Review: Guppy by ai, New Delhi

There are two myths about Japanese cuisine in Delhi, first that it is all about raw sea food and second that the decor has to be streamlined and simple. Guppy by ai breaks both the myths and introduces us to a different side to Japanese cuisine in the most charming and memorable way. Starting with the decor, the 2200 sq. feet space designed by Anshu Arora has been divided into three areas, the restaurant, the bar and courtyard. Each area has unique features to recreate a playful wonderland in a modern setting.

Guppy by ai, www.stylecity.in

Every unique element from the solar fired heart shaped tiles to the lighting and fixtures have been customized for Guppy making this one of the quirkiest restaurants I have visited. A manga artist has worked on murals, window art and column figures. There is clever use of Origami (Japanese paper art) and metal to make lights. The bar area from where you enter the restaurant shows an artistic representation of Mickey Mouse behind the counter, while anime inspired upholstery adorns the couches and heart shaped wall paper cover the walls.A feature water body with a stream of metallic Guppies (tropical fish as I discovered) strung together like a stream of a river make for an unusual water installation.The charming courtyard which was the highlight of Guppy for me has a anime inspired sculpture, smaller tree light boxes, a huge mural, candle lighting and casual seating centered around a tall Frangipani tree.The dining area focuses on a sushi counter and a big community table with comfortable, casual seating around it.  It has touches of studio designed and custom tailored kimonos on the walls.The area also boasts of two specially sculpted metal lion fish lights and Japanese kokeshi dolls, vintage cameras, old tiffin boxes and more such Japanese memorabilia scouted from antique shops. Of course how can I not mention the polka dot bathroom.We started with some vodka and wasabi based cocktails at the bar recommended by the manager. They were a perfect start to a lovely evening at the end of a harrowing week. As we munched on some edamame and gossiped, the starters started coming to our table and then began one of my most exciting culinary journey’s.

Guppy by ai, www.stylecity.in

Guppy by ai, www.stylecity.in

I who can eat Sushi every meal of every day was actually gorging on everything else Chef Vikram Khatri decided to serve us, not because the Sushi was bad, it was delicious, but everything else had such a unique texture and taste I could not drag myself away. We started with, Chirashi Seafood Salad which is Pickled prawn, tuna, salmon, crab and baby greens in goma-ae dressing and finished every last morsel. We then moved on to Guppy Signature Pork Belly which is Slow braised pork belly, glazed with soy honey, served with mustard miso sauce and actually melts in your mouth. We then moved on to the gluten free, amazing texture in your mouth Exotic Mushroom Gyoza and Prawn Gyoza which were equally delish before trying the Sushi’s. The Sushi assortment included the Prawn Tempura roll and Spicy Tuna roll which we found the best but also the accompaniments supported the dish really well; the ginger was slightly sweetened and the wasabi was not too sharp. For mains we had Grilled Jumbo Prawns and Guppy Signature Black Cod with some Garlic Fried Rice. Of course, even though we were stuffed to the brim no Japanese meal can be complete without dessert, in our case was Red velvet cake, which was absolutely out of the world.

Honestly it is a beautiful restaurant, with the food priced and presented really well. You could taste the spicy, the tangy, and the exotic all in one bite. Most dishes, from mains to the condiments are made from scratch here. More than anything, I loved the ambience and the friendly nature of the staff. It is definitely a place I will be visiting regularly and would recommend the same to all of you.

Address– 28, Main Market, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi
Lunch for two With alcohol 2000 ++
Dinner  for two With alcohol 3000 ++

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