I have watched Chef Piyush Jain progress from Hiatus at Lodhi Hotel where I appreciated his culinary skills on trying watermelon balls served as khaosuey. From there he joined Molecule, Gurgaon as the executive chef and surprised everyone with his gimmicky yet tasty food with a lot of drama added. Not too many Chefs have attempted becoming a restaurateur but when I learnt Piyush has taken this new role on I had to visit Decode at Rajouri Garden knowing that this would be an honest attempt given his calibre. Staying in Gurgaon, I have avoided all places in West Delhi given the travel time required due to distance and traffic and yes, this is my first review towards West of Delhi.
Many eating places in Rajouri have closed down recently due to the MCD orders, however Decode paid the conversion charges in time and is one of the few places in business. The exterior impresses as much as the interiors. Spread over 4 floors, Decode builds a mystique appeal with luxury gold plated ceiling, rustic walls and semi casual seating. Rows of glass bottles filled with red liquid placed uniformly on each floor along with paintings of a rubix cube in different forms looks appealing. The walls have various elements that you need to decode to guess the name of the drinks and food. A green wall with beautiful lamp shades is not to be missed. The lighting was a bit dim for the day when we went but the staff obliged to our request of making it brighter which further enhanced the look of the place to our eyes.
Decode offers Modern Indian Cuisine and to be honest i was expecting the same type of drama with liquid nitrogen and dry ice that Chef Piyush is known for in his previous role. However with a switch in his role now he is personally out of the kitchen and Chef Vishal who has worked with him at Molecule is at the helm of affair at the kitchen. They have focused more on plating and flavours this time and not so much on the drama element. I start with Palak Patta Chaat and Kung Pao Chicken Bhel. The spinach leaves are crisp and thinly battered to get the complete taste. Served with sweetened curd foam, mint & saunth chutney, aloo bhujia powder and nitro pomegranate pearls, this is a chaat you would love to have.
I liked the idea of doing Kung Pao chicken bhel. It has been done with fried noodles tossed in onions and tomatoes with trio of peppers, peanuts and Kung Pao chicken. The kung pao chicken had all the flavours but wasn’t as crisp from outside as it should be.
Quinoa bhel is not only nutritious and tasty but this would probably be the cheapest dish on the menu at just Rs 65/-. You must start your meal with this deliciousness consisting of layered bhel, mix of fresh fruits, rice puffs and cheese bits, served with a tangy beetroot chutney, mint chutney and imly chutney.
This dish is a modern take and aptly named Idli My Way. The rasam is tasty and well made and is served with coconut chutney foam and gunpowder gel. Baby idli sponge could be a bit more soft. I loved the presentation of this dish.
Another innovative dish they have come up with is Pav bhaji cone. Pav is soft rolled like a softy and is filled with bhaaji which is topped with onion and tomato salsa and white butter mousse. The portion size is big and am sure people will enjoy eating pav-bhaji in a new avatar.
If someone can reinvent the taste of this Delhi streetside speciality Matra kulcha in a pate form, then team Decode has done it well. Transformed into the French classical pate and served with pick de galo, carrot pickle and chili maska kulcha, this dish just needs a dash of lemon to recreate the same magic but with hygiene and class.
We had been relishing the vegetarian dishes that we din’t realise missing out on non veg so far. And hence we ordered Desi style lamb chops, which was just ready to fall off the bone. I was told that the mutton has been braised for 24 hours to get this beautiful texture.
We were too full to order any main course. However we did order the dessert Piggy Bank that took us to our childhood days. Not sharing the surprise element of this dish and only posting the picture to imagine the flavours.
Team Decode has upped the game at Rajouri with its innovative dishes, reasonable pricing and beautiful interiors. A journey of a good Chef to a restaurateur that is Decode to me and it certainly makes for a tasty and interesting experience to carry home .
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs 1200 | Wheel Chair Friendly: No | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Yes
Address: J 2/1 BK Dutta Market , Rajouri Garden, New Delhi | Phone: 01133105244
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.