On the second floor of the rather nondescript Nassima Royal Hotel is Tresind. The highly lauded Dubai restaurant known for their Indian molecular gastronomy… The restaurant with an elusive 4.9 rating on Zomato (out of a whopping 800 reviews)… The restaurant that makes foodies coo…
This restaurant has been in Dubai for 1.5 years – so if you love your food and you’ve never been to Tresind, shame on you!
At Tresind, you don’t just dine, you experience. With each and every one of your senses. From the urn placed at your table to welcome you with a fruity scent, to the scientific explanations and live demonstrations, to the food art and presentation. And the best part – every single dish was superb.
This is not a place to rush your meal. We enjoyed our lunch over a leisurely 4 hours, enjoying the pomp and circumstance.
The menu is organised by category. You can navigate to the meat section, the poultry section, the mushroom section, the grains and legumes section. But, if, like me, you still never know what to order at an Indian restaurant, I highly recommend the Chef’s Tasting Menu at AED 365++ for meat eaters or AED 350++ for the veg option.
If you really want to be wowed, start your meal with a Lava Lamp. It’s in the section of the menu called The Science Lab, which says it all. They put some dry ice into a giant beaker in front of you, then pour liquids on top that smoke and bubble. Then a few berries to complete the effect. You can choose from yellow, pink or blue.
Tresind is fundamentally an Indian restaurant but they incorporate fusion so well. This starter comprises the typical soft Indian bun (pav) in this case flavoured with zaatar. Alongside they serve it with an Indian-spiced hummous and olives.
Another well-known dish at Tresind is the Deconstructed Pani Puri. They wheel another scientific-looking trolley over to your table with basins of liquid, then demonstrate how the sodium alginate solution turns the pani puri water into a sphere of liquid coated in a thin gelatinous membrane.
One of my favourite dishes was the artistic Modernist Chaat Trolley. Another trolley is wheeled to your table and before you know it, the server is painting the platter with strips of chutneys, yogurts and sauces, before tossing several bits on top, then taking a liquid nitrogen-frozen piece of dhokla sponge cake and shattering it, then rehydrating it. The result is a gorgeous mess of sweet and savoury, soft and crunchy, tangy taste and combination of textures that will blow you away.
One of the new dishes on the summer menu was this chicken served in a molcajete – pieces of boneless fried chicken in a coriander and green peppercorn sauce. (I’m partial to anything served in a molcajete.)
In between courses, we got a nimbu pani sorbet palate cleanser. Nice to meet you.
Another one of my favourite dishes was the Indo-Chinese fusion duck rolls. They serve a spicy duck mixture with a side of cucumbers, some green chutney, and rounds of roomali roti which are daintily folded and pinned to a mini clothesline.
You roll the rolls yourself with as much filling as you please. The roomali roti tasted very similar to the normal Peking duck pancakes, but the duck itself was more strongly flavoured. I’d never have thought to put mint chutney on my Peking duck rolls, but in this Indo-Chinese version, it totally works.
I also loved the lamb shank biryani. Not only does it look gorgeous, but the lamb fell off the bone and melted in your mouth.
The desserts we tried were all quite Indian in flavour, such as this condensed milk foam with sohn papdi and gold dust. Though having said that, sohn papdi – a flaky floss that melts in your mouth – is one of my favourite Indian desserts.
Mr. S loved this pistachio ice cream with crunchy baklava bits.
Executive Chef, Himanshu Saini is a super-talented, super-creative and really young guy (ahem, 28 years old). The grand finale is a kitschy magical mystery bus full of fake flowers and paan-flavoured candy floss.
Current offers at Tresind include:
– 4-course lunch set menu starting from AED 145++ on weekdays, 12pm to 3:30pm
– Happy hour from 6:30pm to 8pm every day at Tresind Lounge
– 9-course signature Chef’s Tasting Menu at AED 350++ (veg), AED 365++ (non veg) for lunch and dinner, everyday
Verdict: Everyone I’ve recommended Tresind to has loved it. Every single thing about this place is AMAZING. If you like Indian food and haven’t been, go. If you’ve eaten there before, they’ve just launched their summer menu, so go again.
Note to self: The Tresind team will be opening a new postmodern Indian, Carnival by Tresind, in DIFC later this year. Watch this space.
Nassima Royal Hotel
Sheikh Zayed Road
Tel: 04 308 0440 or 056 420 9754
Chow for now!