South Delhi. Not a place one associates with tranquility or anything even remotely close to it. My studio is in Shahpur Jat, a place that is increasingly mad, bustling with designers, karigars and shoppers and there is once in a while, that day where I will dramatically sweep everything off my desk and head out for a drink to calm my nerves. Well, any excuse would work really but you know what I mean.
It is on one such crazy afternoon that I found this perfect tiny oasis of calm. Arriba. A stone throw from my studio, this absolutely gorgeous Mexican tequileria is in the Asiad Village Restaurant Complex. Now Mexican is not quite my first choice when eating out but tequileria caught my attention and once I sampled their signature margaritas, I knew this was a place I would return to. So yes, it became my go to for a quick relaxing margarita in the afternoon, as refreshing as a siesta. The frozen coconut one is my absolute favourite here. But I had not yet tried the food, because like I said Mexican never tempted me.
So when Vickrham and I received a dinner invite to the place, I’ll be honest I went with all my hopes pinned on their fabulous cocktails. And yes they were superlative from my favourite frozen coconut margarita, to the Jalapeño Bandito and Basil Agave Margarita.
What I wasn’t prepared for though, was Chef Noah’s spectacular food! Every bite a beautiful distinct flavour and not a hot sauce drowned ingredient to be seen. We started with the Salsa and Guacamole Carnivale, a lavish platter with 5 salsas and homemade tortilla chips. The mango coriander and habanero is such a delight. Your server will prepare the guacamole right there not the table for you, ensuring it’s absolutely fresh and seasoned just how you want it.
For appetizers we had the Stuffed Spiced Jalapeños with Goat Cheese Mousse. This is comfort food at its best with all that flavorsome churros, cheese. The Mexican Charred Morita Chili Chicken Skewers have become my new favourite dish; Aromatic, tender with just the right punch in the sauce. The mini tacos are something you should definitely try. I would recommend the Cilantro Line Chicken. The Chipotle Chicken Fajitas were really good too; especially the Mexican Rice that came with it and the El Pollo Loco was happiness in every bite.
Mexican food really is quite a familiar taste for the Indian palate. With roast cumin, coriander and chilies dominating the flavour profile, it is really not something one needs getting used to. The difference lies in the preparation style and there is nothing better than enjoying a meal cooked by a chef who is passionate, innovative and approaches his art with respect.
Having stuffed ourselves that full, we decided to go with something simple for dessert. The Churros with Chocolate Duo Dip was anything but simple. It was perfection, especially the chili chocolate dip that comes with a warning!
Arriba has put Mexican Dining right up there on my list and like it’s beautiful cocktails, the food too is going to bring me back.
The Village Restaurant Complex, Asiad Village,
Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi
Review By : Sonalini Chaudhary for Foodmaniacs
Compiled By : Vickrham (vicky)
Email : Vickrham.firstname.lastname@example.org