RESTAURANT REVIEW – Nueva by Chef Michael Swamy

restaurant review NuevaWith minimalist cooking, stirred by nature and garnished with love, the distance between dull and delicious can be measured in the molecular realm of flavors at Nueva – India’s first Latin American restaurant by celebrity Chef Michael Swamy.

Nueva seems to make a bold statement – embrace newness, and transform chaos to calm. Art comes alive in all forms as tall black, heavy double doors open into a chic, sophisticated space, that disconnects you with the outside world, and induces you with its finishes and alluring lighting.

We’ll tell you a little later why Nueva served us a lunch that was memorable, but first, let’s set the table. The cutlery is outlandish and the ambience makes you feel special. Appetite builds as tall glass panels transcend mystery into transparency, and you watch chefs work diligently in a state of the art kitchen.

The menu is inventive and is devoted to the pleasure of nature. It prefers the flavor spectrum with lots of fresh produce, herbs, vegetables, fruits and a general feeling of health. Staff is pleasant and their smile adds to the adventure at Nueva.

The meal begins with an assortment of indulging in-house breads and spreads. After fresh fruit drinks, we directly dive into our first main serving – the Tea Salad. Yes….tea in a salad. The eclectic mix of nutty, lemony, vegetal, earthy flavors is complex, exciting and inviting. The side of steamed green tea leaves, pounded into a paste with walnuts, adds wonderful texture, and compliments the crunchy ingredients and tea’s traditional bitter-sweet astringency. A legendary salad!

Chef Michael takes the storm outside the cup by keeping our taste buds on full alert with his house speciality, the Tea Smoked Chicken. Served on a bed of black quinoa, with a side of inlaid greens, the presentation is a bolt of surprise and pleasure combined. Tender, moist, herbal chicken is in the harmony of wonderful flavors, induced with the density of indigenous ingredients, smoky finish and a lingering aftertaste. Quinoa is a careful pairing as it cleanses the palate after every tannic bite and compliments the astringent, drying, puckering sensation and mouthfeel. You must order this!

After the shifting, swirling delectable flavors, the desserts have a meditative effect. While Yogurt Coconut Pannacotta is just as delectable as it sounds, with fresh in-house multigrain granola and blueberries. The Cinnamon Tiramisu is sleep-inducing and therapeutic, with delicious, spicy, creamy smoothness. A gastronomic afternoon of flawless take off and a smooth landing.

Some chefs cook. Others create. Chef Michael’s tea-infused menu is an enthralling sensory experience of tastes, smell and even sight. He loves tea and has steeped it in versatile starters, inspired main dishes and tempting beverages. Tea, in its many forms, is one of the oldest ingredients in the kitchen and we love how Chef Michael is bringing the latest global trend of cooking with tea, in India. A trend we adore and promote.

We believe that a good meal experience is like a cup of good tea. The amalgamation of unique flavors, awakens senses and begins a mindful journey –  faraway from our chaotic modern lives. And when it all comes right from the earth, the symphony is magical in the stillness of our minds.

As vivacious as samba, Nueva is colorful, flavorful, exotic, artistic and will make you curious about South American culture, and why it’s taking over the global culinary landscape. Nueva is Chef Michael’s voyage of love between his admiration for South American food movement and his culinary wisdom, which he celebrates with a stunning Tapas bar on the ground floor of his restaurant.

Thank you Nueva for your hospitality and a great lunch. Next time, we won’t hesitate to order your Tea Salad again and again.

Address: Sangam Courtyard, R.K Puram, New Delhi
Reservations: Recommended
Hours: Noon to Midnight

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