A rainy Sunday afternoon, two souls in love and a charming little dim sum cafe in the heart of the buzzing Nehru Place’s social scene. The scene was set.
I entered a cafe that looked as though it was straight out of the design section of a Pinterest page. We carefully chose the table with the most natural lighting. The fact that it was also right next to the bar was just a coincidence (or was it?). A cafe that probably seats not more than 30 people inside and 10 outside, it’s simple and minimalistic decor had me hooked from the beginning. Their music sounded as though right off an 8tracks playlist, but the kind of playlist that would make you sink in your couch with a bowl of noodles and a fuzzy blanket.
The menu is a two-page self help one where you can just tick off the dishes that you would like to order and hand it to your designated server, who just by the way are extremely courteous and prompt. Boasting of an impressive array of dimsums, baos, noodle boats and puffs, the menu had us in a catch-22, as to how to order everything on the menu and consume it without dying! With much difficulty, we wielded our pens in front of four dishes and a cocktail , and decided that we would just have to come back another day to get acquainted with the rest of their menu, not that we were complaining.
Being spoilt for choice wasn’t the only reason that delayed our order. Amidst making difficult life choices we were smitten by three very cute miniature coke-like glass bottles on the table, which held our attention longer than we’d like to admit. Munching on the spicy peanuts and bottled sauces, we placed our order, and chose a lovely beer and tequila cocktail to go with our excitement as we waited for the food. It was like having summer in a glass – the summer you would experience while lying on a beach in some corner of Spain, with the cold breeze caressing your face.
It wasn’t long before we got our dim sum baskets and we wasted no time in devouring them. The chilli garlic dim sums were piping hot and full of flavour! Me being a bit of a soy sauce fanatic dipped (or rather dunked) each dumpling into my bowl of soy before enjoying its delicious garlic flavour encapsulated in a thin (but not too thin) casing. After setting aside our first basket, we moved on to the vegetable baos. Light as a cloud, white as a cloud and fluffy as – you guessed it – a cloud, these baos (three pieces to a basket) were an absolute treat. Dipped in some hoisin sauce, these were a burst of flavour in every bite. A small piece of advice though; don’t forget to remove the piece of paper sticking to the bottom of the bao before consuming it. They’re very easy to miss and it’s not nice to be biting into paper laced with hoisin sauce. Believe me.
Our next basket was a tofu and bok choy dim sum. These were by far my absolute favourite! Beautiful squares of silken, yes, that’s right, silken tofu encased in tender bok choy just sitting there steaming in their little basket. These melt-in-your-mouth dim sums were devoured in under a minute, no kidding. No over the top flavouring, no exotic asian sauces or spices drizzled all over; just plain simple tofu and bok choy. A must try for every person that goes to Dimcha. If you didn’t like tofu earlier, you will now.
Our final dish for the day was a piping hot bowl of khao suey – a traditional burmese noodle soup cooked in coconut milk served with crispy noodles and a range of condiments such as garlic, lime, onions, chilli and coriander. Now I was no stranger to this dish, seeing as my mother had been making it at home for close to a decade but I had never bothered to try it outside until now. I hope my mother isn’t reading this because these next few words are definitely going to hurt. It was the best khao suey I’ve ever had. Pumped on traditional asian spices and with just the right amount of noodles, this bowl was an eye opener (and nose opener for those with a cold) to what a khao suey can be. We slurped and slurped till there was nothing but a single noodle left at the bottom of the bowl.
By the end of the meal we had no room for dessert whatsoever and hence decided to leave that to our next visit. The place is surprisingly economical and was definitely value for money.
I would urge all of you to give this place a go. You can’t miss it.
Featured Image Courtesy: facebook.com/DimchaDelhi/