Snobs may turn up their noses at the glossy floors and oversaturated kitch of Nehru Place’s Epicuria mall, where cool bars and restaurants have been setting up shop all summer on a new upper floor. Newsflash: there’s a hoisin chicken dumpling in this maze of funhouse-decor hotspots that will make you want to pause your commute every day to hop off and pay obeisance to it. At the very least, a metro card and some rides on the Violet Line are warranted by its new Asian restaurant Dimcha.
The bathroom-tile walls and uncomfortable chairs are clearly straight-to-Instagram ploys, but an open kitchen brings warmth to a bright, compact space sealed off from a large beauty salon and a Taco-Bell-in-progress. More promising still: the staff instantly turns down the music when we make the bpb-patented sour face at the high volume.
Zhou En-Lai, In This Beautiful World
A drinks menu is cause for severe initial disappointment: none of our choices, including a Chrysanthemum Martini we are very much in the mood for, is available. Not all is doom and bloom, however. A margarita, the only cocktail available this weeknight, is as strong and bitter as a once-broken heart.
The tequila keeps the edge on a dreamy first course of Malaysian buttered prawns; soft, decadent things that pile the sweetness of butter on the sting of sea-animal, and dust it with crispy egg flakes. To follow up, a “basket” of dumplings allow us to pick three kinds in a package deal. Visitors to Dao, the management’s older restaurant in GK1, will be familiar with these arrangements from that establishment’s eat-all-you-can offerings, of which we’ve heard many good things.
The value for money is just a smidge of extra savour here: the pearl-and-onion coloured hoisin chicken dim sum will convert even the most inveterate haters of Asian food. Prawn and spinach rolls and black pepper duck dumplings provide strong support to their Han brothers; they’re a good advertisement for the multitude of other options.
Still hungry? The booze must blunt our judgment. But appetites are whetted once again by the sights and crackle-pop sounds of an aromatic crispy chicken, ready to shred and eat with wafer-thin pancakes, sauces and fresh vegetables, Asian-taco style. Delhi Koreans may think longingly of the jajangmyeon at Gung, which works similar miracles with black bean sauce and cold sliced cucumber. Alas, we didn’t spot any pork or buff on Dimcha’s menu.
To make up for these predictable omissions, a Dimcha special phad see ew, flat rice noodles with lamb and fried egg, makes for crispy comfort food. A Malaysian curry bowl with river sole and sticky rice makes us write a historical novel about sea-faring Tamilians taking sambar to South East Asia between one bite and the next. #bpbBrine?
We skip dessert to take a constitutional around the block, filled with the cupcake fluorescence of Dimcha’s new neighbours, including the raucous new Social at the end of the hall. The wrap music of that dim sum keeps us looking over our shoulder. We’ll be stepping off at this metro station again soon.
Getting there: Dim Cha, Upper Ground Floor, Epicuria Food Mall, Nehru Place. A meal for three with a round of drinks costs Rs 5,000.
Accessibility: Ground-to-first floor escalator access, plus metro elevators. Bathrooms are located elsewhere on the floor, but are clean and spacious.
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