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Delhi Wine Club
DWC Wine Dinner: A Memorable Evening off the Highway

Posted: Wednesday, 10 September 2014 16:53

DWC Wine Dinner: A Memorable Evening off the Highway

Sep 10: Members of the Delhi Wine Club were treated last week to an outstanding display of modern cuisine by Chef Nishant Choubey of the Dusit Devarana in the Kiyan Restaurant, along with wines from the biggest and the historical South African producer KWV, writes Arun Batra

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Click For Large ViewThere were basically two very compelling reasons that got my fingers in the “fast finger” mode the moment I saw our Club President Subhash Arora’s mail regarding the September 4th wine dinner of the Delhi Wine Club.

One was that after a long, long time we were going to have a totally South African evening as far as the wines were concerned. South African wines don’t seem to have got the same marketing push in India that other wine producing countries have placed behind their wines.

KWV started off nearly a century ago as a cooperative of South African wine growers and then in tune with the changing market conditions morphed itself into a company which today has a major presence not only in wines in South Africa but also into liquor and liqueurs . With a distinguished heritage, KWV is one of the leading wine and spirits producers in South Africa today. 

The other reason was the location- the Kiyan all- day global cuisine restaurant at the newly opened Dusit Devarana Hotel near the airport. This restaurant had been getting favourable reviews on the food blogs and so was Subhash Arora’s reaction when he went for the menu finalisation and tasting for our dinner.

Click For Large ViewIn keeping with the best traditions of the wine club, the sourcing of wines from KWV was once again put in jeopardy with the issues concerning government licenses and excise registration in Delhi and consequent availability of stock. There was Subhash at work, tasting at the MundusVini wine competition in Germany ( I say work as tasting and not drinking- 50+ wines a day is all work and no play !!) and dealing with getting the wines in time on one hand while on the other hand he had confirmations for many more than the 28 folks the restaurant said it could handle !!

Some deft manoeuvring on both fronts saw the wines arrive the hotel in the nick of time and a manageable number of members gathered in the IAH bar of the hotel on the evening of the 4th September for the 229th club event since we started in 2012. A non-descript entry off the service road on National Highway-8 leads to a vast forecourt and the low slung hotel which at once shows off its unique modern and futuristic architectural style that impresses without exception.

The bar was very dimly lit ( yes I know most bars are on the dim side but this was kind’a dark!) and during the a few seconds it took for my eyes to focus on who was sitting where, I had a flashback to a similar experience when entering disco’s in Delhi in the 70’s like the Cellar ,Tabela and Sensations etc!!

Being a weekday-our start time was 8pm but by 8.15 or so we had a full house which is indeed creditable considering the location and the fact that it was a working day. Chilled flutes of the KWV Sparkling Cuvee Brut were circulated to get the evening off to a refreshing start. This Chenin Blanc based sparkling wine was very palatable with a good balance of fruit which continued onto dry and crisp finish. With the exception of the smoked salmon Bruschetta the rest of the pass rounds such as the zucchini Bruschetta and the wasabi mushrooms were either too bland or too overpowering as in the case of the spicy chicken satay.

Click For Large ViewBefore we shifted base for our sit down dinner, Subhash took the floor and introduced Ms Esmari Kift, the Regional Business Manager, Asia-Pacific of KWV and gave us a brief background of the company. She gave us a short run down on the history of KWV and the wines that were in store for us that evening.

The walk from the bar to the Kiyan all day global cuisine restaurant left all of us equally gobsmacked by the fantastic interplay of pools of water with background building lighting combining to provide a truly ethereal setting. I don’t know what the hotel would look like in broad daylight but at night there was no way one could imagine we were just yards from the busiest stretch of road in the NCR.

To accommodate our large numbers, the Dusit had thoughtfully also opened up a private dining room attached to the Kiyan. I was fortunate to find a seat in the PDR alongside the Subhash Aggarwals, the Arun Dangs and the Chintamani Raos and very soon a rather noisy and joyous “party within a party” was in the making.

Chef Nishant Choubey with his first salvo of Canadian Scallops and Scallop Ceviche gave us an indication of his expertise not only in constructing a dish but also in presenting it in an appetising manner to the diner. Two wines came in quick succession so we were able to have both with the first course.

First, the KWV Classic Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2013 was an excellent representation of a Sauvignon Blanc with multilevel notes grass and lemon notes on the nose and on the palate. A smooth and elegant wine-this was easily the best wine of the evening.

The second was another sparkling –the KWV Sparkling Wine Rose – and it was terrible. It lacked flavour, was a bit acidic and had a rather flat finish. A sip of the Rose had our table shaking their heads and calling for second and third refill of the Sauvignon Blanc instead.

Little did we realize we were just about to face up to the “wine wastage” issue head on-perhaps you remember the uproar in the Club over the picture of wasted bubbly flutes at the Chez Nini brunch recently. So the table took a considered decision-“it’s a crime to waste good wine but it isn’t a sin if the wine isn’tdrinkable”. I thought I would mention this as in the DWC picture gallery of the evening  there is a  group photo of those dining in the PDR taken roundabout dessert time showing all the Rose glasses well over half full and I wouldn’t want Subhash and the rest of the Club to get the wrong impression.

The Tomato Clemetine was flavourful with just the right intensity of tomato and after a sorbet to refresh the palate we were into the main course.

Click For Large ViewThe wine for the last course was the KWV Classic Collection Shiraz 2013 – an approachable medium bodied Shiraz with a reasonable presence of berries and some spice on the tongue. The mouth feel was smooth but with a marked short aftertaste.

I chose the Scottish Salmon with seafood etoufee and paired it with the Sauvignon Blanc which I had hoarded from earlier on in the evening. The salmon was done just right not too dry and not under cooked- well done Chef Nishant !!

The dessert interestingly termed ‘Flower Pot’ was a sinful dollop of Bailey- infused chocolate cake with cabernet jelly and raspberry sorbet –a great ending to an outstanding meal.

Kudos to Chef Nishant for producing an outstanding meal – I am quite sure this sit down pre-plated multi course dinner must have been the first for this new restaurant but with the help of Rohit Pandey and his efficient service team, they were able to pull it off and deliver an outstanding evening . Sadly the wines were not up to the high standards set up by the Chefs in the kitchen and the service team upfront- nevertheless a great time and as many members exclaimed- was one of the best club evenings on record. Thank you, Chef Nishant, Thank You Team Kiyan. Thank you Dusit Devarana !! And congratulations for giving the Delhi urbanites a dream-like ambience.

Gallery                     Menu

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Ranjan Pal Says:

This was an outstanding dinner in an absolutely unique setting - the best ambience of any DWC dinner that I have attended. Definitely worth a repeat.

Posted @ September 23, 2014 13:46



In my memory, this was the most enjoyable dinner in the last few years. The OUTSTANDING FOOD (I will soon visit the place again!) was even more enjoyable because of the MAGIC CADRE and the FLAWLESS SERVICE; what A GEM! Thanks Subhash for revealing it!

Posted @ September 12, 2014 13:56


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