Last Updated on September 24, 2016 by hungryoungwoman
After the much-acclaimed Tresind by Himanshu Saini, a fine dining restaurant that has now become synonymous with the title “Best Indian Restaurant in Dubai”, the mastermind has come up with another venture that describes itself as Post-Modern Indian.
Carnival by Tresind is all set to open on the 3rd of September for the general public, but we were lucky to enjoy a little sneak peek just before that. DIFC is home to the venue while also sharing the same building are Burger and Lobster and Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri. Burj Daman, though new to the city is already one of my favorite buildings there.
The restaurant is dimly lit and decorated with copper plated trees. Each table has a red and green balloon tied to a roll of paper. Red denotes a non-veg menu, while green stands for vegetarian. The paper is unrolled and a massive 15-course menu is presented before us. The husband takes the non-veg, while I settle with veg for a change. Although most of the courses are common, but the non-veg menu stands as a clear winner if we should compare.
We start with Happy Halloween, a steamed kulcha stuffed with pumpkin mash that is sweet at first and then turns savory with a spicy aftertaste. During the course, placed on our table is a plastic carved pumpkin to bring out the essence of the festival.
The second is what is called as Makhan Phal. I’ll let the picture do the talking here. The third is a cold soup bottle placed on ice and complemented with a breadstick dipped in tomato sauce and parmesan shavings. Supposedly a version of tomato shorba served chilled, sadly it didn’t work for us as the whole point of it is to be served hot.
“Life is short, eat dessert first”, that’s our next course on the menu. A sweet jalebi placed atop yogurt mousse and tangy chaat is a carnival in the mouth. (pun intended) Note: Our cutlery is placed on the table from this course as they encouraged us to enjoy the previous courses using hands which are authentic to Indian culture.
The next was a showdown between Cauliflower florets with chili coconut chutney and chicken pakora rolled with boondi and garnished with sprinkles of nuts and gold sliver. I didn’t care much for the cauliflower florets, which was just fried cauliflower. Literally. But, can we please talk about this Chicken Pakora for a moment?
Cleverly disguised as Motichoor Ladoo, one cannot even expect to find the chicken inside. And a lovely sauce to complement the fried chicken. Genius.
To give our savory taste buds a rest, Malai Baraf is the next course. A litchi granita with raspberry rosewater mixed with fresh milk skin. Our next courses for the non-vegetarian menu have ginger prawns with a South Indian touch, beef tartar paired with Uncle Chips (every child’s favorite back home), and “Mutton Dressed as Lamb” which is mutton galouti presented like a lamb chop with nihari jus served as a sauce.
While the vegetarian presented Chole with steamed kulcha, “Games of Corns” , corn and coconut cutlets with goji berry chutney, and Vada Pav (a famous street side snack and food of the mill workers) which came a demo by the Chef in a helmet and a construction box packed with condiments for the dish.
The succeeding dishes remain same for both the menus, with Dal Phulka in form of a Cappuccino with a subtle flavor of truffle ghee which we think is fantastic.
We then move towards the final courses which include the likes of a deconstructed banoffee pie, betel leaf macarons (called “The Betels”), ice cream sandwiches, and kappi.
Now, ‘kappi’ is what you call coffee in South India. A cup arrives at our table with what looks like a truffle in it. A bite and you can feel the explosion of filter coffee with its slight bitterness that takes me home immediately. Paired with caramelized lotus popcorn.
After being wowed through various points of our meal, we can’t thank Ms. Avni and Fasseeha enough for letting us have this experience.
If I’m going back: Opt for the non-vegetarian menu and you’re left brimming with smiles all along. Our favorites include Malai Baraf, Pullinji (the ginger prawns), Mutton Dressed as Lamb, and Kappi for dessert.
So do you think Carnival can replace Tresind? Certainly not. Chef Himanshu Saini has made sure to keep both entities separate. The former being under the Fine Dining category while the latter, a casual eatery. But casual is not what I’d call it. As you’re hardly having known, comfort food.
There’s a surprise element, a story behind every dish, and a nostalgic feel that will keep taking you back to the country we call home. Which is why we think Post-Modern Indian is the suitable tag that is chosen to describe the venture.
Have you visited Carnival? Let me know your thoughts…
For bookings, contact 04 4218665