By Shruti Vairagkar (LT Howden)
My family and I are always on the lookout for new places to eat. Now, the restaurants could be old and new, as long as they have a good selection on the menu! Having crossed this restaurant many at times on my way home from office, it was time to try out Diggin Café. Located at Anand Lok Shopping Centre (Opposite Gargi College), it was often lit up with fairy lights in the evening which had piqued my interest.
We headed there for lunch one weekend and had expected to be filled with youngsters from neighbouring colleges. Much to our surprise, there was a mix of both families and youngsters enjoying the food in warm weather!
The restaurant is double storied with indoor and outdoor seating on both levels. It has a cheerful and interesting décor with exposed brick walls. The outdoor seating area has plenty of potted flowering plants, a swing for the waiting guests, and bird cages hanging from the trees in the compound. The seating here gives off a picnic vibe with benches and tables comprising majority of the seating. On the other hand, the indoors have comfortable seating with colourful cushions, exposed brick walls, wall mural, and framed vintage posters.
It offers Italian and Continental cuisines with a fairly good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Bottom-line, everyone will find something to their liking here. However, alcoholic beverages are not served here and the choice of mocktails is quite limited.
We skipped the starters and moved on to the main course and ordered Rosemary Fettucine, Diggin’s Signature Style Ravioli, and Mascarpone Risotto and some Virgin Mojitos in assorted flavours to accompany the food.
The flavour of each of the dishes was distinct and unique. The ratio of the pastas to the sauces was perfect. This is one of the common mistakes made by many restaurants where the pasta is drowning in the sauce and one has to hunt for it or that garlic is the predominant flavour. The ravioli and risotto was al dente. I wouldn’t be doing justice to Diggin if I did not mention the amount of stuffing in the ravioli. The half-moon shaped pasta was generously filled with a mixture of spinach and ricotta cheese, something which a lot of chefs skimp on. One aspect where the food could improve is to perhaps go slow on the amount of oil used.
On the flip side, the drinks were not that great. The mint flavoured mojito resembled a jal-jeera and it tasted similar to one! The ginger and basil flavoured mojito was pink in colour and tasted mildly of ginger and had some basil leaves floating in it. You may want to try out the shakes and smoothies instead.
Restaurants serving Italian and Continental food usually offer a complimentary bread basket. This one doesn’t. We ordered a portion of garlic bread to accompany the pastas. What we got was a plate of four, heavily buttered garlic toasts. Anti-climax after the food we had just been served.
The service of the café was pretty quick. We had to wait just a couple of minutes for the menu cards and our food was on the table within 10-15 minutes of placing our order. In fact, we found the service to be so quick that our table was cleaned of the crumbs before we had even paid! However, the servers don’t rush you to finish your food or shove the menu card in your face when you’re close to finishing it.
We were full after our meal (the serving size is pretty generous) and had no desire to try out any desserts. Perhaps another time…
The prices are not too high either. Maybe it is kept low so as to attract the college crowd. After ordering 3 main courses, one side dish, and three mocktails, our total was less than two thousand! On an average, a meal for two should in the range of ₹1200-1500.
I would recommend Diggin to those who not only like good food but also enjoy the décor and ambience of the restaurant. It is a place where you can eat leisurely, take photos (there were several of us doing it!), and enjoy the company of nature.