To eat a different cuisine, and that, to a heartful doesn’t happen very often. It happened at Guppy by Ai. Chef Vaibhav Bhargava and manager Gulzar, our hosts for the evening explained that at Guppy by Ai they serve their take on traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine with slight modifications to suit the Indian palate. The new menu, he goes on to explain, was a result of old favourites from Ai and the innumerable food tastings that happened at the restaurant before they opened doors to public. No wonder their menu is full of wonderful gastronomical surprises for the vegetarian taste buds. Skeeter for sure will be seen eating there more often. Chef Vikram Khatri who heads the kitchen was unfortunately not present on the night Skeeter visited.
Guppy is already the talk of the town as Skeeter spotted the who’s who of town on the night of her visit. Chilli garlic flavoured edamame kicked off our evening. The edamame bean pods are usually boiled and salted but the Chilli garlic rendition of Guppy by Ai lent it a different note altogether. A must try. Next, came, a very fresh Guppy house salad with Zucchini ribbons, carrot ribbons, thin slivers of beet, bamboo shoot, bits of broccoli and palm heart tossed in karashi mustard, finished with a sprinkle a roast sesame seeds.
Rice paper vegetable rolls which had shredded vegetables and lettuce, wrapped in rice paper followed with yuzu kosho sesame sauce. The presentation was what fascinated Skeeter. Caramalised onion slivers plated in a way that they looked like a leaf! Ask for the Rice paper vegetable rolls and the house salad if you are particularly watching your weight. Anyone who indulges in the Sushi is not vegetarian debate, MUST try the tempura Sushi here and decide for themselves. There is a Sushi counter in the dining area where you can watch all the action live.
Chilli lime dressed Agedashi Tofu was the next to have Skeeter floored. Agedashi Tofu is traditionally served after it is cut into cubes, dusted with cornstarch and deep fried. It is then served placed on hot broth. This one had a tangy chilli lime dressing and a little salsa on the top and was served aka oroshi (a Japanese radish condiment) and dashi sauce. I’ve had better versions of the Miso soup elsewhere about but the Crisp vegetable Harumaki was a relevation: Baked filo pastry with a stuffing of shredded vegetables. Crisp on the outside with tender, flavourful vegetables inside; this top notch dish was presented strewn with pearl-like corn. It can be served fried also, if one requests (but I wonder who’d do that and why?). Impeccable plating clubbed with outstanding flavours. A winner, this. The presentation of all the food we had matched the equally delightful decor. Origami paper used as lampshades, metal lion fish lights, Japanese dolls and other Japanese artefacts placed all over the restaurant showcase the effort put in for doing up the place.
The rock corn tempura stole Skeeter’s heart. It was served with a Sriracha spiced mayo that teased the tongue gently. The Teriyaki glazed artichoke and Tofu set made a good pair with the garlic fried rice which Skeety really enjoyed. End your meal with a Yuzu lemon cheese cake which has a splendid Kaffir lime glaze on top of it, or opt for a warm carrot cake with a cream cheese drizzle. The warm carrot cake was ethereal. Served at an excellent temperature, this sublime cake was spiced with cinnamon and was a great finish to a phenomenal meal.
I’ve also had people sing praises about Guppy by Ai’s gorgeous Black Cod plated on a hot stone, the Ramen that is served in a broth that take 72 hours to prepare and excellent Pork Belly. But more about that later.
Address- 28, Main Market, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi
Timings: 12 to 3.30 and 7pm to 1am
Lunch for two w/o alcohol: 1500 ++
Dinner for two w/o alcohol: 2000 ++
For Reservation – 01124690005/6, +919650185005