Phone: 011 33105244
Address: J2/1, BK Dutta Market, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, India
Time: 12 Noon – 1 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,200
Cuisines: Modern Indian, Finger Food
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Serves Cocktails, Smoking Area, Private Dining Area Available, Table booking recommended, Valet Parking Available, Nightlife, Wifi
Decode, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi: Decor
When I first encountered chef Piyush Jain, I was blown away by his menu and food at a now defunct eatery called Hiatus which was seriously underrated. I expected that with every new restaurant, he would become better and better. Sadly, that has not been the case, though, after Hiatus, Decode has the largest sprinkling of interesting eats. On the main road of Rajouri Garden that faces the metro, Decode is a restaurant-cum-bar that tries every trick in the book to hook the customer from that part of town. Everything from chaat to chicken to Chinese is on the menu that has its own table of contents and extends over 20 pages! Jain is now a partner at the outlet and could afford to push the envelope more than he has. Perhaps the local palate restrained his hand.
Decode, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi: Food
I can never have enough of street food with a spin, so I enjoyed the chaat with a makeover, though little of it was original. Palak patta chaat (Rs. 95) was crisp, cool, sweet, spicy and tangy and the presentation was novel, with the dahi piled atop the tian in a cloud. Even quinoa bhel (Rs. 65) tasted remarkably like its original, despite containing ingredients that you’ll never find on the streets of Mumbai: beetroot chutney and cheese bits, in addition to the conventional puffed rice and finely chopped coriander leaves. The best street food appropriation was, in my opinion, Ram laddu (Rs. 95) because the ‘laddus’ appear to have been air-fried but otherwise indistinguishable from their counterparts on the side of the road. The accompanying som-tam fell between two stools, being neither identifiably desi nor completely Thai. My favorite dish of the meal was idli my way (Rs. 225) which resulted in something that had been baked in a dariole mould after being fermented. The drizzle of chilli oil and the pool of rich coconut cream is magic. Matra kulcha pate (Rs. 175) is ambrosia in another form. While the kulchas are the regular ones, the matra have been slow-cooked, seasoned and then blended into a pate. Expectedly, butter chicken and dal makhni are good and popular too.
Decode, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi: Plus & Minus
Koliwada chicken popcorn has been spelled Kohliwada, which gives one an insight!