The Central Delhi neighborhood of Lodhi Road is fast becoming the gourmet hangout zone for foodies. Some of the most popular stand alone restaurants of Delhi are located in this area (Lodhi - The Garden Restaurant, Chez Nini, Ploof, Tres, Elma's). The latest restaurant to open up here is Guppy by Ai, a contemporary Japanese bar & kitchen, located in Main market, Lodhi Colony, Delhi.
Me, along with some friends had dinner there last week and it was a magical evening of fun & food.
The first thing I liked about the place was the decor. It was a Japanese dreamland kind of place, with anime inspired iconography which translates into murals, sculptures fabric and lights.
Since it's a new establishment, we let the Chefs surprise us (rather than ordering on our own). So began the food marathon, which left us wanting for more but our tummies were about to burst. Yes!! it was that good!!
I am a vegetarian (okay I eat eggs too), so for me the best surprise was the variety of vegetarian food in the menu. Chef Vaibhav Bhargava explained that they wanted this place to be exciting for vegetarians & also open people to Japanese food beyond Sushi, hence so much of vegetarian on the menu.
The amuse for me was delightfully tangy & warm Tomato and jasmine tea, which was topped with Seasame cracker with pickled vegetables dressed in goma dressing and seasoned with aao nori and shichimi; totally loved it. Next to arrive was a plate of Edamame beans in Sea Salt/Chilli Garlic, this was totally addictive. Spiced perfectly, it had a hint of saltiness & chilli as it hit the palate. Each one of us gobbled as many beans as we could as we waited for other food to arrive.
In the starters, we had the following in the vegetarian dishes:-
Guppy House Salad (Seasonal crunchy vegetables, palm heart and bamboo shoot, dressed in karashi mustard) - It was fresh, crunchy & lightly tangy. I loved the mixture of vegetables and the taste of the mustard.
Exotic Mushroom Gyoza (Gluten-free, crisp bottom steamed pot stickers, served with chilli soy dipping sauce) - They were delightfully hot, soft & flavorful, totally divine to bite into. A thumbs up again!
Crisp Vegetable Harumaki (Exotic vegetable filo rolls, crisp baked in oven and served with chilli garlic) - This was the only dish I did not think much about; it was average.
Rice Paper Vegetables Roll (Shredded vegetables and lettuce, wrapped in rice paper with yuzu kosho sesame sauce) - Dressed in thin rice paper, this was again fresh, bit tangy, bit crunchy and totally wonderful to the palate.
Chilli Lime Dressed Agedashi Tofu (Crisp fried silken tofu, dressed in sweet and spicy chilli lime dressing) - A nicely fried tofu which was soft & crunchy, but not oily at all and that's how I like my tofu to taste like.
Asparagus Tempura Roll - Fresh & crunchy, loved this.
Oh, reading the above starters menu, please don't think the non-vegetarians did not get anything in the starters, in fact they had an equally exhaustive list to gorge on. Read my friends' Aishwarya & Nachiketa's take on the same.
Now, after all that wonderful dishes, we had finally come to the mains and we now were drinking copious cups of green tea to settle all we had eaten before. In the mains, I had Teriyaki Glazed Artichoke & Tofu along with Garlic Fried Rice. The Teriyaki glazed Artichoke & Tofu was rightly flavored, glazed perfectly and I loved the freshness of the asparagus on which it was laid. the Garlic fried rice was the perfect accompaniment. The non-vegetarians had the Guppy Signature Black Cod, which the husband was singing peons about till the next day.
In the desserts, we had Warm Carrot cake (warm & soft but not soggy), Yuzu Lemon Cheesecake (light & lemony) along with velvet balls & nutty chocolate pieces. I loved everything!!!
It was a magical evening amidst such dreamland decor, wonderful staff and most delicious food. It's won my heart and I am coming back here!!
~ Bon Apetit ~