Can someone please bring Chef Himanshu Saini on Netflix’s Chef’s Table already? This guy is a genius, and I want to be able to say I called it first when he wins awards and accolades in the international arena. Three times a year, he coughs up a completely new and infallibly exciting menu like it’s no big deal, and never, ever ceases to impress. Carnival by Tresind Season 2 lived up to all my expectations, and more.
Barring the ridiculous show of bubbles being blown in my face for a staged “carnival” feel (which should have died in the Pilot episode), I loved everything about Season 2. For a recap of Season 1, please click here. Done? Ok great, now we can move on to the newer, equally (if not more) exciting stuff!
Carnival by Tresind Season 2 is all about the Indian suburbs, and the dishes that are very common and very loved in those suburbs, but not-so-famous internationally. This sounded like my kind of jam, because I’m a huge anti butter chicken advocate. Don’t get me wrong, butter chicken is ok, but it’s not the center of Indian cuisine.
Here’s what we had:
The meal started on a high note with this Pro Breast Cancer Awareness pink pani puri. I could have just had an entire bowl of this and come home happy. It was served with a warm mint chutney sandwich on the side. I definitely liked this a lot more than the “Makhan Plah” amuse bouche of Season 1.
Dahi vada prepared table-side, with the mandatory liquid nitrogen used to freeze the sweet yogurt to a crisp. The pomegranate jewels added a wonderful sweet and tart crunch, and this was an excellent, excellent bowl of dahi vada that we wiped clean.
The “Into The Wild” course: a staged performance of how food is expected to be prepared in the wild. Strips of wagyu and prawns were grilled on a heated slab of Himalayan salt, and then doused in chili oil. To say this was sublimely delicious and I could have had a plateful of these would be an understatement.
Would you look at that herby chili oil? Ded.
The Dragon Chicken. This was clearly an Indian take on “Chinese” food, and while it felt disjointed from the rest of the meal, it was delicious in it’s sweet tanginess. I loved the seasoning on the cucumber which I could swear tasted like chicken bouillon powder or perhaps the contents of the spice sachet in a pack of instant noodles.
This was a very sophisticated and beautifully presented take on the lamb kebab from a place in New Delhi called Wengers, which is supposedly very famous down there.I could have just spent 15 minutes admiring the beauty in it’s presentation. I’m not a fan of lamb so M devoured mine as well as his.
I loved the palate cleanser, which was a sugary strawberry this time.
This made my inner paindoo very happy. Mustard greens, served with cornmeal roti, Indian pickles, jaggery sauce, freshly churned butter and lassi. This was an unbelievable treat and I couldn’t believe how soft the roti was. The fact that we can find dishes as authentic and true-to-it’s-roots as this in a fine dining restaurant in Dubai leaves me speechless.
This luscious, velvety, smooth “Homestyle” chicken curry was the real deal. A rich, deep curry with layers upon layers of well-rounded flavors is no easy feat. Although this is allegedly food from the Indian suburbs, this dish tasted exactly like the chicken curry I’ve had in many a Pakistani homes. This was so good I could cry.
Another delicious and elaborate curry, however this Prawn Shack Curry is indigenous to Goa. We soaked this luscious prawn curry up in fluffy rice cakes and enjoyed every bite.
But of course, some liquid nitrogen tableside entertainment had to take place for this meal to stay true to the Tresind charm, and while I was wary of having (what I thought would be) plain ol’ icecream for dessert, this icecream made with fresh and reduced raspberries was extremely delicious!
The meal ended with this crispy sesame seed brittle, which I enjoyed crushing into my ice cream!
Another phenomenal performance at Carnival by Tresind Season 2. I’m already looking forward to Season 3!