I have to say, in the debate of buffet vs set menu, the latter surely wins for me.
This time, I headed to Tresind for a Suhoor menu, located at Nassima Royal Hotel after a kind invite from Fasseeha. Yes, this was a first for me. I have never accepted late night invites previously and well, I’m quite open to these now…
Tresind, is a combination of a French word ‘tres’ which means very and ‘ind’ which is short for Indian. A fine dining concept with a molecular gastronomic take on modern Indian cuisine. Walk in and you can see every table has something interesting going on. Whether it’s a drink with smoke pouring out or a trolley with the same.
The Suhoor menu (also the same as Iftar), started with an amuse bouche of crudites, date candy, saffron and almond milk, meat fruit (mandarin stuffed with chicken liver pate), steamed edamame with zaatar, fruit jar and the salad of the day.
We felt the edamame was unnecessary and different from the whole concept, while the meat fruit could have been well, avoided by me. This maybe tasteful to some, but I’ve always been biased against chicken liver.
Since this was my first time at the place, I decided to do myself a favor and ordered the much raved about Chaat Trolley which was an exceptional experience. The concept is explained by the Chef at each step and the smoke here is created by the fusion of frozen dhokla and water infused with mustard seeds, chilli, and curry leaves (basically the traditional topping on dhoklas). [Not part of Iftar and Suhoor Menu]
After the fancy affair, we proceeded to the side dishes. What stood out for us were the Burnt Butter Couscous, Creamed Mushrooms (Mushrooms done in a dreamy creamy way, need we say more?), and Lamb Kofta.
Couscous is an ingredient without flavor and is quite light. The couscous pulao served at Tresind was just that. A refreshing and light snack with a crunchy texture of nuts and a citrusy flavor due to the occasional orange/lemon that we bit into.
We fancied the tiny bites of lamb kofta that were so tender, you couldn’t stop at one.
The menu moved on to its selection of the main course where the guest gets to choose a roast tajine, biryani, and curry.
The Roast Chicken and Lamb chops were brought to our table first and the delicate presentation itself was a giveaway to the taste that was about to follow. The chicken was a deconstructed version of shawarma, with pickled beetroot and roast vegetables.
By now, we were convinced of the remarkable quality of Tresind and the service that was ready to please. Then came the downfall; the biryani.
Served to us were the Tiger Prawn and Lamb Shank biryani which was too rich in flavor. I am not against a “masaaledaar” biryani, but I just felt it was very overpowering at this point of the meal.
The last course was curry with bread; Lamb Nihari and Laal Maas (prepared with venison I hear).
This is where Tresind won us back. The Lamb Nihari was fall-off-the-bone soft, if that is even a term, it’s the only way to describe it. While the Laal Maas, served with papadoms, was surprisingly tender, sans fat. (I’d like to call it a refined version of Butter Chicken).
We concluded the Suhoor with a Dulce de Leche palate cleanser and a beautifully decorated plate of some famously known Indian sweets. Although the finale dish might dull in comparison to the former courses, it is kept simple in order to help the guest feel less stuffed.
If I’m going back: While Tresind is known for its theatrics and innovative dishes, the Iftar and Suhoor menu have none of the former. We understand that this might be due to the fact that you’re too hungry to pay attention to the “entertainment” and would be happy with straightforward food instead. Therefore, this might be why Tresind turned the “thriller” factor a notch down.
So we come down to the question – Does Tresind impress? I believe most definitely. The set menu priced nominally at AED 200 is a steal, but I’d prefer coming back to see the restaurant do what it’s known for best; entertain and feed the customer.
Note to self (and others if you’re interested): The Chaat Trolley is amazing.
Are you fans of the newly introduced term “molecular gastronomy”? What do you like/don’t like about it?
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