard with Italian herbs.
The Spanish tango was basically pieces of bacon wrapped chicken served with mustard-dressed salad. The chicken was soft, the bacon was crispy and it was served in a martini glass. The salad brought out the flavours of both the chicken and the bacon.
For the mains, we were served spaghetti carbonara and the Ratatouille and Mexicana pizzas. The spaghetti came with two pieces of freshly toasted garlic bread. The great thing about this dish was the abundance of bacon. People are so used to having pastas drenched in either a white or a red sauce; this sauceless pasta was, however, absolutely spot on.
The next were the pizzas, a specialty of La Vie that was undoubtedly the star of the entire course.
The Ratatouille pizza is an adaptation of the classic vegetarian Italian dish made with eggplant, zuchini, tomato and mushroom. The crust was crisp, the sauce was not overpowering and the usage of cheese was just right. Again, a non-vegetarian like me would not think twice before ordering this pizza.
The Mexicana was an amalgamation of tender chicken pieces with barbeque sauce, onion, bellpeppers, mushroom, jalapeno, pineapple with cheddar and mozarella cheese. This decadent pizza is like an explosion of flavours. It's tangy, sweet and savoury with a hint of spice.
To bring an end to this hearty delicious experience, we were served the chocolate truffle with Cafe Da or the Vietnamese iced coffee. The coffee was very unique. The cup was filled with ice and black coffee while the bottom layer was a thick chunk of sweet cream. On mixing, the result was a cup of refreshing cold coffee. The truffle was just perfect and gooey dark chocolate. The sweetness was not overpowering; it went very well with the coffee.
La Vie definitely is a hidden gem and worth a visit for a quick, delicious and a satisfying meal.
Where: 51A, Khan Market, New Delhi
Cost for two: Rs.1,500
Timings: 11.30 a.m.-11 p.m.
(Karishma Saurabh Kalita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)