BOWLED. That was my state of my mind after the first 15 minutes. I had not seen anything quite like it, and I couldn’t stop marveling at it. At the creativity that resulted in downright crazy concoctions. At the mysterious symphony of unrelated ingredients. At the visually pleasing presentation techniques utilized. I was bowled over by the sheer genius of it all. Himanshu Saini, you little whiz kid, you.
Himanshu Saini is the mastermind behind the menu design of Masala Library, Farzi Café and the mantel piece of this blogpost, TresInd Dubai. FoodKissed was invited to review the summer menu of TresInd, located in Nassima Royal Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, and the event led to a gastronomically converting experience for Mrs & Mr FoodKissed.
Let me dive in.
Modernist Chaat Trolley
A trolley gets parked near your table, the Chef starts throwing, splashing & plucking, liquid nitrogen starts swirling around, and voila – on a parchment paper, you have the kind of art that you can proudly hang on your living room wall. You begin contemplating if it’s Chaat or Art, and for good reason. This is molecular gastronomy done right. This is modernist of the finest order. This is deliciousness created on a canvas. This, is a MUST TRY from the menu.
Deconstructed Pani Puri
Ever heard of a deconstructed pani puri? I know it sounds absurd. A snack that already comes as a pick and mix of 4 or 5 ingredients…how does one deconstruct something as deconstructed as that? TresInd asks and TresInd answers – using the magic of sodium algenate solution of course.
The green “pani” of the pani puri (made of chilly, coriander and fresh mint) is spooned into the sodium algenate solution to form little wobbly spheres. These are scooped up, topped with the tamarind chutney and a sprinkle of yellow boondis. The chef directs you to dip the whole spoon into your mouth and what happens next is pure, unadulterated culinary fun. The green sphere bursts open splashing the refreshing coriander and mint into your mouth, with the sweet tanginess of tamarind sauce enveloping it. The boondis crunch is just the errrmm…cherry on the cake?
Zatar Pao with Pindi Channa Hummus
Zatar flavored pao was served with pindi channa hummus, pickled olives and sun dried tomatoes. This is supposedly one of their bests, but to my palette, it didn’t shine bright amidst all the other exceptional items on the menu. The palette thoroughly appreciated the sun-dried tomatoes though!
Wild Mushroom Chai
Of all the things that were ever done with mushrooms, who would have thought of making “chai” with it?! Chef Himanshu did, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I get pretty excited over anything to do with mushrooms and when paired with the scent of truffle on them, I tend to go bonkers. Wild mushroom chai, made up of dehydrated mushrooms, truffle milk powder and mushroom stock poured over, was a thoroughly enjoyable hot drink for me. The aroma is heady and strong with the powerful pairing of mushroom stock and truffle. Go for it if you can handle it. Rather, if you can handle it, definitely go for it!
Chicken Tikka Carpaccio, Litchi and Tarragon, applewood smoke.
One of the most interestingly served dishes and I’ll tell you why – slivers of chicken tikka is mixed with sweet litchi and tarragon and laid atop a layer of cling foil covering a bowl. At first I didn’t think much of it.….until our server came about to poke holes liberally on the cling film. That’s when he explained that trapped under the cling, inside the bowl, is delicate applewood smoke that will slowly and surely start mingling and meddling with the chicken salad on top, giving it a fabulous smoky flavor. If that’s not genius enough for you, I don’t know what is!
Tandoori Lamb Chops, rosemary reduction, ghee roast potatoes.
All I’ll tell you about this dish is that it was coated with a delicious marinade, grilled in a tandoor with an addicting rosemary reduction and served with ghee-roasted potatoes – which in my opinion, is one very fine way of roasting potatoes!
Goan Chicken Cafreal, fresh green peppercorn.
My absolute FAVORITE! A love at first sight case, what with the green colored semi-dry chicken turning up in a stone mortar! The chicken pieces come coated in a splendid mix of coriander and bell pepper and is served on a traditional Mexican mocajete (the Mexican version of mortar and pestle). A MUST try if you like the feel of a zillion flavors tingling your taste buds. A MUST try if you appreciate the play of peppercorns in your gravy. A MUST try if you prefer to dive deep into a well marinated, well prepared dish that sings of a coastal state’s very best.
Sea bass recheado, Korean ssam sauce, hot pan vegetables.
