Diva Maharashtracha is an Indian restaurant specialising in Maharashtrian cuisine. Based on park level of the O2 Residence in Cluster O of JLT (where Buzz Adda used to be), it shares space (and lineage) with Goa Portuguesa – both are from the Awchat culinary stables in India. Although the interior of the restaurant is quite basic, Priyanka, the owner of this branch, has done a good job of making it look and feel a lot cosier than I remember Buzz Adda ever being – the Christmas decorations helped. She helped us order. And although we ordered from both menus, I shall only focus on Diva Maharashtracha in this review.
The first thing I look for on a Maharashtrian menu is Bombil Fry – a fish schnitzel with something of a cult status in Maharashtra. It’s made with Bombil or Bombay Duck, a prehistoric looking fish – not a duck! It’s hard to believe something so ugly produces a dish so delightful. Shallow fried in a semolina and rice flour, its exterior is crisp, yet its interior is soft and almost buttery in texture. I don’t know if it was the quality of the fish, the way it was filleted or fried but I got an excessive amount of what I call eyelash bones on the edges of my schnitzel and, for the first time, didn’t order a second helping.
Our mains were better – the Nagpuri Saoji Mutton and Jeera Coconut Daal insanely so. Although we ordered both rice and bread, I think I preferred the curries more with bread, especially the Bhakri which I was having for the first time. The other curry we tried was called Tambda Rassa. Made with chicken (which is not typical) it was reddish brown in colour and had a curious taste which kept me going back for more until I realised, I had had three helpings. I’ve always associated Maharashtrian food with seafood. This was the first time I was having non-seafood items (as mains) and you know what? I really liked them.
It’s not fair for me to comment on the service at Diva, we were attended to by the owner, so it was super. But judging from how the other tables were being served by the wait staff, I could see that they were being looked after too. The fact the restaurant was nearly full for lunch mid-week says a lot for its popularity. Bombay Duck aside, I really enjoyed my meal at Diva. I felt prices were very reasonable too. I look forward to going back to also try their seafood dishes. Yeah, this is a restaurant definitely worth a visit or a home delivery.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on email@example.com.