by Mibu Minami
Encased in a warehouse compound, Dhan Mill Compound has been the Delhi chic crowd’s go-to hangout for chic cafes, restaurants, art studios and fashion boutiques. Perhaps a little “off the map” from trendy areas like Hauz Khas or Shahpur Jat, it’s located in the vicinity of Chattarpur, hidden behind blue gates that only open when you (or your driver) honk the car horn. Once inside, you will notice the remnant shadow of the past warehousing plot which has been revived into a chic creative mini village, or better to call it a chic “villaaaage”.
Pre-Covid days my family and I often did Sunday brunch here and we even took our dog to the spacious pet-friendly Café Dori. Since lockdown, it seems the compound had to make adjustments according to Government regulations, yet it still maintains its cool chic vibe and top-notch gourmet restaurants and cafés. Here are a few that we recommend:
Café Dori/ Nappa Dori Showroom
As you can tell by the name, the café is an extension of design brand Nappa Dori. Great coffee and a variety of delicious European influenced dishes. Recommend trying the Croiwaffles (Croissants + Waffles) or any of their exciting breakfast menus. The café is very spacious as it used to be a warehouse, somewhat reassuring during Covid-times. Pet friendly with dog menu as well.
Silly Souls Café
If you are missing good Asian food, this is the place to go. Spicy Green Papaya Salad, Dim Sums, Ramen and juicy Pork Ribs, the menus are impressive, and taste surely delivers. They provide dice and chips at the table so you can play on the game-designed placemats while you wait for your food, a nice touch! And no wonder, the café is connected to the shop “Say It with A Pin”, a collection of pins created by a group of talented young artists and creators of India.
Say it with a Pin: https://sayitwithapin.com/
Café Quick Brown Fox
Specialty coffee roaster from Delhi. Go for the coffee… and their yummy desserts too!
Simple, sleek contemporary furniture brand SPIN. Not the typical style of design you find in most furniture stores in Delhi. If the usual furniture store products a bit “over the top” for you, or if you’re looking to add a touch of Nordic inspired modern furniture to your home, this may be the place for you. The very spacious showroom showcases SPIN’s designs in a variety of settings. Wonderful to see and be inspired by.
Colocal “Chocolate Factory and Café”
Just reading the name of the café-restaurant is enough to get any chocolate lovers’ attention. Recently opened inside Dhan Mill compound, this Bean to Bar chocolate factory and café sources the cacao from Tamil Nadu and Kerala and produce a variety of chocolates in house.. an actual chocolate factory!
The venue is spacious with a tropical lux décor and the menu has a range of European-American dishes to choose from; pastas, pizzas and burgers too! But you can’t miss the wonderful selection of hot and cold chocolate, chocolate blend coffees and desserts.
There is a roof terrace, great for the coming months and it is pet friendly too.
I love to just wander in this peaceful studio after a brunch at one of the cafes inside the compound. Graphic artist Aman Khanna’s studio and store, his signature sculpture figures decorate the high wall within giving off a fun yet Zen vibe. You will also find other contemporary ceramic pieces ranging from cups, bowel, planters, diffuser pots and more. You can peek into the studio in the back where the artist creates his magic too.
For more on outlets/studios and boutiques inside Dhan Mill Compound, check their website: www.thedhanmill.com