Do dig in at Diggin

NEW DELHI 29/04/2015: Fish and Chips at Diggin Restaurant at Anand Lok Shopping Centre in New Delhi on Wedneday. Photo: Hrishikesh Bhatt   | Photo Credit: Hrishikesh Bhatt

The other day, I made hay while the sun shone. I mean, I struck while the iron was hot. To explain in plain English, we had to go for a series of eye tests to a hospital in south Delhi. And in between two tests, we tootled off to a restaurant that I had never been to — and never heard of.

It started like this. We had this window between 7 p.m and 10 p.m. My brother-in-law suggested that we use those hours for dining out. We had to go somewhere in the neighbourhood of the hospital, and he suggested that we try out Diggin on Siri Fort Road. The address is Anand Lok Shopping centre, opposite Gargi College (Phone numbers: 011-40800081 and 33105376). It is very easy to find, for the market is small, and the place is lit up with fairy lights. I had seen it once while passing through, found it very cheery, but didn’t know it was a restaurant.

Diggin, in one word, is lovely. First, the place is so cheerful that it actually lifts your mood. A swing welcomes you in. There are lights everywhere — including a trail of lit-up cages that show the way up. You can sit on the ground floor, on the first floor or on a small open balcony. There is an open kitchen in the centre of the restaurant, where you can see your food getting readied. Second, the staff is cheerful and smiling. Third, the food is excellent. And finally, the prices are most reasonable.

We asked for a Diggin special salad –apples and roasted beetroot dressed with honey, chillies and a mint vinaigrette and topped with feta cheese (Rs.215). The brother-in-law had a grilled river sole, with a lime sauce, served with green beans, fennel and mashed potatoes (Rs.445). I knew what I wanted the moment I opened the menu card — an all-pork sandwich with bacon, ham and pork sausages on grilled ciabatta bread (Rs.375). My better three-fourths thought she’d have the rosemary grilled chicken (Rs.375) but saw the pizzas being baked in the oven in the kitchen, and decided to have a wheat-based pizza with bacon, diced onions, fresh arugula leaves and mozzarella cheese (Rs.375).

Each and every dish was excellent. The helpings are huge (we had to carry half the sandwich and the pizza in a doggy bag), and the ingredients are fresh and plentiful. My sandwich, for instance, was packed with pork. The fish was fresh and well grilled, the sauce was delicious and the green veggies turned it into a balanced meal. We were so full at the end of it that despite the alluring dessert menu, we decided to call it a day.

The menu has all kinds of dishes – from interesting salads to burgers – lamb, citrus chicken and so on (Rs.345-375). The next time I am there, I shall have their slow cooked lamb shanks served with rosemary infused roasted baby potatoes (Rs.395). For vegetarians, there is a wide choice too — a four-cheese special pizza (Rs.345), eggplant parmigiana (grilled eggplant layered with tomato basil sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese (Rs.325) and polenta gratin with bell pepper and tomato basil sauce (Rs.345).

This is a place you must visit – even if you don’t have to undergo an eye test in the neighbourhood. My friends in South Delhi – notably Chandru, Indu and Murali who are forever complaining about my east Delhi tilt – should be happy. At last I have found something in south Delhi that deserves a second visit. And a third, fourth and fifth...

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 10:49:51 PM |

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