Verdict: All day Indo-Asian diner. Stick to the Asian, skip the Indian. Their chocolate fried ice-cream is a must have.
Table for two: Rs 1000-1200
Address: ABC Farms, Mundhwa Road, Koregaon park
Close to a year old now, Arc Asia is owned by Neel Shah who is also the force behind Curve. It’s dimly lit and spacious and makes for a good dine out option, if only they muted the electronic dancing music which completely ruins the ambiance. You’d want to miss Mondays and Tuesdays at Arc Asia due to the small private parties they host. On the weekends, the place is more lively.
As for their menu, they’ve played safe by incorporating the Indian fare alongside other popular Asian cuisine but it works well when you have that one person in the group who prefers to stick his “dal-roti” even while dining out.
To begin with we had the Yaki-tori – cubes of chicken put on skewers and interlaced with leeks. We’d suggest you pour the soya-teriyaki sauce that comes along with it over the skewer and bite into it along with the leeks because this is one’s a delight only if you eat it right. The Prawn Tempura is done just right and served with a tomato, Sichuan pepper and sesame oil dip. If you happen to order this one, smear it with a generous amount of dip. Although it’s off their menu, we’d suggest you ask for the Fish n Sticks which is minced prawns flavoured with lemon grass and it put on to a sugar cane stick. Since they didn’t have sugar cane sticks, they used lemon grass instead.
As for the main course, their most popular dish is the Chicken Green Curry and we’re not surprised why. If you don’t like to experiment, this is your best bet. However, we’d suggest you go beyond, try something new. The Bib Im Bab which also happens to be the owners favourite is rice, sprouts, mushroom, sautéed spinach served in a sizzler bowl with an egg drop in the center. So as soon as it comes to your table, ask the waiter to mix it up and eat it while it’s hot. The flavour of the egg surprisingly doesn’t overpower the rest of the ingredients; it’s smooth and in fact quite light on the palate.
If you’re craving for some seafood then we’d suggest you go for the Pla Rad Prik which is a sweet and spicy fish delicacy. The Vietnamese Basa fish fillet goes well with the tamarind, chilli and palm sugar sauce and can be combined with noodles or rice.
If you’re planning to have Indian, don’t expect to be bowled over by their offering; it’s nothing exceptional. We’d recommend their Murg Ajwaini Masala. Even before we could dig into the Haleem, Neel confessed that their haleem is in fact dalcha. So, why’s it still called haleem in the first place? Well, sometimes owners are left the mercy of the chef’s wishes. So although there are places that serve better dalcha try theirs only if you must; it’s mild, the meat’s well done.
The clear winner of the night was the dessert – the Chocolate Fried Ice-cream, Neel’s very own creation. Try it to find out how it’s different from your regular fried ice-cream. It’s crisp and chocolaty on the outside; a must have.
The best part about this place is that everything on its menu is available all day, from 12 am to 12 pm. So the next time you’re wondering where you could possibly grab a late lunch, you know where to go.