Maharashtrian street food comes to Delhi: Vada Pav

Indian street food never fails to impress. Skeeter tries to record whatever she eats and one of her street food favourite is featuring in Delhi restaurants these days. It is the mighty VADA PAV from Maharashtra. 
For the uninitiated this fuss-free snack is made using a pav(bun) from the ladi pav which is slathered with a red chilli-garlic chutney and a piping hot vada is placed in it. Something as simple as that, served with a fried green chilly tossed in salt. The accompanying green chilly is a MUST. The vada pav is incomplete without it. It is Maharashtra’s answer to all the crappy, tasteless frozen burger patties used in international chain of restaurants.
vada pav in delhi
(On the right: Vada Pav seated in an aluminum pan at Soda Bottle Opener Wala, Gurgaon)
Have the vada pav for breakfast or a meal on the go when in a hurry or as an evening snack. It is simple, tasty and not healthy but worth every bite. It used to cost something as low as Rs 5 in Maharashtra quite a few years ago. 
Skeeter bumped into old pal, the Vada Pav, one afternoon when she went for a very quick lone lunch at Dhaba by Claridges (DLF Place, Saket) and was impressed. It tasted very well but not like the one she used to eat in Maharashtra. The Dhaba Vada Pav costed a bomb (Rs 195) and came with the chef’s special chutney. They serve two Vada Pavs in one portion. So a portion of the Vada Pav plus a soft drink set Skeeter back by nearly 500 bucks, which is a lot, but for want of her favourite snack in the comfort of a mall and sitting in the hometown it was forgiven.
Next, Skeeter came across the old pal again at the swanky Cyber Hub of Gurgaon at a Parsi eatery called Soda Bottle Opener Wala(will write more about it soon). This one stunned the senses and was a winner hands down! For one, it tasted JUST LIKE the one Skeeter was used to having during her days in Maharashtra. The fried green chilli on the side, rolled in salt was perfectly done. It costed Rs 65. There was one pav as opposed to two at Dhaba by Claridges. It came seated in an aluminium pan and just that. An innovative take on plating as rivalled to all the fancy stuff we are used to these days. They did not fancy it up, nor did they provide some innovative chutney, they simply let the food do the talking. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. 
Oh and if you ever go to Maharashtra, do try the Joshi vada pav. 🙂

Dimcha joins the Delhi dimsum brigade

When Skeeter heard fab reviews from friends about a new ‘Dimsum’ outlet in GK 1, N block market, she trotted the trail and reached Dimcha (Dimsum + Yumcha=Dimcha). The place lives up to its name and has a Thai brother upstairs that goes by the name Dao. While Yauatcha may be the dimsum hotspot of the town right now, Dimcha is steadily climbing the ranks. The dimsums here are great and the fact that it starts getting busy by 8pm is but a reminder of its popularity. Skeeter has been to Dimcha only once and doesn’t really like to write about a place before she visits a place more than once, but Skeeter promises to add more to this post sooner than you think!
Dimcha gives the feel of a tea house or a Yumcha cafe where you order dimsum and tea and savour them over some invoking conversations. Here’s what Skeeter had and what one can look forward to:

The steamed Vegetable Chive dumplings (Rs 235) came first: Water chestnut, celery and chives seated in a green pastry cover and steamed to perfection. Two pearls of pomegranate topped this dimsum and gave it a rather elegant look. The food does need to look inviting for sure and it did! A delicious deal.

Next came the Vegetable Char Siu buns (Rs 255) which were steamed bun dimsums with a lip smacking filling of barbecued veggies and minced ginger. You will fall in love with this one.
The asparagus Cheung Fun (Rs 325)was a relevation. Skeeter liked it better than the ones she’s had at Yauatcha and they really stole the show. A rice noodle roll steamed to perfection with an aptly seasoned filling of asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, topped with light soy sauce. Take a bow!

Skeeter also enjoyed the Lo mai gai or the Lotus leaf parcel with sticky rice and veggies(Rs 255). Glutinous sticky rice with mock duck (which was strangely missing or too scant to be noticed), veggies and shiitake mushrooms (that lent a mock meat flavour anyway) come wrapped in a Lotus leaf. These made for a meal in itself. A Cantonese Yumcha classic, these are worth pigging, Skeeter says!

Besides, they have a range of tisanes (flower petal/herbal teas) which one can enjoy with the dimsums. Try the Rose bud (Rs 175) and the Chrysanthemum tisanes (Rs 175) and come back and thank Skeeter for the reccos! The teas are reasonably priced and make for a perfect pair with the dimsums. 
Dao
Skeeter also tried the Yam Phak Ruam Mit Krob (Rs 325) or the exotic crispy vegetable salad in a hot, sweet and sour dressing (Rs 325). The vegetables coated in a light tempura batter were fried and tossed in a tangy sauce. Another green bean salad in the most scrumptious peanut sauce was a Skeeter favourite. 
Having said all that, some things need attention. The tisanes stored in plastic jars were not pleasant to the eyes, considering they’ve spent reasonably in doing up the place. They need to invest in some nice looking jars for the tisanes. Skeeter also hopes they maintain their food quality for her to keep going back and enjoying Yumcha.