Vivid and white! Starters such as these at @tresinddubai #lunchmenu tasting. 😍 #foodkissed

A photo posted by Neenu Sajin (@neenu_foodkissed) on

There is an ulterior benefit in taking my 3 year old to tastings with me. She calls me by my name (I think she actually believes Neenu MEANS “mom” in her displaced toddler-lingo), and going by her usual high-pitched 35 Neenus/hour rate, I could turn out to be quite popular by the end of the meal. The effect is as striking as scribbling an offensively large “NEENU-WAS-HERE” message on the dining table. Either that, or she acts super cute to leave a good impression with the love-struck staff. Things could pretty much swing both ways.

Luckily for the family, she was in one of her bests last weekend and the staff at TresInd seemed to be quite unperturbed by the looming inquisitiveness of the little girl. The “what’s that?!” questions never seemed to stop, but they were only happy to comply and explain in broken down phrases, the intricacies of molecular gastronomy! In the end, Mehreen was content to settle down with the boondis, while we could proceed to try and explore the lunch menu offerings of the modernist Indian restaurant.

Winter is Coming…

At Tresind, everything starts with their auspicious trolleys. One such trolley brought to our table the starter – deconstructed pani puri. The server was a lady with wondrous amounts of patience, who catered to the ceaseless questions of my daughter. I was so busy feeling unnecessarily embarrassed that I missed the technical explanation on how the green spheres of the pani puri takes shape. With a dollop of tamarind on top and some boondis to go with it, the zing was achieved and a good start to the meal was made!

Zatar Pao with pindi channa hummus, pickled olives and sun dried tomatoes.

I don’t see how things could possibly go wrong here, as long as pickled olives and sun dried tomatoes play a part. A tangy mix of elements, ground to a paste in the mortar for us to dip the pao (bread) in and munch on. All good here, folks.

Baked burrata salad, coriander pesto, tomato shorba essence. (AED 105)

Burrata lovers are going to flip over this one. Creamy burrata is smothered with a brilliant coriander pesto that lavishly Indianizes the dish, together with a fresh salad in a refreshing tomato dressing.

Roasted babycorn ‘bhutta’, lemon butter sauce, peri peri chaat masala. (AED 100)

Well. I’m neutral to this dish. The babycorns are roasted on coal next to your table, plated with generous spoonfuls of rich lemon butter sauce with some peri peri chaat masala on the side. Together, it’s a tasty item, but for AED 100, I have my doubts if it’s much to go by.

Murgh zamin doz – dum cooked chicken, whole wheat salad. (AED 150)

Here is a dish I feel, has undergone relatively the least transformation/ modernization and oddly enough, it is my absolute favorite from the menu tasting! I don’t mean to obliterate the other fusion creations, but the chicken was in a marinade that was perfection in every sense of the word. The meat was soft and cooked to seduce. Potato puree was piped onto the plate, over which the chicken was placed and later garnished with some greens. The spice levels is debatable – if you have zero affinity to spices, the potato mash helps to tone things down. For me, this was a 10/10.

Butter poached prawns, pickled masala, pimento peppers. (AED 140)

This would taste sublime and clear on a FRESH palate. It did to mine. But then I dived into the Murgh zamin doz, splashed around that flavorful marinade for a while, and then made my way back to the butter poached prawns. Things seemed different at the second bite – the spark no longer prevailed. Amid the invasion of the dum cooked chicken, the lightly flavored prawns stood no chance. So unless you don’t order these two dishes together, you might, by all possibilities, enjoy the lightly buttered flavors of the prawns.

Lotus stem kebab chops and green chili chutney. (AED 110)

I’m not a vegetarian, and for that reason I would have rather preferred actual meat on those mock stems. But that’s just me! I would leave this dish to be judged better by someone who enjoys vegetarian dishes. The FoodKissers anyway, weren’t too pleased with it. The predominating ginger-garlic taste might have had something to do with it.

Banarasi aloo papad, white pea guacamole ‘ragda pattice’. (AED 90)

The aloo papad was crispy and had a unique taste to it, which I can brand as appealing. White pea guacamole screamed healthy and I’m sure would be a great dish light on the stomach. If you prefer vegetarian, then this could be one of those items you can go ahead with.

Sea bass patra poda, curry leaf chutney, banana chips. (AED 125)

Ladies & gentlemen, drum rolls to the winner announcement! This was a splendid dish in terms of presentation and flavors. If you have Indian blood coursing down your veins, you are bound to fall in love with patra poda! The banana leaf is cut open to reveal a masala bathed sea bass, showing off a dangerous red color. But I dare ask you to put your guard down – as this masala is more tangy than spicy. The aroma of curry leaf envelops the fish and the flakes come perfectly scooped to savor your senses. I LOVED THIS! Banana chips are kind of meh though.

ENTER **palette cleanser – Lemon sorbet with peda crumbles** (Slurped away in under 2 minutes). 

Pressure cooked chicken stew, roast potato and carrot. (AED 135)

I was in for a shock. Up until now, I was trying out starters. Which meant I was too stuffed to try just about ONE main course. Can you believe that?! An embarrassing moment for a food blogger, if you ask me!

The pressure cooked chicken stew came to our table in a …well, a pressure cooker. The portion size was big and after trying out the fabulous stew on its own, I had to request the rest to be packed in order to avoid wastage. This would be a kicker of a meal with steaming hot rice!

Ghee roast kataifi pastry, dulce panna cotta, saffron gel ‘sheer korma’. (AED 75)
Traditional jalebi per 100gm (AED 50)
Cheeni ka paratha, salted caramel, scrambled milk. (AED 70)
Ghevar mille feuille, pistachio mousse, rose sorbet. (AED 80)

The only Indian desserts I used to be familiar with were Payasam and Jalebi. Back then, I used to lust over cakes & soufflés. It is when I stepped into restaurants like Tresind, that the world of Indian desserts opened before me.

Presentation wise, Tresind desserts can win any heart, hands down. The kind of detail that has gone into picking the plates to the thought behind that light dusting of gold – things have been carried out rather meticulously. As for me, I enjoyed the Ghevar mille feuille which was very light on sweetness, with that contrasting kick to the pistachio given by fresh raspberries.

Cheeni ka paratha was delicious richness, and you just have to feel guilty for all the calories, but happily carry on with the spoonfuls anyway. Too bad I was too full to properly wipe the plate clean.

The ghee roast kataifi was relatively bland, what with stiff competition from all other desserts. This just did not strike a chord with me. As for the Jalebi, that’s one sweet too difficult to get wrong. And I loved the dramatic presentation displayed – probably a lot of noise for something as simple as jalebis, but hey – why don’t we just let these guys do their thing in style?!

All right then, so that was our Tresind lunch. Not quite your average meal, you would agree. Service was and has always been upto satisfaction. Suresh could be your man, he definitely was ours. The rates are above average, so it only makes sense for you to expect similar quality in the food and ambience as well. If you are not enticed enough to shell out big bucks, they have unveiled a deal breaker of a lunch set menu for AED 99, where you can try out 3 of their welcome numbers (like the deconstructed pani puri, zatar pao, wild mushroom chai), unlimited starters from the menu, 3 main courses and 2 desserts. A knocker of a lunch deal, if you ask me!


Tresind is located in Level 2 of Nassima Royal Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. Reservations taken at 04 4489523.

Tresind - Nassima Royal Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato