Walking into Desi Vibes is an experience itself. It’s not your another Indian fine dining. Rather the promoters have emphasized on the experience beat largely.
Located at Sector 18 market of Noida, Desi Vibes is nestled just above the Ka Kafe and Eclairs, another of my favourite. It’s been in business for 12 years, which definitely drives the point home that this has functionally satisfied North Indian hunger at this part of NCR.
Well stepping inside this place feels like a random trip to retro age. Under the table, don’t fret if you find nut cracker, old coins or knives. On the wall, there mud patches giving you feel of a village hut. There are old switches, old telephones, and trunks from grandmothers. The cupboards also look like being borrowed from grandfather. There is a water well, built of mud if you aren’t satisfied with the desi décor.
The welcome drink here is a glass of jal jeera served with assorted papads along with chutneys. Instead of choosing our own set of appetizers, we gave the chef to do his magic. And magic it was! We received a platter of Murgh Malai Jafrani, Murgh Banno Tikka, Murgh Peshawari and Amritsari Macchi Tikka. The first bite into Murgh Malai Jafrani and you could taste the flavour of cumin well glazed in the chicken dice. The Banno Tikka was melting in mouth. The well done tandoor of boneless chicken hasn’t dried up. Rather the marination of ginger and garlic has given it a new taste. Special credit goes to Amritsari Fish Tikka. The river basa are known for being delicate. But the way this has been glazed in tandoor, the chef made sure it doesn’t break apart nor does it dries up.
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Main course of Indian cuisine are known to be rich and spicy. And that’s one of the primary reasons I tend to stay away from delicious Rogan Josh. But on insistence of the server, I dared to give it a try. Being an ardent meat eater, I ignored the dal, which I realized was a major mistake. Soon arrived DV Ki Khas Dal Makhni. Well the black lentils simmered overnight on tandoor have suddenly got to life with dollops of cream. And this dal alone can compete with many tandoor moguls in the city. Soon followed Fauji Chowk ka Lasooni Tikka Masala, Mutton Rogan Josh and Pulao. Fauji Chowk ka Lasooni Tikka Masala is the traditional Dhaba style slow cooked chicken with added hint of garlic. Garlic is a magical add-on. A tinge less wouldn’t really make a difference to your gravy but add a spoonful extra and its royally ruined. But thanks to the chef, the balanced garlic has added an inevitable twist to the masala gravy.
The Rogan Josh deserves a special mention for not being another Rogan Josh. Now you know it right, cooking mutton doesn’t really start from marinating the meat rather from buying the right kind of meat from the shop. Yes! Yes! It’s that important. Guess what? A restaurant running its success for 12 years would definitely know its supplier right. The tender lamb meat melts in mouth, another pat on the back to the chef.
And hence ended the grand culinary experience. But then the ever smiling Rawat, our server for the evening wouldn’t let us go without trying any dessert as Desi Vibes would term it Misthan on their menu. So we opt for Rabri. After kilos of meat already struggling to digest, I thought of sampling a tea spoonful and let it go. And guess what? I ended slurping up the whole plate. Yes after several batches of tandoor, pulao, chicken and mutton. The gluttony drug I was high on made me eat each and every bite on the plate.