Tresind – Nassima Royal, Dubai

Tresind – the restaurant voted Dubai’s best by Zomato users, yet it somehow still feels like Dubai’s best kept secret. Quite the contradiction, and that’s exactly what Tresind is about. Contradiction, confusion and a great sense of fun resonates through their offering. From crazy cocktails to chaat art, Tresind is doing a good job of stepping outside the Dubai norm and offering diners something memorable (not to mention Instagrammable).

We intended on trying dishes from Tresind’s newly launched summer menu, but before we took on that task there are certain dishes that are just must-dos at Tresind, and it would be sacrilege to kick off the meal in any other way. First up is their signature amuse bouche, the pani puri sphere. An Indian take on Chef Adria’s famous Liquid Olive, this one takes the flavours of the traditional pani puri and transforms them into a more modern experience. A dark green sphere bursts in your mouth with a rush of intense flavour, accompanied by some added crunch and tamarind gel to round out the mouthful. Always a delight – I think I could eat a plateful.

The second must-do is one of my favourite dishes in Dubai – the modernist chaat trolley. It’s chaat, it’s art, it’s chaart. Make sure you have your camera at the ready as this culinary masterpiece is whipped up before your eyes next to your table. Swirls and splashes of sauces, frozen elements and a touch of crazy make for a fun experience that tastes even better than it looks. The flavours are bang on and this is the dish that I crave time and time again.

It seems it’s not only the menu getting a refresh for the new season, there’s an extensive range of spectacular cocktails that have been created to get you through the scorching summer months. These new creations are really giving the food a run for its money in terms of most memorable moments! The same sense of fun is prevalent throughout our cocktail journey, but not coming at the expense of flavour thankfully. There were so many imaginative creations that tasted divine it’s hard to narrow it down to a favourite – my recommendation would be talk to the mixologist about what flavours you like and let them guide you.

I kicked off proceedings with the ‘Indian Summer’ – a gin based mix featuring fresh pomegranate, lemon juice, chaat masala and citrus air. Definitely refreshing with a kick of spice, it’s a very appropriate way to start our adventure. 

My favourite of the night might have been the ‘Caribbean Pirate’, served up in a Mr-T style mug – I called him ‘lil’ dude’. The contents of his head contained a rum concoction from the Tresind tiki bar, topped with tropical mixed fruit juice and homemade nutmeg demerara syrup.  He wasn’t without his own touch of theatre for added mystique.

The unique hanging display of ‘Scottish on the Rose’ was a clean, smooth and refreshing drop that was a great pairing for the spicy food. The unique cooling taste of coriander and cucumber with Hendricks gin, served with rose petals and lemonade was a winner – I’d love to sip this one on the beach somewhere hot! But it worked just as well alongside the heat of the food at our window-side table.

One creation that certainly stands out is the Lava Lamp. Perhaps a little weaker in flavour than it’s cocktail compatriots, it made up for it in sheer spectacle. You’ve just got to have a little patience as you wait for it to stop bubbling away so you can drink it (dry ice and your oesophagus do NOT mix).

imageOk that’s enough of a cocktail tiki tour, let’s get back to the food!

BOMBAY KATCHUMBER CREAM
olive crumble, lettuce leaves salad

Our next dish was a light hearted take on what is apparently a traditional salad, presented veggies-in-a-flower-pot style. Very fresh with plenty of raw vege components, the avocado/cucumber mousse style dish really benefitted from the pops of crunch revealed as you dug deeper down into the pot. The serving probably didn’t need to be so large however, I think a smaller taste would have been more enjoyable and more than enough.

TANDOORI LAMB CHOPS
rosemary reduction, ghee roast potatoes 

Our next dish was, to be honest, pretty tame by Tresind standards and fell into the more traditional realm of Indian dining. The rosemary was an interesting touch though and it was certainly tasty and tender – it’s sure to please the lamb fans at the table. Lamb is a meat Tresind certainly knows how to handle.