This one is a hotch potch dish prepared right next to your table, in one of TresInd’s fascinating trolleys. A bit of that spice and a bit of this spice – all gets mixed with some greens and more to form a relishing sea bass dish. Fresh vegetables are stir fried on a hot pan beside your table and served immediately – making sure those will be the crunchiest, most delicious tasting sautéed vegetables you have eaten in a long long time.
Full blooded Blackmore Wagyu 5 oz, pickles of India.
Now that’s a pairing I probably would have laughed at before now. But when it came served to me on a fine platter, the combination possibility stunned me. Fine slices of decadent wagyu meat, prepared in a garlic and beef bone reduction lay atop a vegetable mélange and came aided by 4 different mouth watering pickles. The vegetable mélange took me on a trip to South India in the very first spoonful. The pickles are quite wonderfully strong, so I don’t know how much it complemented the wagyu. Who knows, maybe you would rather enjoy it as on the side like I did!
Guess what? The summer menu doesn’t end with the food dishes. It transcends to the cocktails and mocktails too, oh so beautifully.
Scottish on the rose.
A lovely looking drink served in a quaint presentation style. The muddle is that of coriander and cucumber with Hendricks gin, served with rose petals and a refreshing zing of lemonade.
TresInd brought the freshness and fruitiness of the Indian summer in a glass and how! A gin based drink was made of fresh pomegranate and lemon, squeezed right in front of your eyes, and served with a generous layering of chaat masala on the glass rim. Spicy sweetness was never done better!
This drink was rather stern looking. I mean, look at this native American’s face! The cinnamon stick next to his head is ignited, giving the drink a brilliant cinnamon aroma with every swirl and sip. This tiki cocktail is made with Ron Zacapa, mixed fruit juice, burnt cinnamon, honey and cream.
The Pirate brought in the smoke and suave of dry ice. A special from the Tresind tiki bar, this rum based concoction is topped with tropical mixed fruit juice and homemade nutmeg demerara syrup. The Pirate and the Pinole made a cute couple, if you ask me.
The TresInd lava lamp was wow-ing to look at, and even more wow-ing to sip on. A long tube carries passionfruit as base, with different colorful fruits and berries popped in and with the final touch of dry ice making it a gurgling, spitting, untamed drink that you can’t wait to lay your hands on!
The finale – TresInd desserts.
While I have heard frenzied stories of the famed deconstructed black forest cake, I was there to try the summer specials, and hence found myself staring at a gorgeous looking Daulat Ki Chaat.
The Daulat Ki Chaat is served with sohn papdi crumble and…wait for it…24 carat gold dust. (duh). This is by far the fluffiest, airiest little dessert I’ve eaten. When I say I had a tough time bringing myself to lay the spoon down, I’m NOT exaggerating. The sohn papdi is so feathery brilliant, making this a killer of a dessert.
Shredded baklava, orange blossom honey, pistachio soft serve.
While the presentation was beautiful, this dessert somehow didn’t impress me. I do not know if it was the pistachio icecream (not a great fan of pistachio flavor), or if it’s the shredded baklava, or the combination of it all, I stuck to the Daulat ki chaat and stayed a happy person.
Paan Cotton Candy
The prettiest finale to a fantabulous evening. If you hail from the northern states of India, you would be used to the mandatory paan that is chewed on at the end of your meals. This practice is taken to heart by TresInd when they serve you with a paan flavored cotton candy tree on the house. The tree comes in a super cute miniature of a van laden with white flowers and little lights.
This has got to be one of the longest posts I’ve written. In my defense, there are a lot of dishes I needed to cover and simple one-liners would never have done justice to the magnificence in flavors, presentation and creativity that has gone to bring them to my table. If I had a hat, I would have raised it to the prowess of Chef Himanshu.
FoodKissed was invited to the summer menu tasting at TresInd. Having said that, FoodKissed is going to return to this joint with family to treat them to some wonderful food. TresInd comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Offers at Tresind4 course Lunch Set Menu starting AED 145++ on weekdays, 12-3:30pmLadies Night, every Wednesday, 8-11 pm, at Tresind Lounge. 3 free drinks and 15% discount on bar snacks for all ladiesHappy Hours 6:30-8pm, every day at Tresind Lounge6 course, Ladies who Lunch menu, at 120++ for large groups of ladies, from Sunday-Wednesday.9 course, signature Chef’s Tasting Menu- 350++ (veg), 365++ non veg, for lunch and dinner, everydayFor reservations, call 043080440 and 0564209754