Tresind needs NO introduction. Even if you haven’t already been to what I shall hereby refer to as the BEST Indian restaurant EVER, chances are, you’ve probably heard of it. Famous for its flamboyant dishes that are a showstopper course after course, here’s what really elevates this place to unforgettable status: it’s not just the molecular gastronomy- heck no, that’s just the newest fad that every second chef is trying their hand at- but, the fact that every dish is so RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS! Yes, the presentation and thought process that went into every dish is always worthy of a standing ovation, but hey- if it didn’t taste that good, people wouldn’t keep coming back for more, especially since this is no cheap place.
I have a theory that very rarely proves to be wrong: if a restaurant is empty, there’s something wrong, whether it’s in the kitchen or with the management, but something is definitely wrong. Any such potential concern went out the window when I walked into an almost full house at Tresind on weeknight for a tasting of their summer menu, and I had a feeling that this place was going to set some standards tonight. Boy oh boy, was I right, but just how much, that I discovered course after course after course.
There’s so much to talk about, so I’ll try to be as succinct as possible in my over excitement about the items I tried from their new summer menu.
The welcome incense: This is hilarious. I was familiar with how wild the presentation is at Tresind, so when they brought out this aromatic vase thing, I thought it was one of our drinks. M facepalmed so hard and I couldn’t stop laughing for a while.
Welcome Bread: Fluffy Zaatar flavored Pav bread, with some creamy Chickpea hommus and pickled olives with sun-dried tomatoes. Best olives I’ve ever had, and the hommus has spices that just made it taste ever so wonderfully Indian.
Deconstructed Pani Puri: Prepared table-side to entertain the science nerd in us, this looks like a green, slimey ball of goop in a spoon. What it is though, is a refreshing burst of delight in your mouth, alternated with tangy tamarind and crunchy papri. It literally made me laugh out loud in joy- this was so much fun to eat!
Momentary interruption by the drinks:
Passion Fruit Lava Lamp: A refreshing blend of passion fruit, mango, blueberries, and cranberries in a show stopping affair
Berry Blast: This came…..in a birdhouse of sorts. HAHA. It was so ridiculous and unnecessary, but had our undivided attention, and now I realize, that this is how all Tresind dishes are: over the top and completely captivating! Oh, and this was a refreshing drink too. Perfect for summer and not overly sweet.
Modernist Chaat Platter: Also prepared table-side, including the liquid nitrogen freezing of the dhokla, this was a clever way to create excitement for and add value to an otherwise loved but often taken for granted dish. We asked for it to be very spicy and we couldn’t feel it at first but the spiciness built up with every bite. Extremely refreshing and also extremely expensive at AED 150! Ack!
Wild Mushroom Chai: This was like no mushroom soup I’ve ever had and was fantastic enough to get my truffle loving husband to make snow angels. This was such sheer and utter brilliance, that I had to pause and mentally applaud the chef. He took ingredients which are unconventional in India, but globally loved, and came up with a dish that perfectly paid homage to an Indian staple: Chai. This mushroom soup was assembled table top, broken down to resemble the 3 simple steps of making chai: 1. Dehydrated Shitake mushrooms were spooned into the “teacup”. 2. Then they added a spoon of truffle “milk” powder (prepared through a process called maltroduction). 3. Finally they poured in an aromatic Gucci consume. For those of you who don’t know, Gucci is a super-expensive luxury mushroom found naturally in the northern parts of Kashmir wherever lightening strikes. If this doesn’t arouse your inner foodie, nothing will.
Tandoori Lamb Chops: As I mentioned earlier, every course set a new standard. I don’t eat lamb. I don’t enjoy lamb. Or mutton. Never have. Ever. Ever. Ever. Until I had THESE lamb chops. Tender, succulent, and enriched in flavors of rosemary with a side of butter fried potatoes, these went down easy.
Botanical Garden Salad: Lettuce leaves and baby carrots were erected in a plant pot of Bombay khurchan cream, blended with kachoomar salad, that was topped with some black olive dust to resemble mud. This was a very rich and heavy salad, and I would have preferred the use of yogurt instead of cream, but once again, great idea and great presentation.
Chicken Cafreal: A Goan favorite, this spicy chicken has mint, coriander, green peppercorn, tempered curry leaves, and is served in a molcajete, because at first glance it does look deceptively like guacamole! I loved the freshness of the red onions which were also tossed in red chili and cut through the richness of the chicken. My mouth is watering just thinking back to it!
Wagyu Beef Steak: I could never have expected to have the best steak of my life in an Indian restaurant. Nor could I have imagined that the best side I’d ever have would be a South Indian zucchini poreal. But then both these things happened. Plated table-side, the steak was kept under a hot salt pouch to be kept warm while it waited to be sliced, and was paired with the most richly flavorful beef jus. The steak strips literally melted in our mouths and in my friend K’s words: this dish was phenomenal. Here’s what I wasn’t a fan of though: the 4 kinds of achaars the steak was accompanied by. I found them to overpower the gorgeous flavors of the beef, so I just completely left them aside. The zucchini poreal though were thebomb.com; I don’t think I can ever enjoy plain mashed potatoes or simple roasted veggies with steak anymore, there’s just no going back from this.
Neembu Pani sorbet palate cleanser: Infused with undetectable grapefruit juice and a sprinkling of cumin on top, this was everything you could hope for a Neembu Pani sorbet to be. It was cleverly plated inside an empty lemon half, which was then placed on a ceramic hand, to symbolize how lemons are often hand squeezed.This meal is for the child in all of us that has grown up. It takes you back to flavors and ingredients that remind you of your grandma, but they’ve been transformed and elevated to whole new levels. Brilliant.
Chili Hoisin Chicken Khurcan with Rumali Roti: This is the Indian take on Pecking duck, but the chicken version. Instead of wrapping the duck/chicken in pancakes, you spoon it onto the cutest little rotis, hanging on a tiny clothesline. I realized at that point, that the chef might be trying to make us associate a lot of the food with memories of our childhoods. Food associated with ones childhood is always heartwarming and enjoyed just that much more. Even if it’s twinkies. Almost every kid remembers their mom/nanny hanging the laundry on a clothesline. So this presentation was cute and clever, and like every other dish, and no surprise, was packed with oomph and was so, so good.
Moroccan Chickpea Stew: A commonly loved Indian staple: channa battura, given a Moroccan twist. I actually didn’t like the Moroccan touch (raisins have no business in savory dishes), but this was the best chickpea stew I’ve ever had. I couldn’t recreate the depth of flavors this had even if my life depended on it.
Finally, the dessert.
Dolat ki Chaat: 24 carat gold dust (because Dubai), surrounding a mound of reduced condensed milk that was shocking light and airy. Accompanies by some crispy pateesa, this was wiped clean within seconds!
Baklava with Pistachio Icecream: This was the only unimpressive dish of the night. We couldn’t taste the pistachio in the ice cream and the dish was dominated by the orange blossom in the baklava sugar syrup. Perhaps the server gave us a wrong description?
Paan Cotton Candy: Just as you think you’re done putting anything in your mouth for the next 10 days, a Vengabus bearing a bouquet of paan flavored cotton candy arrives in place of a mouth freshener. Nothing beats an actual paan, but this was cute.
Tresind is a top choice for places to come to if you want an entertaining dinner that is just as much sizzle as it is the steak. It is ideal for special occasions that you want for to be memorable and/or for bringing clients to on your business expense tab, but I’ll tell you this much: your Dubai dining experience will forever be incomplete until you come here at least once- and I have a feeling you’ll find it extremely hard not to keep coming back!
You can make a reservation at 043080440 and 0564209754