Scroll to top
Keen to grow your brand
Reach out to us at
Keen to grow with us?
Reach out to us at
The Lab Mag Headquarters
D-115, Dron Marg
Defence Colony, New Delhi - 110024

Ode: A theatre of live cooking

Chef and restaurateur Rahul Akerkar’s newest venture, Ode, is a love letter to his life and his relationship with food

The moment you enter the newest hotspot in Worli and visit the only restaurant currently present, you feel that you are on the set of the 2022 movie, The Menu. Ode is the newly opened restaurant in a building yet to be occupied. There is a sense of suspense as you enter veteran chef and restaurateur Rahul Akerkar’s newest dining space. The suspense is mainly in the form of curiosity and excitement to see what he has been up to all this while. Similar to the vibe of The Menu, the interior here is spacious, with a touch of a fine-dining experience, warm lighting and an expansive open kitchen running the length of the restaurant. The space is comforting and cosy yet alludes to luxury. Designed by Samira Rathod, the space is a love letter to the city.

Ode is a collaboration between the Aditya Birla Group New Age Hospitality and Chef Akerkar. It pays homage to the power of food. It is an ode to a city that loves its food and an ode to the many memories that will be created here.

Rahul Akrekar

Restaurateur and veteran chef Rahul Akrekar. Photos: Ode

Known for Indigo, almost 25 years ago, Chef Akerkar has been a pioneer of the European dining culture in India and has managed to retain his signature style of creative, elevated and non-fussy menu that is also deeply personal. “Ode is a reflection of my life and my relationship with food,” he says. The aim is to take diners on a nostalgic journey where the dishes and drinks reflect his culinary inspirations and pay homage to his mixed Maharashtrian and European heritage. “Food at home was an equal confluence of culinary traditions,” shares Chef Akerkar. “Over the years, I have come to embrace that, and what you see today at Ode, is the continuing unfolding of that story. Our food at Ode plays with flavours which are familiar but layered with nuances that keep surprising the diner.” To put it simply he states, “Ode is ingredient-forward, western accented but pays homage to local flavours and ingredients too.”

Ode interior

Photo: Ode

Chef Akerkar is said to enjoy bringing an interactive element to his restaurants. The open kitchen is one such element that he considers the “theatre of live cooking” for the diners to immerse themselves.
In terms of design, Rathod has used various textures and materials such as leather, wood, stone, cement, and tile, terrazzo. The seating space is divided among intimate tables, a bar, a family living room-like lounge, plush sofas, a community high table and al-fresco seating. We loved the mesh, cloud-like light hanging from the ceiling giving a cosy and chic ambience.

Ode interior

Photo: Ode

Rapid Review

We absolutely loved that almost 80% of their menu was vegetarian. The food menu was divided into six sections—nosh, nibbles & bread, hot, cold, pizza, pasta and sides. “Most plates are in a tapas style,” says Ash Moghe, head chef when he came to our table to recommend the dishes. Moghe shared that the idea behind the menu was to get ingredients which are not very popular in India and use them with Indian flavours in a way that doesn’t overpower the ingredients.

The Great

Food at Ode

The Palm Heart Carpaccio and Nobooze Tarbuz

The Eggplant Taco with barbacoa, tofu and corn salsa (₹550) was light and a perfect bar nibble. The soft taco shell with barbacoa eggplant really came together well with the corn salsa. Not too overly spicy, nor too sweet. The other two sections we loved were from the ‘cold’ tapas sections. The Burnt Cucumber with Kiwi Salsa and Peanut Thecha (₹550) was similar to the Korean cucumber salad. But replace it with a confluence of two flavours—the Kiwi salsa and desi twist with the peanut thecha which is quintessential Maharashtrian. The Palm Heart Carpaccio with Smoked Kale, Cashew Cheese, Granola and Lime Chive Vinaigrette (₹675) was something we have never tried. Thinly sliced palm heart with smoked kale (something I personally don’t like) was flavourful enough for us to finish the entire plate!

The Aged Manchego Cheesecake and the Burnt Cucumber

Another thing that caught our palate was the Nobooze Tarbuz mocktail (₹350) had watermelon, white balsamic, Bhavnagri chilli and ginger ale. The adage—Sugar and spice, and everything nice—fits perfectly for this. The Aged Manchego Cheesecake with Blueberry Limoncello Sorbet (₹ 475) was the highlight in terms of dessert. The cheesecake was not too sweet, the kind you usually get and the sorbet was perfect! Another dessert we devoured was the Bananas Foster with chocolate cremeux, filter-kappi gelato, and candied pecan (₹450) was quite wholesome, thanks to the filter-kappi gelato.

The Good

Food at Ode

The Halloumi Kebab and The Best Damn Tarte Tatini

The Halloumi Kebab with Blistered Chile Pumpkin Seed Salsa (₹550) was flavourful but we thought the texture was a little too chewy for us. However, Chef Moghe explained that the texture was intentional. “I chose this specific type of cheese which is chewy, so I could marinate it properly,” he explains. The pasta is made in-house. The Cecamariti Cacio E Pepe with charred Brussels Sprouts Pistou, Rombay and Assamese Long Pepper (₹725) was the classic cacio e pepe. However, the only difference was that they had in-house sourdough pasta that gave it a chewy texture that we enjoyed. Our second pasta was the Sunchoke Agnolotti with Banana Flower Ragut, Brown Butter and a Parmesan Wafer (₹725). We have had banana flowers before but never in a pasta dish. The flavour was unique in that it grew on us after a few bites. The Best Damn Tarte Tatini served with Crème Fraiche glaze and pickled celery (₹475) was soft, and almost melted in our mouth. However, the pickled celery was the highlight here!

The Miss

Food at Ode

The Baked Cauliflower and the BLTTTTT pizza

The BLTTTTT pizza (₹725) had burrata, red and green heirloom tomatoes and arugula. The wood-fired pizza was good but what we loved was the pizza base. The Baked Cauliflower (₹725) with coconut white chocolate mole and salsa macha sounded interesting but we wouldn’t order this again.

As we left the place, we discussed how this building and spot could be the new BKC with fine-dining restaurants and al fresco space for a couple of tables with corporate offices on top. Our curiosity upon entering was later a satiated tummy full of good food and new dishes!

A meal for two with alcohol would cost approx. ₹4,000.