I am a food enthusiast and frequently eat out in New York area.
A Pleasant Delight
To be fair, the only reason that I tried this restaurant was because of a vegetarian friend. I went there with the expectation that this would be just another Indian restaurant in New York City. It was really easy to reach and it took me just a couple mins to get from subway station to Divya’s Kitchen. I reached 15 ahead of time, and they happened to have our table ready, and welcomed me in. The place was cosy and really pretty and neat. The staff who seated me was really nice. Once my friend had arrived, the waitress told us about their food. Few things I noticed:
- The restaurant is right around the corner of the 2nd Avenue stop (E,F trains)
- The wait staff is really pleasant and knowledgeable about the ancient “Ayurveda“ principles and their applications to food
- The place is exclusively vegetarian is has multiple options for people with food allergies
Divya’s Kitchen Location
Food Can Heal
The waitress explained the Ayurvedic concept of vatta, pitta and kapha, which according to the tenets, help balance the elements in body and achieve well being. Now I am not foreign to the concept of healthy eating for physical well-being, but this was way more evolved than that. Not only is the food supposed to be good for the body, but it is also meant to “heal” any ailments we may have.Few takeaways I had:
- Food is meant not only to satiate hunger and provide nutrition but also to heal any ailments
- According to Ayurveda, the body is made or elements which can be disbalanced and manifest in form of ailments
- Ailments can possibly be cured by balancing the food intake
A Delicious Start with Cutlets
I was very excited to try the food, but there wasn’t anything specific in terms of possible healing, so I decided to go with whatever looks good on the menu. The first appetizer which I tried was spinach cheese cutlet - and it was the softest and most flavorful cutlet I have tried. Every bite surpassed the flavor expectations set by the preceding bite. Not being a vegetarian myself, I have to admit that it definitely raised the bar for vegetarian foods I will ever eat!
- Soft cottage cheese set the perfect base for the cutlets
- The spinach and the mild spices enhanced the flavor profile
- The sauce was tangy and went perfectly with the dish
Avocado is Green And Toast is Pink?
Next up was Avocado toast, and when it came, I was amazed by the vibrant presentation. The herbs and the radish presentation was appealing. And then I took the bite and I could feel the perfect texture and the subtle flavors which amplified the perfection of the simple yet elegant piece of toast.
- It was the prettiest avocado toast I have ever laid my eyes on
- The flavors of the herbs and the radishes on it were extremely refreshing and delectable
- It could be a great breakfast option for vegetarians with a knack for healthy eating
Let’s Give it a Mix
Next came Khichari, which was a mix of lentils, rice, spinach and some wonderful spices. It was almost like porridge in consistency but very flavorful and light. The quantity was goo. Although, I just wanted to try different items, I was still able to devour several spoonfuls. Each one of them I thoroughly enjoyed.
- Khichri had lentils, which is often cherished by vegans for it’s protein benefits
- Rice content makes it friendly for people with gluten sensitivities
- Added Greens provide nutrients as well
- Also maybe the Ayurvedic properties will kick in and help as well
A Delectable Fusion
When the desserts came over, I was pleasantly impressed by the fusion. The food had very authentic Indian elements with a very European looking clean presentation. Rose chocolate mousse was very bit as delectable as it looked. I have to admit that it was the first time that I even thought the combination was possible - whoever would’ve thought of putting rose petals on chocolate mousse? It did restore my faith in trying new dishes, as it was every bit enjoyable with the rose enhancing the chocolate flavor. The Pistachio Fudge was an absolute delight, with every bite melting in my mouth with a burst of many flavors. The dessert here was every bit satisfying with:
- Elegant fusion of tastes
- Everyday desserts like fudge and mousse were enriched with traditional flavors of India
Finally, I got my check which didn’t cost me an arm and a leg, and left me extremely pleased with the experience. I am definitely going to return, and if a vegetarian asks for recommendations for food placed in Manhattan, this is going to be my top recommendation!
© 2021 EphraimHallford