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Nov 10, 2007 07:35 PM

Review: Dimple (the "interim Vatan")

Dimple, at 30th and 5th, is an Indian restauran that recently changed management, and is now owned by the same folks who own Vatan, which is currently being renovated. I've never been to Vatan.

Dimple currently has Vatan's menu and its style -- the menu is solely prix-fixe and served in courses, but you can have unlimited helpings of any disk in any of the courses. Dimple has wonderful, authentic food, and it's often food that you will not find easily in other Indian restaurants.

Dimple has a generous, open ambience with bamboo pillars inset into the walls. The servers are all dressed in traditional Indian saris and similar dress, and even the plates are authentic stainless steel, with metal jugs for water.

The food was superb. In particular, I really enjoyed the small lentil balls and the fried potato balls served as appetizers. For the main course, everything from the spinach-and-corn to the puffy fried bread was tasty, and had a fresh, homemade feel. Particularly unusual were a yellow risotto-ish stuff, called kichidi and accompanying coconut soup, which were delicious. As someone who has been to India several times, I can testify to the authenticity of the food. The mango kulfi (a dense indian ice cream) was very well-done, aromatic and rich, and the masala chai was a nice finish to the meal.

All in all, a bargain at $24.95/person, and certainly some of the best Indian food in the city.

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  1. I love vatan, but I sure do miss the old Dimple. They had some of the best Gujarati food in the city. And I loved getting there samosas and chai for a snack, a bargain at $3.

    Will go by tomorrow to check out the lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aram

      totally agree, i think vatan is great, but man i really liked the chaat at dimple the dahi puri was great

    2. planning to go there tomorrow night; anyone else have recent reports? I know the food is veg; but is it considered healthy?

      1. Has anyone tried Gaam, which is also owned by the Vatan people? Vatan's website redirects people there. If you've tried it, how is it? I can't find a review anywhere. And how is the atmosphere?

        Many thanks...

        1. People are going to be confused if you don't say plainly that what was dimple is now Gaam.

          I was in there a week ago and it seemed clear that they are sticking with the name Gaam, as in the listing below.

          4 Replies
          1. re: livegandude

            I'm sort of a newbie to Indian food, but I'm looking for a vegetarian, healthy dinner one night (to offset my wild carnivorous orgies for other meals). I had considered Tabla, but right now (think) I have decided on Pure Food & Wine.

            I like the idea of an Indian tasting menu because I don't have to "know" what to order. I love different spices, and often cook at home using all the c's (cumin, coriander, cardamom) as well as lots of curries. My few experiences with Indian have been unsatisfying because I've either ordered tandoori or other "safe" things, or once was a very cheap buffet where the food was not kept at the right temperature and I got very sick.

            So, I guess what I'm ruminating about is that this Gaam place sounds great - would you go there (if you were me) instead of Pure (or even Tabla). I'll be alone so the "sharing" concept of the Bread Bar wouldn't work.

            1. re: Eujeanie

              Check out Saravanaas on Lexington. It's South Indian, but totally vegetarian, and they serve some of the best Indian food in the city.

              1. re: Eujeanie

                There are a lot of good indian places with veg options. In Manhattan I have been to and like: Madras Cafe, Tiffin Walla, Chennai Gardens, Saravanaas, Sukhadia India Pavilion (on 45th), Minar, Chola.

                1. re: Eujeanie

                  heard to say that a lot of the south asian places would be exactly healthy, but at least its vegetarian. gaam is nice since its a course-by-course AYCE, I've had a pretty fancy and refined meal at tamarind which I enjoyed tho.

              2. I visit NYC a few times a year usually and had eaten at Dimple twice over the last few years and loved it. I had seeked it out because I loved the chaat I used to eat in the Bay Area that doesn't exist where I live now. So, with Dimple having changed hands, are there any good chaat places I can try on my next visit in September?
                Thanks for any recs!