Olive Beach, Diplomat Hotel, New Delhi

Unlimited and varied food holds a very dear place in my heart. More so if the food in question is good and there’s alcohol to go with it. Olive Beach at the Diplomat Hotel in Chanakyapuri falls into this category. Buffets usually offer fairly staid food that has the usual so-called Italian, Chinese and Indian food. Venturing beyond these clichéd cuisines and dishes seems to be never-never land for most Chefs. Guess it’s the cost and type of clientele and all of that sort of thing. The Sunday Brunch Buffet at Olive Beach has apparently cracked the code – 6 separate international buffet options and you need to call before visiting.

Entering the premises quickly brings you to an expanse of white ‘beach’ with a neat little walkway carved into it. A welcome drink is pressed into your hands even before you reach the main restaurant, where your reservation is confirmed and a picnic basket of stuff (bread, fruits etc.) handed to you. They do take the ‘beach’ thing quite seriously! And oh, the baskets are tagged with the name of the guest – a little gesture that promises more.

We were seated at a corner table, next to a sunny window with a view of the outdoor seating. As promised, they have six buffets and the menu for the day was:

  • Roulade of fresh homemade mozzarella with rucola, tomato and extra virgin olive oil, Caprese Salad, Pickled Olives, Fresh Homemade Bocconcini, Zucchini and Cashewnut Pate, Hummus with Pita Chips, Roasted Beetroot Salad, Potato and Water Chestnut Salad, Carpaccio of Apple with Toasted Walnuts and Blue Cheese, Marinated artichokes, Apple/Cinnamon Yogurt.
  • Chicken & Pistachio Terrine, Pickled Prawns, Chicken Liver and Prune Pate, Seafood Salad, Norwegian Cured Salmon, Spicy Chicken Salad, Lamb Terrine, Tenderloin Carpaccio with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette.
  • Live Station Salumeria + Bread Station + Soup Station (Roasted Pumpkin Soup)
  • A variety of cold cuts, fresh and aged cheeses and fruits including prosciutto ham and pecorino.
  • A wood fired oven that makes thin crust, hand tossed vegetarian and non vegetarian pizzas to your specifications
  • Choose from King Prawns, King Fish, Chicken, Pork Chops and Grilled Vegetables. Accompaniments include mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables or cous cous with a selection of sauces including red wine, mushroom, honey mustard and diane among others.
  • A live pasta station where they feature handmade pasta made on order, served with a sauce of your choice.
  • Tiramisu, Walnut Pie, Chocolate Eclair, Brandy Snap stuffed Mousse, Chocolate Melting Dream, Fresh Fruit, Apple Cake, Mocha Swan Eclair, Ricotta Meringue Pie, coconut Jam Swiss Roll, Lemon Curd Tart, Chocolate Truffle Tart.

It is the rare restaurant that is able to deliver a near flawless dining experience to it’s guests and Olive Beach is among them. I started with their cold buffet, went on to the meats and cheese, the grill, pasta, pizza and finally dessert. Each stop on the way was a great experience. Their handmade ravioli stuffed with ricotta for instance melts in the mouth and is a treat to look at. Every item coming off the grill (I tried their chops and a sausage platter) is perfectly executed and looks yummy. The chops were done just right, retaining their bite without being chewy. Desserts were yet another treat with my particular favorite being the stuffed Brandy Snaps.

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Did I mention there’s a selection of wines, beer and liquor available too?

If you like lazy Sunday brunches, to eat or to chat, Olive Beach should be your next destination.

Meal for Two: 1895/895 (Kids) + Taxes | Credit Cards: Most | Alcohol: Yes | Takeaway: No | Home Delivery: No

– Sid

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.