In a nutshell:
An eatery that stands out due to its authentic & YUMM offering, has good & warm staff members, in a very nice traditional setting. Hardcore foodies with a wide palate will absolutely love this.
Address & other details: Dzukou
Meal for 2: Rs. 600 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
For the uninitiated, Dzukou is the name of a place in Nagaland Sikkim border. Read more here.
We dined out at the earlier Dzukou when it was situated in Hauz Khas village & loved it. Read the review of the earlier restaurant here – Dzukou. Now they have shifted to a much larger space in Hauz Khas market.
Finding this new place was almost going to b a nightmare as finding a shop in a market by its building number is not that easy in Delhi. On top of that the phone number of the restaurant (mentioned in Zomato) went unanswered. We checked later – the number is right but the guy did not pick up.
We were lucky to have come across a knowledgeable good samaritan who showed us the path. It is right on the road behind the underground parking. A huge building that has Bank of Baroda on the ground floor & Dzukou occupies a floor above. Subway shop is also nearby.
The building has a lift that reminded me of the spooky lifts that r there in Disneyland. Creaking sounds, pitch dark inside & wobbles like a 1981 made Kolkata tram.
The interiors of the restaurant is very nice. It had traditional tribal elements & a rural kind of look & feel.
The tables were wooden, The chairs were made from cane & were low.
Tribal paintings were there all over the restaurant.
A small bar corner was also made beautifully with wooden masks & paintings.
The restaurant also had a small ‘shop in shop’ that sold Naga pickles, herbs, English books & magazines aboit Nagaland etc.
The semi open kitchen was at one end & one cud see the busy people inside. They were making most of the food after order was being placed.
The staff were very warm & nice. They made us feel at home.
In addition to traditional Naga food, they were selling fusion food with Naga flavors – Momos, Burgers etc. We did not try those this time. Will try them next time.
Loved the food – as good a s the previous restaurant.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started our lunch with Smoked buff salad. It was suboptimal in salt. On adding salt, it tasted excellent. The veggies were crunchy. Meat was soft, somewhat juicy and very good to taste. Rate it 4/5 considering the salt faux pays. Else it wud have been 4.25/5.
We wanted ‘naga style powdered sticky stew with veg/ non veg’ but unfortunately it was not available. Look forward to trying that next time.
The next dish we had was ‘Fish with naga fresh bamboo shoot’. It had a little amount of very thin gravy. The bamboo shoot was overpowering and thoroughly enjoyable. The green herbs and green chillies were mixed up.
We separated the chilly & the herbs and enjoyed munching on the herbs. That much amount of chilly was quite high for us.
The Fish pieces were nice. They did not have the ‘bad’ fishy smell but had managed to retain the good fish flavor. Loved it and rate it 4.25/5.
The next dish we had was Axhone chicken -chicken with fermented soya. This was a gravy with a punch. Fermented soya was evident. Ginger juliennes made their presence felt. Loved the spring onions sprinkled on the top.
The chicken had a smell that is different from chicken that u have in North Indian chicken dishes. The cooking method used here was ‘high heat, less time’ vs ‘low heat long time’ for North Indian curries. The smell was similar to Chinese chicken preparations in china.
Rate the dish 4/5.
The Alo etsuen gravy – mashed potatoes, tomatoes in naga herbs. This was just awesome. It had a thin gravy that was so refreshing in the winter of delhi. The herbs did the magic.
Amazing how this simple vegetarian dish turned out to b one of the best dishes that afternoon. Rate it 4.5/5.
Last curry that we had that afternoon was pork anishi – pork cooked with smoked yam leaves paste. This had way less floating oil than the one at Nagaland stall, dilli haat.
The gravy was dark brown, thick, intense, rustic and nice but it lacked a smoked feel. Somewhere it lacked the punch that we found in Anishi at the old dzukou. Rate it 4.25/5.
Dry fish chutney was very good but very very hot. We cud not have it just like that. Tasted nice with rice. Flavor of dry fish was evident. Rate it 4/5
Red sticky rice was made with a high % of red rice. In delhi most people mix a lot of white rice with the red. Very very sticky. If u r not one of those xperimentative eaters, u might give it a miss & go for steamed white rice. Loved munching on this rice and rate this 4.5/5.
Overall rating of food at Dzukou averages out to 4.25/5.
If u r a non Naga & a non foodie (have a wide palate & willing to experiment) , then chances r u will not like the food I had, that much. However u might go for the fusion food like momos, cutlets, burgers etc.