CHICKEN TIKKA CARPACCIO
lychee and tarragon, applewood smoke

I think this might have been my favourite dish of the night, one that really surprised me! You’ll smell it as it arrives to the table – the sweet scent of plumes of applewood smoke emanating from the dish. The smoke is contained under perforated plastic wrap on top of which the edible portion of the dish lies, escaping in little puffs as you eat it and reveal the vents in the plastic. Loved the idea, I would have like to see it encased in a glass lid however rather than plastic wrap but the effect was great all the same. You’re given wooden tweezers with which to eat the dish, but the real magic is when you eat all of the ingredients together – a feat that’s a little hard with the utensils given. So I say dig in – pick up the crunchy crisp hidden under the leaves, load it up with the chicken and lychee and enjoy in one mouthful! That should ensure you experience the dish at full volume. This is a dish I can’t wait to eat again! There is so much more to it than meets the eye.

GOAN CHICKEN CAFREAL
fresh green peppercorn

When this dish arrives you’d be forgiven for thinking it was guacamole, the presentation resembling how the Mexican dish is served up around town – and that’s typical of the Tresind sense of humour! It’s definitely not cooling like guacamole however – it’s hot and spicy, herbaceous and succulent – this was a deliciously juicy chicken dish that really popped when accented by the pickled ginger delicately placed atop.

FULL BLOODED BLACKMORE WAGYU 5 OZ.
pickles of india

Now this is some prime meat. Cooked to absolute perfection and carved at the table, meat lovers will be well pleased with this dish. I love that they’ve chosen Blackmore Wagyu – a seriously impressive pedigree. I’ll have to say pickles aren’t my thing (sorry, I just can’t do lime pickle!!) but my dining companion enjoyed the entire offering heartily.

Before dessert commenced we were served up what was an amazing looking palate cleanser sorbet – as you can see this is (again!) fantastically quirky! Loved the presentation but taste wise, this dish was not my cup of tea – too soapy/perfume like and just a really bizarre taste. For those familiar with the Indian heritage this flavour draws on however, it might be a favourite!

DAULAT KI CHAAT, SOHN PAPDI CRUMBLE, 24 CARAT GOLD DUST

This creamy dish had a hint of coconut and was topped with real gold – pretty! It’s another that for me though falls into the domain of being more for those who consume Indian desserts on a regular basis, it’s not a flavour that I particularly enjoy.

DECONSTRUCTED BLACK FOREST CAKE

Finishing the evening was a performance dish similar in nature to the earlier chaat trolley, providing a nice bookend to the meal. This time the offering was sweet not savoury, and just as much fun as the original! Layers of chocolate, tart berries and caramel were splashed onto the canvas, with the show stopper being the ‘snow’. Cream was dipped into liquid nitrogen and when sprinkled on to the canvas, hey presto – ‘snow’! Loved this presentation and the atmospheric smoke that came with it. For me it wasn’t quite sweet enough on the whole though, the cocoa powder adding quite a hit of bitterness along with the tart berries. Absolutely loved the concept though and for those who like their dark chocolate this would be a winner.

Our espresso martinis, presented beautifully as always in glowing glass bottles wrapped in straw, were a great end to the night. One last bite was left – rose flavoured cotton candy presented on twigs atop a magical flower bus ensured the conclusion was just as whimsical and light hearted as our journey had been. I can’t wait to return and see what other crazy surprises Tresind has up it’s sleeve!

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Tresind and plenty of fab offers –
they offer a 4 course Lunch Set Menu starting AED 145++ on weekdays, 12-3:30pm, Happy Hours 6:30-8pm every day and an awesome six course, Ladies who Lunch menu, at 120++ for groups of four or more ladies, from Sunday-Wednesday.

If you’re a serious foodie, I’d recommend going for the full experience – the nine course, signature Chef’s Tasting Menu – 365++ (350 vegetarian), for lunch and dinner, everyday. Note the ‘++’: this is one of the rare venues in Dubai that markets their prices minus the 20% taxes, so bear that in mind so there are no surprises when the bill comes!

For reservations, call 043080440.

Tresind Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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